The Need To Be Heard

message from above on sidewalk by my house
message from above on sidewalk by my house

The other day someone said to me ‘I never know what’s going on in your life.’ So I barely began to tell them about the Loyalist workshop and they launched into twenty minutes of details about their summer plans on the west coast, when they were done I saw once again that many people are more interested in their lives than anyone else’s. I’m a good listener – if anyone really cares to know what’s going in my life they can check out this blog anyway – if they can’t be bothered – it’s their loss & they never know much about me beyond the fact that I’m a good listener.

seems like yesterday
seems like yesterday

In recovery I’ve learned people often merely want to be heard, not responded to, not given sage council. What they really want is confirmation or assurances – sometimes a reminder that what they find difficult or painful or frustrating – are things we all feel difficult etc. It’s more ‘helpful’ to say ‘you can get through this’ ‘or ‘other’s have gotten through this,’ as opposed to telling them how I think they can get through it.

cool feet
cool feet

That is a big part of why I (& many of us) write – it’s a chance to say things & not be interrupted – a chance to be heard. Not that I’m a confessional writer (far from it, truth be told). I also know when people hear me perform or read what I’ve written they hear themselves in my words, not me. What I say and what you hear are often two different things.

ice crystals
ice crystals

One thought on “The Need To Be Heard

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