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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Are You Being Heard?

Have you ever felt as though you are speaking yet no one is listening?  Besides your spouses and your children of course, that goes without saying, I’m talking about conversations you have with co-workers, friends, family that leave you wondering, what just happened there?  In honor of International Women’s Day I thought it would be great to do some reflecting on how I conduct myself.  I question how one sided I can make a conversation, how self centered do I come across?  I know there are times where I really want to just blurt out my news or my rant before I hear the other person’s news, but for the most part I do listen least that’s how I see it!
We’re all going through good times and bad times and really crazy stressful times, and sometimes listening to another person’s woes are just not of interest to us.  But if you think about it, that person called you for a reason, was it to hear all about you?  Or was it because they needed an ear?  Do they have something to celebrate?  Do they really want your advice?  Or was it so you BOTH could just talk and you BOTH could listen.    
Our “stuff” sometimes feels like it is more important than other people’s “stuff”, and it can be really annoying, when you feel like you’re not being heard.  Or you’re made to feel like your problems are not as bad as you think they are.  Who are we to determine what is a bad problem and what is not?  
I find when I actually listen, whatever I am going through can wait, and it takes my mind off a bad situation for a least a little while.  Not that my situations are not worthy of discussion, but I’ve found that listening and waiting for the right time and place give me time to reflect.  Like am I really that mad that my kids can’t find their socks?  Or am I really that stressed out that Desperate Housewives has been repeats for weeks?
I treasure all the people in my life that trust me with their problems, ask me for advice and they can take it or leave it.  I love being an ear for others, I don’t always have the right words, although I do wish I can make their heartache go away.  Though I don’t have that power, I feel like there is nothing better than the comfort of an old friend that will listen and cry with me.  Laugh with me until we cry, agree to disagree or just get mad at me because I’m being stupid.  
A good friend and with a good ear is like warm stew on a cold winter day, with a great big piece of garlic toast on the side.  There are many people in my life that make up my great stew, and I hope to be that same big piece of garlic toast on the side for them.  I take the time now to apologize for times when I was self centered and didn’t listen to all you had to say, or didn’t give much praise where it should have been.  I promise I was just distracted by missing socks and repeats on TV! 
All kidding aside, thanks to all that have been there for me and inspired me to be a better friend, wife, mother and daughter.  Without you I’d be really really empty!

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