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LISTEN

So this morning someone called me and told me something that didn’t sit well with yours truly, only for the person to say it wasn’t true and that they wanted to see my reaction which I must say, wasn’t pleasant. This made my friend mad because they accused me of not knowing them well enough or trusting them. Which in turn made me more angry because I didn’t understand why this person was testing me and needless to say a mini argument ensued.

Our conversation ended with me asking, “Why did you call to spoil my day?”

I was left pondering over the situation because I try to look at both sides as much as possible. This was one of those moments where I had to practice what I preach which is always a very tough pill to swallow. What do I preach, you ask? Many things. But for this specific situation i’ll narrow it down. I believe that everyone’s feelings are valid whether you agree with them or not and must be acknowledged. My friend who we’ll call X for today felt that after all the years we’ve known each other I shouldn’t have believed what they said. X was right.

We may not always understand why people feel or think the way they do but that shouldn’t negate the validity of their feelings. Unfortunately, most of the times we switch to defense mode because somehow as humans we are wired to think that every argument has to have a winner. That’s not always the case. I was defending myself because I didn’t want them to label me as a ‘bad friend’ and plus I felt it was strange, maybe even wrong for someone to try and test me especially at our ‘age’. I could argue my point of view and prove to be right but this wasn’t about me. It was about X and their feelings which I had to accept, acknowledge and apologize for us both to move on.

People just want to be heard sometimes and you just have to weigh if proving you’re right is more important than the friendship. This also made me think about other situations where the same applies and another incidence came to mind. You know those days where things just don’t go your way and when you find a listening ear, you pour your whole heart out? Well, that was the case for me one day and as I was venting, my friend was trying to make me see things from a different perspective while trying to calm me down. I got really angry at them for that accusing them of siding with the other person. (How many times has this happened to you?)Then it hit me that I actually do the exact same thing with my friends and they keep on telling me how annoying it is (they say worse things but, oh well!). For instance; you could come to me to vent about how someone was rude to you and i’d be the person that would be like, “Don’t be so quick to judge, maybe they had a bad day. That doesn’t make them a bad person you shouldn’t assume the worst of someone because of one incident, at least not without looking at all possible factors. You should know that whatever the reason is, it’s not you, just let it go and let them be………yada yada yada “. Get the drift? I never knew how annoying that was till I got a dose of my own medicine. So what is the best way to react? What did I want my friend to tell me that would make me feel better? Simple. I just wanted them to listen and be angry WITH me. “All I wanted was to be heard. Later when I’ve cooled down and we’re laughing about the situation or other things, only then can we have a sober discussion on the way forward or whatever opinion you have. I tried that with someone and it really works! So the next time your friend comes to vent about something, LISTEN. Keep your opinions to yourself first and even join in the anger. Eventually they’ll calm down. However I’d like to say that it’s important to weigh the situation and your friend’s character, are they violent? Because you joining in the anger may end up inciting them to go do something stupid. But the important thing is, Listen. Encourage them to let all their feelings and emotions out. You’ll thank me later for it!

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4 Comments »

  1. Listen, is the reason i dont share my problems. People always assume you want them to give a solution or criticize. Just listen.

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    • True I’m actually exactly like that… find it hard to share my problems but I’m willing to try at least when I told my friend that I just wanted them to listen it created a free environment for me to share because sometimes it can get overwhelming having to hold so much inside. I’m still not there yet though, but baby steps. Thanks Nicam it’s comforting to know there’s someone else going through the same.

      Like

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