Please listen to me
Listen … and do you really know how to listen?
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you don’t do what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you start to explain to me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you step on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you think you have to do something
to solve my problem, you misunderstood me, strange as it may seem to you.
Listen! All I asked was that you listen to me:
don’t talk, don’t do, just listen to me.
The advice is cheap. With little money I could find them in any magazine.
I can do it alone. I’m not powerless.
Despondent yes, perhaps even hesitant, but I am not without resources.
When you do for me what I could do from me, you increase my fears.
And my sense of inadequacy.
But when you simply accept, as a matter of fact, that I feel what I feel,
as absurd as it may seem, then I can stop convincing you
and really try to understand what’s behind my irrational feelings.
And when this is finally clarified, the answers also become evident
and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings take on meaning when we understand what they hide.
Maybe that’s why my prayer sometimes works, with certain people …
because God is silent and does not give advice. Does not correct.
He (or you) simply listens and lets you work, to get to understand yourself.
So, please, listen and hear what I say.
And if you want to talk too, wait: in a moment it will be your turn
and then I will listen to you.
SOURCE from Thomas Gordon’s book, “Effective Relations.