15 August 2011

Quote of the day: Someone to listen

It is not easy to be supportive, be a good listener, and give good advice. I wish more people realized that. I found this nice essay about this subject, written by Jon Cousins (I think):
Things don't always go as you'd wish. Life's like that.

But when they don't, it can help to talk about them. The very act of speaking about your feelings can help you process them. It can help you rationalize your situation and solve your problems.

Generally we know this.

Unfortunately, who you talk to plays a big part in the outcome of this process.

Tell the right person and you'll walk away from the conversation with shoulders raised and spirits lifted. Tell the wrong person, however, and you might feel worse than you did before you began.

A key to success could be to find someone with that relatively rare combination of patience, good listening skills and the ability to be reasonably non-judgemental (yet of course not so bland that they have no opinions of their own).

Few have these talents, all too many will instead be eager to dictate what you should do. Ask them, and they'll tell you in no uncertain terms.

Better perhaps to hold your breath until you're with that person who lets you talk, while they simply listen.

You know who they are. Cherish them. And hang onto them because they're worth their weight in gold.

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