when i ask you to listen to me, and you start giving me advice
you have not done what i have asked
when i ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why i shouldn’t feel that way
you are trampling on my feelings
when i ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems
you have failed me (strange as that may seem)
listen – all i asked was that you listen – not talk or do. Just hear me
and i can "do" for myself
i am not helpless … maybe discouraged and faltering – but not helpless
when you do something for me that i can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness
when you accept as a simple fact that i feel what i feel, no matter how irrational
then i quit trying to convince you and get down to the business of understanding what is behind the irrational feeling
and when that is clear, the answers are obvious and i don’t need advice
Irrational feelings make sense, when we understand what’s behind them.
so please listen and just hear me
and if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn and i will listen to you.
ralph roughton, M.D.