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
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.