Talking and Listening are Worlds Apart………..HEARING IS AN ART

This was written in 2014. The message is still a good one today. Listen carefully to those you care about. They may be saying something important that you need to hear.

Communicating from my heart and soul about being Bipolar is my passion and goal.  Having begun to blog about my illness, and reading others sharing their journey as well, has been liberating for me.   I do not feel alone. I believe those of us willing to open up and tell our stories are giving those who are truth seekers a gift of knowledge and understanding of mental illness that professionals can not deliver.

I think there is an art to HEARING that many struggle with.  I saved an article that I read years ago that highlights this notion, from a girl who wrote her heart out with a list of questions.  I want to share it with you.

“When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I 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 problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen. All I ask was listen, not talk or do………just hear me.

Advice is cheap: 25 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.

And I can do for myself.  I’m 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 inadequacy.

So please listen and just hear me.  And, if you want to talk, wait for your turn, and I’ll listen to you.”

I think there is a powerful message here.   Not just for people who are mentally ill, or professionals who treat them, but to all who really want to embrace the true meaning of knowing what someone is really saying.


About Martha (Marty) Dickson Patterson

Marty: Retired from sales and management near Seattle, Washington.
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Mental Illness and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Talking and Listening are Worlds Apart………..HEARING IS AN ART

  1. blahpolar says:

    I often have to stop myself problem solving in order to really listen. It only made sense to me once I’d spent a significant amount of time feeling totally unheard and frustrated while a close friend with the very best intentions problem solved for me. That article is lovely and so very necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ahuelon says:

    The author of that list gave it to her doctor and he published it. I have had that article for years. It is a wonder it survived. God must have caused me to stumble across it. I shared it with someone who is not mentally ill but is trying to leave the nest peacefully. He is very capable and wants to seek his independence with grace. I told him if he is not heard to hand them that list and maybe it would shut them up.


  3. ahuelon says:

    Reblogged this on AHUELON NEWS JOURNAL and commented:

    I wrote this in Sept. of 2014 and think this is full of wisdom. I relay a list from someone calling out to be heard. Tell me what you think.


  4. Reblogged this on Sigrid's Blog * America Then and Now and commented:
    Brilliant as usual, Martha. As you have probably noticed, FB has banned me again for 30 days, a…holes. I repeated words from the Islamic scriptures that say and teach small children: “Christians and Jews are the sons and daughters of apes and pigs”. There are, apparently, no people in FB’s administration that know much. They are probably children just like the un-educated, ignorant trash in the House of Representatives. So I have been busy on much better sites, where I can post anything including my own wordpress blog. americathenandnow. I get a few more views and comments, but I do believe that my website is not correctly set up, which I did myself. Keep up the good Job, there is a lot at stake in 2020. I, 40 years now in America, my chosen home country, hope not to see the best country in the world go the route these children in congress are driving it, the communist route and what they are pushing is nothing else. Socialism is the precursor for Communism and very similar to ISLAM, IT IS A TOOL FOR CONTROL, BIG GOVERNMENT AND DICTATORS.


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