What Happens When Someone Listens?


Have you ever wondered about the impact of really being listened to? Can it actually make a difference to our lives?


I bet that most of you reading this have been told, at some stage, possibly even by the most well meaning of loved ones, to ‘get over it’ or ‘stay strong’. How many times have we collectively been told not to feel sad, not to feel angry? Society often demands that we push aside our true and genuine feelings and ‘soldier on’. So feelings become repressed, trapped inside us. This can lead to the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms. For example using drugs or alcohol to maintain the suppression of feelings.


When feelings of sadness arise, one of the most beneficial things you could do for yourself is to talk them through with someone who will truly listen, empathetically. What you require is to be heard and understood. Right there, in your sadness. In all it’s glory. By pretending to be ‘fine’, by putting on a ‘brave face’ you are giving no time and validation to the depth of your feelings. You are not honouring them as they wish to be honoured.


Suppressed feelings cannot be worked through until they are expressed. They become stagnant.


Expressed feelings, when given voice, become charged, like particles and can then move around and shape shift and change.


This can be challenging and painful. Especially if talking about feelings is a new concept for you. It can also be validating, life changing and liberating. When we talk about these things with someone, a loved one, a mentor, a therapist, and are truly listened to we are receiving human contact. We can see the impact we have on another. If that other is willing to listen, empathetically beyond judgement. Genuine human contact is essential for our survival.


‘If you are not stroked your spinal cord will shrivel up’ Eric Berne


If you are interested to see how effective talking therapy can be, find a therapist in your local area who you can talk to and one who will be prepared to listen. While the concept is a simple one; speak and be heard, it can be a very daunting step. It can also be one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves.

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