Before I start this, I just want to say that this isn’t directed at my friends or family. This has just been my own observings over the recent months, and I include myself in this completely.
What has happened to all the good listeners? Or why do people no longer try to conquer the art of listening? When did people stop listening to hear and instead started listening to respond?
Truthfully, I have grown tired of sharing my day and yet there is still a part of me that hopes for someone to share my day with. Today, was a really bad day. Then to add insult to injury, a dog sprayed its anal gland juices all down my arm. For those that haven’t smelled anal glands before – there is none like it. It’s a smell that shall we say, lingers. I believe it’s a true test of character to be covered in anal glands when you still have your entire work day ahead of you, plus an appointment quickly squeezed in the middle. But, believe it or not, the anal gland scenario somehow lightened the scene..and by now I have had far too many first hand accounts to know that it comes with the job.
Today was the kind of day where all I felt I needed was to sit on the sofa with someone I love and be given the space to cry. To cry and to share why today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. To cry and have that someone I love say it’s ok, no advice necessary, no words of wisdom needed, just to say it’s ok, you had a bad day and you’re allowed to cry.
I am so tired of being told, ‘Be positive’, or ‘Be grateful’, or ‘There are people who are worse off than you’. Yes, be positive. Yes, be grateful. And yes, many people have it way worse than me…but that doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to have feelings. People are entitled to their feelings and it’s not right to brush aside what someone is going through. People are so quick to climb aboard the advice-giving band wagon, and I get it. I’m right there too. In fact, I’m probably the one with the reins in hand with all my wisdom and good intentions.
Regardless of whether my advice is good or not, regardless of my intentions, more often than not, it’s really not needed. Unless, you’re speaking to a 12-year-old, or someone actively seeking your advice, people just generally want to be heard. Today, all I wanted was to be heard.
Life is messy, and we are allowed to be a mess in the mess. We are humans, not robots and sometimes life throws you one heck of a curve ball; or sometimes you’ve simply had a bad day.
And that’s ok, you’re allowed to cry, you’ve had a rough day.
I challenge you, and I challenge myself, to actively listen. To listen to hear and not to respond. The world needs good listeners. We all could use a good listener.