in Personal Growth | posted by Pat
I have felt not listened to for a significant part of my life. For example, if I were speaking, someone would interrupt me with their thoughts. I would either sit quietly or as the years went on get angry. Neither one of these solutions made me feel better. I usually felt worse.
Several years ago, I challenged someone close to me that they weren’t listening to me. I realized that I had let her do it over the years, but now I didn’t want it to be the same way anymore. I was angry with her, and it came through in my message. Well…I didn’t get any response…instead a blank reaction. It was good for me to speak up for myself, but by the time I did that, I was angry. Anger never solves anything between two people…it only creates defensiveness. Now I realize that my anger is there for me to recognize that I’m not taking care of myself. It’s not about the other person…it’s all about how I can take care of myself.
Since this was happening to me for many years, I eventually had to ask myself, “What am I doing to elicit this type of response from others?” That’s not an easy question since it is easier to blame the other person than to accept responsibility for my feelings. It wasn’t a quick “aha,” but rather an evolution over many years, slowly becoming aware of my thoughts and behaviors and the message I was sending out to others.
For a long time hiding and letting others do the talking, having the limelight was just fine by me. Over the years, I started to sense that always listening was not working for me. I didn’t know how to go about this effectively so I shuffled between being quiet to being angry.
Feeling ignored was no longer comfortable for me, so I had to find a solution. The real answer was for me to start listening to myself. I’ve learned to sit with myself and acknowledge my feelings, to honor my wants, celebrate who I was and what I bring to life. There is still more learning, and I look forward to it. Becoming more aware has helped me:
So how do I now deal with someone not listening to me?
How do you listen to yourself?
Women’s Group Topics
All groups bump into the issue regarding how we are listening to each other. Does your group take the time to hear each person’s contribution and do you help the talker to slow down and share the space with others?
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”