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Shut Up & Listen

You’re on the phone with your girlfriend and she’s going on and on about last weekend.

“She won’t even let me talk,” you say to yourself.  “Talk about a one-sided conversation…I might as well hang up.”

Well don’t!

Could be she’s on a rant but it could also mean that she needs to have someone listen to her “story”, and who better than a close friend who won’t judge or criticize her?

We all have stories.

Problems, unhappy situations, disappointments, dashed expectations, dramas – all that we need to share with someone we trust.

When we’re the talker, our “self” is operating at full throttle.  In that moment of monologue, we don’t really notice or care if our listener wants to respond or not.

To be the listener instead of the self-talker is hard to do.  Since we have a story too, inevitably we want to get in our two cents worth – to compare our situation to theirs; to even up the ante with a better story: “You were broken into?  Well, I’ve been broken into twice.”  We’ve all done this because we’re human.

Next time you’re cornered by someone who’s just got to tell you what happened, shut up and listen.  They may be venting but they may also need you to listen as they talk about their story – their pain in something that didn’t go right.

Listening like this shows compassion to another person.  So let them have the floor – and your shoulder to cry on if need be. You’ll both feel better for it.

Read more posts by Kita Szpak here. Kita blogs for JenningsWire.