One quality I pride myself on is I’m a good listener. At least I believe myself to be.
Strangely, people love to talk. I don’t know why I always struggle but everyone wants their story to be heard. So, for me, it’s favorable. People love to talk and I love to listen.
The art of effective speaking isn’t in what you say but what you don’t.
It seems all happy and cute, right?
After all, cute is the cutest word available in the dictionary. A little side note, there isn’t any other word in the English dictionary I despise more than cute. I hate when people say cute.
Let’s come back to the matter at hand, did you know listening comes at a price? Did you know you have to pay a part of you everytime you listen to someone’s sad little tale?
You feel bad for the teller, and then it numbs. After all, you’ve heard countless stories like that.
At least I have.
You think, “Hey! I’ve heard worse than that, hell, I’ve experienced worse than that. I’m not whining like you.”
But you can’t say any of that. Because if you do, you’ll feel horrible. So, you listen some more. You try to understand. And then you sympathize, even if you don’t want to.
It takes a while, but that is the price you pay for being a listener. There is a reason why people are horrible listener.
But there are stories which are downright degrading to humanity. Stories in which you wish to kill the inflictor, or the villian of the story. Every story has one, don’t give me the look.
You hear a painful story and it starts to eat you alive. You reason that you shouldn’t feel like that. After all, the person who just told you their life story had it worse.
You just listened to it. Right?
But you start losing your mind. It seems strange, doesn’t it? Somehow listening instigates pain? That it fuels agony?
I know seven stories. I know they don’t sound much. But I live within me the agony of seven horrible tales. Seven occasion when I wished to rip apart my heart because I couldn’t bear the suffocation anymore.
But guess what, it took a while and I listened to every single one of them. I tried my best to understand.
Maybe I failed, maybe I didn’t. But every single one of the tellers became a good friend, so I guess I wasn’t horrible. In me, they found an outlet.
And that’s all I could have asked for.
In each of us lies the basic need to influence the world around us. Maybe my ability to listen isn’t anything more than that. A need to influence.
Our philosophies evolve. They change according to the need of the hour.
There is so much to being a good listener, other than the fact that you’re a horrible at sharing your own burden.
Either way, that’s the cost of being a listener. Good or bad, I don’t know, you decide.