I had to travel one of those bumpy roads in life few days back. I was terribly upset and wanted to burst out. My best friend in my team with whom I share even the stupid things I do was very busy. She had no time to talk to me and listen to the entire story. She found me upset came to me and asked what’s the matter with me, I briefed her on what happened very quickly and we got back to work. We kept talking on the communicator about this on and on. I called another friend of mine to vent it out and she kept telling me “it’s OK darling.”, “Everything’s gonna be alright.”, “Things will change.”, “Just let it go.” She showed more interest in consoling me than listening to my problem. I didn’t feel like talking to her after sometime. I know time will heal everything, I know I have to let it go and it’ll find it’s way back to me and I also know it’s OK because it has to be, I cannot undo what has happened. Although her intention was to console me and put me back to normal I wanted her to just be quiet and listen. I don’t want her to provide me any solution or sooth me with those philosophical narrations. I just wanted someone who can just shut up and listen to me.
I came back threw my mobile into the drawer and sat in my place doing nothing. My friend who found something’s wrong came to me and the moment I saw her tears rolled off my eyes. She finally blurted those magical words, “Let’s go have a coffee.” I jumped off my seat and ran with her. She spoke regular stuff till we prepared coffee. When we were out at the balcony she switched off the lights and asked me what happened? I cried badly and she waited till I finished. She held my hand and said, “tell me.” I told her everything that happened and I spoke till I felt comfortable. I spoke for 2 hours! she never interrupted. After I finished talking she asked me, “What have you planned to do now?” I told her my plan and she said, “So you have the solution then why do you cry and stay upset?” I said, “I wanted to vent it out and I just wanted someone who can listen to me. You know me, I need someone to vent out when I am upset!” She smiled and said “That’s fine. Do what you told me and everything will be back on track.” When I came back I was full of energy, I know what to do about the problem and I was sure about it. I felt the sudden transition in my mood. I was back to normal and fully optimistic. Although my friend never did anything except the listening part.
There could be similar situation where your friend wants you to listen to them and that’s it. They don’t want soothing words, they don’t want you to console them, they don’t want you to give a philosophical narration saying, “This is how it is”, “Time is a good healer”, bla..bla..bla.. No! There are situations where they want you to play the listener part and acknowledge what they say. Don’t volunteer and start giving advice. I know all of us love to advice others because that’s the easiest part of it. Once we put ourselves in the situation of that person, you will obviously understand that they don’t need it! They already know what to do and they don’t need guidance. Moreover, they know they should let it go and they also know that they cannot do anything about it. So don’t jump and start advising till someone asks for it!
The most difficult part of the conversation is to listen. Be a good listener you never know you can mend a person whose mood is in a bad shape!
Sometimes you make a change by “just listening.”