(10 points to Gryffindor for whoever can guess where the title is from.)
One morning, a few months ago, I was going through a lot of shit. I got coffee with my dear friend Allison. I was talking, complaining, and lamenting my lot in life, my post-relationship woes, and general unhappiness with the present moment. She talked some too, but mostly it was me jabbering on and on about how my life was inadequate and had failed to live up to my expectations as a 23-year old. Allison was kind and listened to all of my bitching. Allison is really great like that, she is just there when you need her, regardless of what she may be going through in her own life. It was a good chat (from my perspective) but then I made a really funny comment, well it’s funny in retrospect.
“I’m really trying to work more on listening.”
Allison straight up laughed in my face. I was shocked. Had I not been listening? Had we both not shared our feelings? I had A LOT of problems at the time, but didn’t I listen to what she had to say?
…oh, wait. maybe not.
Listen guys, if you have to ask yourself or even think about if you’re a good listener, you’re probably not listening enough.
We talk a lot these days, “we” meaning people in general. There is a lot of noise all over the place. It’s easy to get lost in your problems, in this idea of the self. Let’s step back for a moment and realize that every single person’s experience is valid, and attempt to understand someone else’s perspective.
I hope you have friends like Allison who are there to listen to your problems when you really need them to. I also hope you have friends like Allison who are willing to call you out so you too can attempt to grow.
Let’s talk a little less and listen a little more.