a poem about listening - Jennifer Martin
please, just listen when i ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what i asked. when i ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why i shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. when i ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem you have failed me, strange as that may seem, listen! all i asked was that you listen, not to talk, or do… just hear. advice is cheap; twenty-five cents will get you both dear abby and billy graham in the same newspaper, and i can do that myself. i’m not helpless. maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. when you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy but when you accept, as a simple fact, that i do feel no matter how irrational, then i can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. and, when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and i don’t need advice. irrational feelings makes sense when we understand what’s behind them. please listen and just hear me, and if you want to talk wait a minute for your turn, and i’ll listen to you. written by ray houghton, m.d.