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Listening Only Looks Easy

“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple. Every head is a world.”— Cuban Proverb

Recently, I’ve been going through some things. And I really hate using that word when I write because it is so amazingly vague. But instead of going into serious detail about said ‘things’, I’ll just use that incredibly annoying word, and we’ll get past it.

These ‘things’ frustrate me to no end, and I find that I am in constant agony of holding in words and screams of how I am really feeling. And while most people try to understand what I am, in fact truly, feeling, it’s hard because they’re not going through the same ‘things’ that I am.

So, last night, I was on my way home and I decided to call one of my closest friends and ask her if she could meet. Luckily for me, she could. We met, we went to Jamba Juice, and she sat there for nearly an hour while I said everything that has been sitting on the tip of my tongue for an extremely long time.

She just sat there and listened.

There’s something to be said about a person who can simply sit there and listen to someone rant and complain and go on and on about one thing. And when she knew my piece was done, she gave me advice and positive ‘things’ (there’s that word again) to think about and to help me get through this time.

I don’t know if she knows this, but her just sitting there, and being there for me, was one of the best menschen acts that someone has done to me specifically.

And I know to many that that may sound weird and strange, but it’s true. It’s very hard for people to just sit there and listen. I know because even I struggle with just sitting there and listening. So last night, when my friend sat in front of me for almost an hour and simply listened meant so much to me.

As stupid and cliché as this may sound, I find that our world is loud. People are constantly talking about others, or tasks, or anything that they need to get done, or what they want to be heard. So in a world like ours, it’s hard to find someone who will simply listen.

But she did. And I think that’s part of the reason I called her. I knew that she was a great listener and she would do just that. But most of all, she was there for me.

She didn’t tell me she knew how I felt. She didn’t tell me she understood. She didn’t give me that look of pure sympathy. She sat there and listened. And then she told me that she was glad that I could tell her all of the ‘things’ that I did. She told me what she thought I should do and she told me that eventually I’ll feel like 100% myself again and be able to do everything that I’m missing – maybe more.

Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in a month. But soon. And the way she said it – bluntly, honestly – was the exact thing I wanted to hear.

Don’t force yourself to listen to someone. But if you get that desperate call, before you turn them down, think to yourself: What would a mensch do?

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