*updated as of February 2022*
It’s terrible, isn’t it? Come on… admit it. Feel the feels.
When you’re talking to someone and they’re not listening… How do you feel? I mean I find myself feeling disappointed by the conversation, frustrated with the person. Maybe we’re even angered, or outraged, though we won’t admit it. But if what you’re talking about is important in that moment, it feels belittling to not be listened to and yet…
The other person is not present and not engaged. It’s awful. I can still remember how it felt when I last was in this very situation. Empty, lonely and frustrating. And did I admit it? No. I swallowed it. I was already feeling tender and I didn’t want to make a “big deal.” I didn’t want to make it “all about me.” I didn’t want to act like I should be the center of attention. Gross. (Which part is more gross, I’m not exactly sure.)
The worst part. I know I do this to other people. I hate that this is how I can leave people in a conversation when all they want is to be heard / to feel heard. I hate that this is what it is to be a human being – wanting to be heard and not feeling being heard. Wanting to hear and listen and finding myself distracted by whatever is going on in my mind at that moment.
Over the years, this article has been one of the most read of all the articles published here on this site. I continue to update it to reflect our ever-evolving humanity.
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