Have you ever had a “conversation” with someone that didn’t afford you the chance to get a word in edge wise? Has that same person seemed to appreciate your silence more than your input?
Have you ever needed the person who used your ears to unload their burdens to listen to you? Were you ever disappointed when they didn’t seem to have the time or interest in doing so for you?
I have.
I’ve been doing some thinking about this whole concept of friendship, as well as some self examination. I’m a talkative person. I’m certainly not in denial about it. But here lately, I’ve done more writing than talking. Why? It’s because I’ve been reevaluating what it truly means to be a friend to someone.
My listening skills weren’t all that great. I was more interested in making my point and being heard than I was in actually hearing what someone else had to say. When I looked at my own life and its relationships, I didn’t feel like I had many people who were truly there for me to listen, offer advice and to care about what I was going through.
However, the tough reality is that we reap what we sow.
If I don’t have something in my life, chances are, I’m not being that to someone else.
If I want it in my life, I’ve got to be that for someone else.
So now, I talk less and listen more. That means I’ve often forgotten a good point that could have been the slam dunk of all great points I ever made, but guess what? My friends didn’t seem to notice or care. At the end of the conversation, they were just glad to have someone who listened and cared… not someone who had a great one-liner.
I’ll save the one liners for my writing.
I’m put on my listening ears for my friends.