Blog every day in May topic – Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad)
I racked my brains over this one, because I honestly can’t remember very many things that people have told me about myself. I’m sure someone must have done at some point; but maybe I just wasn’t particularly interested in what they had to say so didn’t bother storing it.
In the end I could only think of one example, so that’s what you’re getting.
I was sat outside a pub in Geneva, where I lived for a year while I was at university, talking to my friend Paulina. I can’t even remember what we had been talking about, but she’d had some worry or difficulty that she’d been explaining to me. And after a while she said “Thanks, you’re a really good listener.”
It took me a little by surprise, because as far as I was aware I hadn’t really been doing anything. I wasn’t trying to be a good listener, I was just letting her talk because she needed to talk, and being interested in what she had to say. But afterwards it made me think that maybe I am a good listener after all, and maybe I’d like people to think that of me. So I started making more of a conscious effort to listen to my friends.
It’s not a very difficult thing to do really. Being shy helps, because it means I’m quite happy for the other person to talk usually so I don’t have to think of anything to say. And often if the person is explaining their troubles to you, they don’t actually want you to fix it or suggest a solution. They just want to talk it through with someone, to verbalise it, and to have you say “I’m sorry, that does sound rough”. Just doing that helps them, because they’re not bottling it up and they know they have someone else’s sympathy.
So that’s my thing. Paulina told me I’m a good listener, so I became one. Thanks Paulina.