Thanks for listening

Are You Listening? (film)
Are You Listening? (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of of the skills I bring to being a certified peer specialist I believe that the most important is my willingness and ability to listen. I try to blot out whatever distractions may be present including the sounds of others in the room and offer my attention. And sometimes I’ll just keep listening as long as it takes without needing to say much. I always hate it when people impatiently say “hello” after I’ve been listening to them. As if they expected an instant response.

Recently I communicated with several friends concerning my misgivings regarding today’s colonoscopy and was grateful that three of them offered to take me to the veterans administration for the procedure. And some other friends offered reassurance. They “heard” what I was saying although I had not spoke a word. One of my friends is a blogger Jan Wilberg who writes Red’s Wrap and I left a note on her facebook page about how things have been going on her blog.Today her entry is a bittersweet tale of  not being heard. She wrote about experiencing hearing loss and being at an event where her husband was being honored.

Tonight I just told a very nice man whose name tag indicated to me that I ought to talk to him that it was not going to be possible to have a conversation.  I pointed to my hearing aids, waved my arms around the room filled with hundreds of chattering people, I’m sorry.  He looked at me like oh, ok, should I write you a note? But then he eventually wandered off to the next prospect.  It was then I decided to pack it in and come home.

I can just imagine how I would have felt in that  situation because I sometimes find that people I attempt to talk with at those types of gatherings are looking for someone else. They have mentally tuned me out because I’m distracting them from more productive mingling. In addition I sometimes miss parts of conversation and find it very isolating

It takes much more effort to listen and now that I have learned of my friend’s challenge I will seek out more alternative means to communicate. We need to engage everyone, not just those with normal hearing.

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One thought on “Thanks for listening

  1. Kenyatta — I just saw this. No clue how I missed it since I try to read all of your posts. I appreciate the hearing/listening/being heard message. You really ‘get’ it.


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