Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Can Be A Lousy Listener

I read this online article, “10 Types Of Lousy Listeners” (click HERE to read it in full) and was struck by one of the types mentioned: The Problem Solver.

As a listener, I know that sometimes we just want a sympathetic ear, and that we just want to rant. And normally I am very patient when it comes to listening. I have been told more than once that I’m a great listener. I guess that’s because I can easily keep a detached distance.

The irony here is that I’m a lousy listener with D. Because when he approaches me with a problem, the first thing that kicks in is, “I HAVE to help him. I HAVE to do something, I HAVE to solve his problem or at least come up with ways to a solution.” I can’t stay detached; I instinctively want to alleviate his worry. Because nowadays when I am faced with a problem, instead of ranting (which I sometimes do) or worrying (which I also sometimes do), my default reaction is to not wallow but instead figure things out.

Twice already I’ve failed D. I remember when he first told me, “I’m not asking you to do anything. Just listen.” But how can I just listen when my mind is already taking in the big picture, looking at it from different angles, and always asking, “What if?” or “How about?”

Through the years I’ve learned not to wallow in worry. Worrying is a waste of energy. I’ve taken to heart adages like: “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy” by Leo Buscaglia, or what the Dalai Lama said: “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

However, that’s a lesson that not everyone gets or even appreciates immediately. I too loved to wallow when I was much younger; the realization that my time is better-spent elsewhere was something that crept up on me through experience. And it’s unfair to force it upon D.

Sigh. 2 years and 11 months in, I still have a lot to learn. (But perhaps that ought to be a comforting thought.)


Rygel said...

I can relate 100%

citybuoy said...

Ako din! haha my friends don't like telling me their problems na. Andami ko daw kasi tokis. haha Maybe it's an occupational hazard?

joelmcvie said...

@CITYBUOY: Maybe for you, but I'm neither in Training or HR so I can't blame it on occupational hazard, hahaha. :)