If you’re having a bad day what is that you most crave? A hug? A chocolate biscuit? A huge glass of something alcoholic? Or maybe you just want someone to listen while you pour out the details of your crappy day. The problem is that most people don’t actually listen do they? That’s probably why hugs, chocolate biscuits and alcohol were invented in the first place.
If you think about it, when was the last time that you spoke to someone who just sat patiently before you, a pleasant smile on their face, not saying a word before you’d reached the end of your tale? Isn’t it more the case that, less than 2 minutes in, you’re being given advice about
- What you should do moving forwards
- What you did wrong to end up in your current situation
- What other people did wrong to put you in this situation
- How too many chocolate biscuits are bad for you
- The dangers of alcoholism
The end result is that you still have the problem that you arrived with but now you are armed with solutions that are based on someone else’s experiences. This might not be a bad thing if their experiences are identical to your own but how often does that happen?
For the most part people are kind, they want to help when they meet someone in need BUT they can only base their help on their own wants and desires.
For instance, if a very rich businessman met a beggar, he might give him money. The rich man had been born into a poor household and he had spent his formative years watching his parents struggle for every penny; constantly arguing and fighting over money. This man was determined never to suffer like his parents had suffered so he dedicated his life to making a fortune knowing that it would protect him.
The beggar had been born into a life of wealth and privilege and was free to indulge in every kind of excess. He had been brought low by drug addiction, disowned by his family and was now living rough. He didn’t need more money, quite the opposite, he needed a job; through work he could earn his living and take pride in having done so.
Had the rich man stopped and listened to the beggar’s story he would have realised that it was in his power to give him exactly what he needed to resolve his problems. Unfortunately, he didn’t and instead he gave him what he himself had needed. The rich man walked away feeling virtuous and the beggar died of an overdose from drugs bought with the money given to him by the kind stranger.
Giving someone your full attention and really listening to them is a great gift, if they ask for your advice by all means give it but otherwise just lend them your ears…….
Have a great day everyone