How it feels to be Heard

If you are spending most of your time

taking care of other people's needs, it may be a rare moment that you pause and actually get to address your own thoughts and feelings.

Imagine, you sit down with a friend to talk about what's been bothering you. And you discuss! You get everything off your chest. But, afterward, you feel about the same. I should feel better, you think. I just released everything and my friend talked with me about it. Why didn't it help?

There's a difference between being listened to and responded to and being Heard.

Often, when we unload our anxieties, we are met with commiseration or advice. "Ugh, I know! Doesn't it suck to be so busy? It's crazy!" or "My week was terrible, too..." or "You should stop taking on so many projects!"

These comments are absolutely well-meaning. But, unless we ask, "Was your week as bad as mine?" or "What do you think I should do?" we are usually not seeking these responses.

We just want to be acknowledged. We want our feelings and struggles to have space. We want a "that sounds really hard" or a "how did that feel?"

That may sound simplistic. But I feel most understood and comforted by those who just witness my struggle and sit next to me in it. There, I find peace. I find space to process in my own way and investigate more deeply when I'm ready.


What about you?

How do you like people in your life to respond to you when you express your troubles?