PREVIOUS: Listening #3
POST : Use THINK instead of FEEL
3. (A) When someone wants you to listen to them AND it’s a practical issue (lack of funds, health or relationship problems…..) (in Part 2)
#3 VARIATION (cont)
(T) When someone wants you to listen to a problem AND asks you directly to tell them what to do
👄 💬 If you automatically respond by giving advice, you’re trying to think for them.
HARMFUL – ACoAs are notorious advice givers!
• we really believe someone wouldn’t be telling us their problem if they didn’t want a solution
• from earliest childhood, e’re trained to be Rescuers, & by golly we have to do our job, AND we feel guilty when we don’t!
• we can’t bear to see anyone suffer, because it touches on our own unprocessed pain, so we have to make them feel better – since we couldn’t heal our parents’ suffering
📣 IF you can’t be silent & just ‘be there’ because it’s getting you riled up, overwhelmed, grossed out, judgmental or scared — excuse yourself as soon as politely possible & work on which WIC button got pushed
• RULE #1 (again) : Zip the Lip!
• IF you want to be helpful AND can do it from your Loving Parent &/or Healthy Adult (the UNIT)
— then ASK respectful Qs – but only to find out what the other person:
– really needs (may be hidden to them at the moment)
– is thinking : if they have some distorted, confused beliefs you can carefully point out, or help them uncover & clarify their ideas
– is missing : what don’t they know, & are they open to new info which they can use to help themselves/
🤫 They may just need to say it out loud, to come to their own conclusion or make a firm choice between various options that suit them
NOT everything you’re asked to listen to will be about distress, or a problem.
When someone wants to share a joy, success, good ‘luck’ …. anything great & exciting that’s happened to them AND you ignore them, give them a little dig, or find some other way of diminishing their joy – you’re ‘abandoning’ them by acting like your Bad Parent.
These reactions are from envy / jealousy.
ACoAs don’t have permission to take care of ourselves, which makes us afraid to take healthy Risks. It prevents many of us from following our dreams & talents. Often the successes we do have are at things that are not our desires (family expectations or demands), OR not our first choice, rather than going for the things that we were born to do!
ALL envy/ jealousy is about feeling powerless to get OUR needs met.
So we’re angry & resentful when others have happy moments & positive outcomes – whether we wanted their specific ‘thing’ or not.
• ENVY is between 2 people : “I envy your beautiful long hair, your education, how comfortable you are with yourself….
• JEALOUSY is between you and 2 or more others (3 +) : “I’m jealous that you have a happy family, a great boss, lots of friends….”
The more we have our own needs & dreams fulfilled, the easier it is to be generous – genuinely happy for others who are also doing well. In fact it will make us feel good to be with others who are happy, so we can have fun & share with them, on equal terms.
* * * * * * * *
IMP – You DON’T have to be available to listen, IF :
• you don’t have the time, desire or capacity
• the other person is using you to dump on, rather than sharing their process.
If you’ve heard the same problem, complaint & rant on for years! – without any real changes in the person, you know you’re wasting your time.
They’re responsible for their own growth, so if that’s missing, you’re being used. Endless listening is co-dependence, even if you call it loyalty.
It’s OK to decline to listen — on a particular day, or because you’ve not able at the moment, or not at all, because you’ve had enough!
😡 If they react badly (angry, whining, chasing you down…) – that just validates your decision!
NEXT: Gifted Children #1