When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
All I asked was that you listen, not talk, or do… just hear.
Advice is cheap. Fifty cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.
And I can do for myself. I’m not helpless, maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
But when you accept, as a simple fact, that I do feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.
So please listen and just hear me.
And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn, and I’ll listen to YOU.