Friday, January 11, 2013

Hear Not but Listen Up

Maybe this is just me and it might be because I am an emotional person, though I don't really know if the word "emotional" is correct as I feel like it might lead you to believe that I am crying all of the time. But I do not know another word to use that best describes feelings and thoughts. And it is when trying to relay those feelings and thoughts that I encounter problems.

Whether you want to say that I am a shy individual because that is my personality or that I remain quiet and do not communicate as much or in the same manner as others because my disability or brain injury makes things more challenging for me, makes no difference. I consider my personality and disability to be one in the same (pretty much)..... they are part of the make-up of who I am.

I have difficulties with words (coming from a writer that sounds strange; but I am referring to the verbal kind), expression and over-thinking. I don't necessarily want to be heard, but there are times I would like people to listen.

Webters dictionary gives these definitions:
Hear = perceive with the ear; listen to; try/get to know. Perceive sound; learn.
Listen = try to hear; give attention in order to hear.

I know that those definitions seem similar. "Hear" and "Listen" are the same you might say. But I don't think they are, and perhaps some of you may agree with me that they are not.

Wikipedia gives these definitions:  
Hear is to detect sound.
Listen is how the brain processes what you hear.

These definitions I think make it a little more clear and because (in my opinion) detection is often more simple than process, most people tend to hear someone and that is it. In my case, I believe people hear me (when I do speak) but rarely listen. I do understand that this could be partly my fault for sometimes over stating things to a point where it becomes confusing, but I usually end up doing this only because I feel that no one is really listening. And like I said above, I may be over-thinking things a little as well.

To me, to listen is to understand or at least try to, it's sympathizing and perhaps even giving specific advise..... not always, but sometimes. To listen is not necessarily about "fixing" someones problem(s). Listening is not "waiting to speak". Listening is not "comparing".
I am fully aware that everyone gets tired or has headaches. I know that people are living on the streets and have it worse than me. When these are the responses I get from what I say, I know people really aren't taking the time to listen.

I follow a few other blogs and one in particular that I read the other day titled "I Want to Attempt Suicide and Not Die" by Natasha Tracy at Bipolar Burble, sank in and made complete sense to me. I made my own interpretations and I realize that her post was written for different reasons other than what I am saying here..... but perhaps not. And if anyone, after reading this, asks me if I want to, or think about, attempting suicide, then they will be helping to drive home my point, that people would rather hear..... or in this case, read.

Some people just want someone to listen to them. People should have the right to speak about their feelings and not be judged or analyzed. In the society we live, "Not being heard" isn't the problem, it's that people tend to feel like "No one is Listening".

I think many people do want to share and listen and understand, but in a fast paced environment and a world that seems to run on ideas like "the faster the better" and being about "Me Me Me", listening can be a challenge. In fact, I sometimes think people just don't know how or perhaps are even afraid to listen because they may sense a need to do something more. I do though have to acknowledge that there are people out there who simply don't want to listen.

But we all do need to try a little more often because otherwise those individuals (like myself) with a need for someone to occasionally listen, REALLY LISTEN, will stop the attempt at dialogue and suffer in silence. And honestly, to do it all you need is a little patience, an open mind and ear. We do all have ears, but unfortunately patience and an open mind are are hard to come by.

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