Do People Tell You You're A Good Listener?For most of my life, people have told me this. I sit patiently and silently while another person tells me about his life, from the most monumental and interesting events to the most mundane and dull. I am very happy to hear about the former, getting wrapped up in the passion and enthusiasm just like a really good book or movie. I don't even mind the latter, allowing me as they do to tune out and go inside my head where I spend the better part of my time beating myself up for what I see as the small and large flaws in my character.
Only occasionally will I feel that my willingness to sit quietly is being taken advantage of. During these times, particularly if food is around, I can scarf an entire meal in 10 minutes, while my conversational partner rocks on, doesn't come up for air and seems to have forgotten that there's another person across the table. In extreme cases, I can get deeply resentful, the steam popping out of my ears with the intensity of a rapidly boiling kettle.
I am partly to blame for this. People are not to be used like television, as a way to distract me from the howling emptiness I feel inside. I am addicted to comparing myself and my life to theirs, and almost uniformly come up finding them wanting. My conversational skills have atrophied and I find I have little to talk about in a world where constant chatter is omnipresent.
I don't know what to do. I'm addicted to feeling crummy about myself, partly as an excuse not to change or take more responsibility for my side of the conversation.
I just wanted to get this down and out of my head. It's something I need to think about more. Thanks for reading.