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.
expo67 expo67
51-55, M
2 Responses Oct 21, 2012

You are only human and the kind of person that often is afraid to assert himself because of your upbringing which made you feel less than worthy.You have to start looking at yourself with fresh eyes,you are not the person your parents depicted you as.This was the way they chose to relate to you because of their own limitations and misguided ideas of how to bring up a child,whether they meant it or not they did you a great disservice,not to say harm, they gave you a false image of yourself.You have unique qualities and abilities and you are just as worthy as the next person. You don't have to sit in silence and be anyone's sounding board,do not be afraid or feel guilty to put an end to uncalled for tirades,if anything you will get more respect from people.You are NOT a doormat.All what I am telling you I had to come to term with myself coming from the same kind background you are coming from.Take care.

priceless words of wisdom.

I'm struggling with making the connection between what you said and the day-to-day. Any suggestions on how to do it?

Good to get that out of your head...a very honest "confession" of sorts....sometimes lots of people we meet want us to beleive that they are "perfect" and have no imperfections yet they are screaming inside...therefore by talking to us about themselves they are transferring their negative stuff on to people like you ( and I ,).
I mean did you ever go to a night out or a party and someone lights on you, tells you ALL their problems then they flit off somewhere LEAVING you to absorb all their crap, so then there you or I go home feeling awful, because why? We have absorbed ALL their negativity for that night.
Don't go looking for "flaws" in your self....remember there are PLENTY of people out there who will find them in you whether you have them or not.
And sure who hasn't got "flaws" , none of us are are right about the ever present chatter, no wonder the statement silence is golden, is relevant.
Learn to "cut" this sort of stuff right out of your life and time YOU have a negative thought......say to yourself "Its only a thought....and a THOUGHT can be changed".
Love and light
Tara. xx

That's a good reminder. When I'm in a better place emotionally, I often tell people on here that thoughts pass like clouds. It's just that sometimes when I'm in the middle of one of these black moods it's hard to remember.

I have had people dump their bad experiences on me and I have left feeling worse.

I don't have to go looking for flaws. They're just there. I was trained in childhood not to get a big head, not to think I was anything special. There wasn't a compliment that I was given that wasn't backhanded. "He's really smart, but he isn't a good athlete", that kind of thing.

Same here, but you know something....remember "what dosen't kill you makes you stronger"........
luv and light
T. x