The more I work in mental health, the more I realize the need for people to be heard. In society, we categories people, label them, and define their story based on an underlying perception. That person talks too much and has a lot of energy so they must have an attention deficit disorder. That person has been divorced multiple times so they must be unstable. That person has a lot of tattoos and piercings so they must be trouble. And, the list goes on. The sad part is that we are forgetting the basics of human needs— connection! The more we can ask questions, the more truth we can find out about a person. Ask yourself, are you assuming things about the other person without asking the right questions to get to know them?
The rush that you receive when you are finally heard is priceless. The person is listening to you without judgement, acknowledging your thoughts, and validating your feelings. It’s beautiful to hear an authentic conversation without any agendas or judgments. Can you imagine a world where people actually listened to one another without judgment?
When we are actively listening to someone, it also doesn’t mean that we are agreeing with them. It simply means that we are holding space for them and allowing them to speak freely without any judgment or agenda. Many people want to interrupt the other person to make sure that their point of view is also heard, when they could have just listened without making it be about them.
Sometimes all we need is someone to listen. We don’t need someone to try and fix our problems or give us advice, especially when it comes to family members or friends (I hope you can trust your life coach or therapist to listen to their advice). We really just want to be heard!
My advice to you is find your core people to talk to and inform them when you need to be heard. For example, before the conversation starts, let them know that you have something to share with them and you really just need them to listen. If sharing with a friend or loved one doesn’t feel right for you, don’t be afraid to find a life coach or therapist. It can be challenging to find core people in every season of life to share intimate information with. That is normal. Reach out in other ways to be heard and find what works best for you. Also, if you haven’t been able to share your story or intimate details about your life, you may feel a strong sense of release from the experience. It’s like weight being lifted off from you or taking in a deep breath of fresh air for the first time.
Just like with any release of toxins, you may experience fatigue, tiredness, and different body sensations. That is normal and is part of the process. Think about everything that you’ve been holding back in, couldn’t say out loud, and how all that information is storing tightly in your body. You’ve been pushing it further down and down when you continue to deny your truth and not be heard. When all that comes up through a healthy conversation with a trusted person, your body may need some time to rest and heal.
The goal is to have authentic conversations and not be afraid to be the listener or the person who needs to be heard. We all have basic human needs that need to be met and one of them is being heard.