Are There Times When You Don’t Feel Heard?
I was recently happily chatting to someone at a social event, when another person butted without saying ‘excuse me’ – or seeming to notice me at all. So I was left mid-sentence feeling completely ignored and gob smacked. Neither of the other two even seemed to notice. They went off together quite happily, leaving me in the middle of the room with my mouth half open, not a pretty site I can assure you. It crossed my mind that communication or relationship counselling or help might be useful to them.
Now I want to assure you I don’t have delusions of grandeur. I don’t feel I’m any more important than anyone else. But I’m not invisible either. I had choices at that point.
I could have spoken up and made it clear the person was interrupting. Or, ignore it and talk to someone else.
I didn’t think sitting in the middle of the room crying was an option………
It seems that life is going at such a fast pace people are tumbling and talking over each other in an attempt to get their point across or be acknowledged or heard. The problem is because everyone is in such a hurry, no one is listening to each other – I mean really listening.
That’s when problems arise, because parts of the conversation get missed, or misunderstood. Which in turn leads to arguments and upsets, and eventually relationship problems, with friends, family and partners.
Friends fall out, sometimes never being able to repair it. Resentments build up between couples and it can be hard to work on fixing relationships at that point. And so often its because there is a breakdown in communication, and one or other says’ I don’t feel heard, I don’t feel you care’
How many times have you got into a disagreement with someone because you misheard what they said, made assumptions, or misread a text or email because you scanned it in a hurry?
Or have you ever thought you had told your partner something, but actually you hadn’t? You had in your head, but hadn’t actually spoken the words out loud! I know I have been guilty of that.
Has your partner sworn they told you they would be late home, but at that moment you were distracted by the children talking to you and didn’t hear them say that? Trust me, we can’t multitask, well at least we can’t ‘complex multitask’. We can walk and talk at the same time, but no way can we fully listen to more than one person at the same time. Neither can we text and talk simultaneously without missing parts of one of the other. What happens is we mind switch.
Try it if you don’t believe me. You will miss parts of the conversation, and our brain fills in the gaps, sometimes getting the gist of it, but at others getting it wrong.
And when this happens we don’t feel heard. We feel unimportant, and in certain cases, it can lead to broken relationships. At other times it can adversely affect self-esteem and self-worth.
This is something I see in clients so often. I help them communicate better together, listen to each other and make each other feel heard and valued.
If you would like to chat and find out more about how relationship counselling may help you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.