Please Listen – a poem

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When I ask that you listen to me,
and you give advice,
you have not heard what I ask of you

When I ask that you listen to me,
and you tell me why I shouldn’t feel as I do,
you are trampling on my feelings

When I ask you to listen to me,
and you feel you have to find solutions to my problems,
I feel let down,
strange as that may seem

Please listen
All I ask is that you listen
– not talk or do or advise –
Just listen

Advice is cheap
I can get that anywhere.
I can do for myself
– I am not helpless –
Maybe discouraged and faltering,
but not helpless

When you do something for me
that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear
and reinforce my weakness

When you accept as a simple fact that
I feel what I feel
however irrational it may seem to you,
then I can quit trying to convince you
and explore this irrational feeling

When that’s clear,
the answers are obvious
and I don’t need advice,
my irrational feelings
make sense
when I can discover what’s behind them

If you listen and understand,
I can work things out for myself

So, I ask again
just listen
and if you too have something to say
be patient
then I’ll listen to you.

~ Anonymous

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