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Discussion in 'Mental & Emotional' started by Poppy-summer, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Poppy-summer

    Poppy-summer Active Member

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    Right not sure if this is the right forum to post this or even the right website but hear me out ....

    In conversation when someone tells you about their experiences or themselves is it more appropriate to just listen and be like 'ah okay' and take everything in.
    I've noticed I have a pattern of doing this and then I follow up with an experience of my own, offer my opinion or provide an alternative way of looking at things.
    Is this too me, me, me or is this how most people talk.
    Damn I probably sound well over analytical :)
     
  2. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the people and on the circumstances. Is it a chat? Or is it something they need to be able to tell ( death of a close friend, for example)?
    Are they asking for help? Because otherwise, why would you feel the need to 'rescue' them? Is it personal? If it's politics, by all means express an opinion. If it's personal, think more carefully.
     
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  3. Energylz

    Energylz Moody-rator ©
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    As Crowan says, it depends.

    If a person is specifically coming to you because they want someone to listen to them (get something off their chest etc.) then responding with similar tales of your own or responses such as "I've done that/been there/had that experience too" just takes the focus away from them and will leave them feeling like you're not listening.
    However, if it's a conversation where they are seeking your opinion or asking if you've experienced similar, then it's fine to listen and to share back.

    I found when I read The Celestine Prophecy, though the quality of the writing is poor, and the story is just a background to illustrating the principles being given, the underlying principle detailing how to communicate with people and how people often have control dramas to try and take control over other people, was very englightening and useful in seeing how we can communicate more effectively, without trying to overpower someone else.
     
  4. Poppy-summer

    Poppy-summer Active Member

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    Yes I've heard about this book. Again I must get it soon and read it.
    I sometimes think I share too much opinion and talk about myself a bit too much.
    I think I need to chill out more and just listen but I spend a lot of time listening anyway and I'm not as bad as some people when it comes to over-dominating.
    I've noticed in many group conversations people take turns in over-dominating each other. This is probably just normal in conversations where there's groups of people.
     
  5. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Hi Poppy,

    The very fact that you are aware you are doing this is a good sign. It's when people are told that they talk too much by their friends, but ignore them that it gets tiresome.

    I recently had to send this to a friend, out of desperation. http://www.thefriendshipblog.com/guest-post-woman-couldnt-stop-talking/ It worked. Up to then, no-one could get a word in and it felt like a competition. If someone did start talking, my friend had to butt in to say that she'd done that, been there, etc etc. (A bit like the old song, "Anything you can do I can do better") It was like she had to have everyone's attention.

    A conversation between friends should be a back-and forth exchange, with everyone listening and getting a chance to contribute. As I also said to my friend, "God gave us two ears and one mouth - use them in that ratio." :p

    So keep listening and taking an interest in your friends!

    Love and peace,

    Judy
     
  6. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    I'm never sure about this word, 'should'. Who was it decided how friendships 'should' be? I tend to just take people as I find them - which means listening, talking, debating, being quiet. Whatever is suitable to the situation.
     
  7. Poppy-summer

    Poppy-summer Active Member

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    This is fascinating but I think we all do that. Someone says something and the other person says about what they have done.
    Damn I think I do that a lot but I think it's more me just trying to fit in and make conversation rather than trying to compete.
    Damn ..... :)
     
  8. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you are sensitive enough to know what is suitable Crowan. Sadly, many people don't. With the friend I mentioned above, it had got so bad, that when I'd suggest going out to lunch, other friends would say, "Is ...... coming?" and would back away if they were told she was. No-one ever felt comfortable - as I said, it was like a competition. Exhausting.

    So maybe I should have said that a conversation between friends should be a get-together where everyone feels comfortable and comes away feeling happy and relaxed and looking forward to the next get-together, instead of dreading it! Still as I said, sending my friend that article did the trick. She finally took notice (after years of ignoring verbal hints and then requests) and everyone is so relieved now that we can actually all enjoy being together at last!
     
  9. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    It also depends a lot on what you, personally, can cope with. We have a friend in the next village. Basically, she is a good person but she is self-obsessed. My partner, as you probably know, is disabled. This friend - let's call her M - is also disabled and sees Christine's problems as a threat to her status as 'the worst off'. Comments like, "But you're getting better." (Christine isn't, she's getting worse.) M can be very blunt and rude.
    People moving into the village are warned, "Don't talk to M, or we won't be friends with you." She gets hate mail. And the excuse from even people I would have thought would have been more compassionate? "She's her own worst enemy." Which doesn't seem to me to excuse bullying.
    I can cope with M. I tend not to get offended by people who are dealing with their own stuff. So I sit next to her on the coach for the club outing, I help her with her entries or the village show. We invite her around for coffee fairly often. Not because we're particularly wonderful, but because what she needs from us is within our capabilities.

    My parents had a couple of saying that I live by as much as I can. Dad would say, "Everyone's doing the best they can." and Mum said, "You can't expect more of people than they are capable of." The same sentiment really, from different directions.

    People can only learn how to converse if the are given plenty of practice to do so as they are growing up.
     
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  10. Principled

    Principled Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me that the friend I mentioned and others who don't know how to listen, are all single children - they got used to being the centre of attention.

    It's lovely Crowan that you go out of your way to show kindness to this person. Bless you! :)
     
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  11. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    It's nice of you to say so. But actually, the point I was trying to make is that I don't go out of my way. I find I can cope with her and other people can't, so I do. It's easier all round, not just for M or for the other people who can leave her to me, but also easier for me. I can just concentrate on her without having to cope with other people being nasty to her (or, to be fair, her being nasty to them) and the calm that this engenders is worth a lot to me.
     
  12. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    But of course, we don't "all do that" - otherwise everyone would know the 'rules' and no one would either hog the conversation or feel side-lined. And it is clear that many people (including you) do feel at least unsure of how to behave in conversations.
     
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  13. Poppy-summer

    Poppy-summer Active Member

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    Yeah I agree.
     

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