Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fifty-Ninth Step - Don't talk

You know when you open your mouth because you want someone to feel listened to, heard, understood, but then it just comes out as a pile of words spewing forth? And words pile up between you, and you want to stop but they just keep piling up and making it worse? You can hear yourself and it's not quite right, not really what you want to be saying, but you can't take it back and you feel like you can't "talk out of it." You are nervously jabbering and can't shut up and don't know why.

And the real issue is you wanted that person to know that they are not crazy, that their feelings are worthwhile, that they are not alone, that it is okay to feel this way. Really you're just wanting them to feel like they're OK, and understood. You want to be able to relate, because it feels like the only way to really be with them. But you have made it about you. Your "trying to relate," so they feel okay, has made it about you. And your experience is not the same, and even though you weren't meaning to make it the same, it seems that way.

Really you want them to know what they are feeling is okay. You want to be there for them, but aren't sure how. You want to not be worried about doing the wrong thing but be able to just be, and let the other person just be, and be with the other person. But you are not making it that simple. You want to say, "I see you" (yes, avatar reference) and "I hear you," but instead you end up saying too much and looking at yourself and your experience instead of just hearing theirs. You're sad at your friendship ineptitude, and at any hurt you've caused. Now if I replace all the "you's" with "I's," then I will be being honest.
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