There are people who promise to be there for others, and then there are those who actually are. If you’re someone who makes your presence felt in someone’s life even before they say the word, you’re admittedly the best. It really doesn’t take a lot to be good to others. We all need a friend/partner/confidante who’s a good listener and can understand the depth and intensity of our concerns.
Allowing myself some brag value, I confess I’ve been, or at least tried my best to be, there for anyone who needed me. I’m only a message or call away and always available for chat or a quick catch-up meet with my friends and loved ones. They confide in me with their darkest secrets knowing that I’ll lock them up in my mind and keep them safe. I’m their in-house personal sounding board.
Sometimes though their sadness and my helplessness in finding a solution to it gets too much to take for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t repent or want to back out.
However, I’m not a professional. I’m not equipped with the right frame of mind to handle others’ problems without getting affected by them myself. I want to help but occasionally I just don’t know how. In conclusion, my health suffers.
This makes me wonder, is being a good listener always a virtue? The mental and emotional vulnerability of a person seeks my hand out and I subconsciously extend it without a thought.
The uneasiness that follows after their revelations though pulls me apart at times. Personal or professional, there are limitations to the advice I can offer. Also, we live in a society where people see everything through the shades of judgement.
However noble our intentions then, it is advisable not take upon an emotional responsibility we possibly aren’t equipped to handle. Isn’t it? Be all ears but don’t attempt to make things right for them if we don’t know how to.
A lost person cannot guide someone else and this isn’t a gamble anyone should be willing to take. Don’t offer help if “It’ll be alright”, “Think positive” or “Try to be happy” is the advice you can come up with. Direct them to the right person and listen to them thank you when all’s well instead. What say?
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