Listen to Understand, not to Reply

by Diana Murray 5 months ago in how to

By Diana Murray

Listen to Understand, not to Reply

I always hear and read about how “repressing” our emotions is very unhealthy.

Emotions like anger, fear, sadness and shame could hurt or offend others, and we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to be judged for these negative (but normal) feelings.

Even things like sensitivity, empathy, generosity, and kindness can and often are repressed because we are afraid others could take advantage of us, make fun of us, or somehow use it against us, and we need to protect ourselves.

So, we push these natural feelings down, bottle them up, hide them, and even sometimes deny them completely by behaving in a way that is contrary to our real nature.

We all have heard that repression isn’t a good way to cope. Because these emotions will eventually come pouring out, probably at the most inconvenient time, and we won’t be able to stop it. We all “know” this. But knowing isn’t enough.

We have to “do” something about it. We need to find a real solution to the problem, not just a temporary fix.

But what is the solution?

I don’t know. 🤣

However, I do believe this same thing applies not only to feelings and emotions, but also to our THOUGHTS.

We may not express our ideas and thoughts for the exact same reasons listed above.

We don’t want to risk offending someone or being labelled or, simply fearing people won’t listen anyway, so, we voluntarily give up our voices.

But, if we have ideas and thoughts, questions that we are afraid to express, we can’t grow.

Speaking IS Thinking.

Feedback from others is what helps us process our thoughts so we can understand ourselves and others.

I believe that if we are very careful with our words, and we think carefully before we speak and don’t shut down as soon as we are challenged, if we don’t allow ourselves to be triggered by other people lashing out due to their subjective feelings and we continue forward in a discussion with understanding, eventually, others will see it that, and do the same in return.

We can all feel defensive sometimes. And we should be sensitive to others. But avoiding conflict isn’t healthy for anyone.

It might take some time and patience and courage, but I think this is what we need to do in order to bring us closer together, even if at first, it feels like we are only creating needless conflict.

We don’t have to agree on everything. It’s not possible to find someone who is exactly like you in every way. That would be a very boring relationship!

We can still like, respect and even love people who have different views than we do. Actually, I think that this would be a good way to find out who you really respect, like, and love. And vice versa.

Just like with most things, it’s the same in relationships. Maybe even more important.

Real is better than artificial.

Deep is better than superficial.

Quality is better than quantity.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have respect for each other rather than have to be enemies because we don’t agree on things?

We may even find out that we do have actual enemies. And that can hurt. But, isn’t it better to know your enemies?

Wouldn’t it be nice to really know who your true friends are?

Only with that knowledge, can we feel safe, truly loved and accepted, and be able to trust fully.

Thanks for reading!

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Diana Murray
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