These help our readers know us better.
Perhaps they even help us know ourselves better.
How would you answer the question “Are you a listener or talker?”
Would you say, “Both”? (That’s always my standard answer. We’re both listeners and talkers in different scenarios in our lives. With Person A we might talk a blue streak. With Person B we listen endlessly without interjecting.)
Yet, truly, we’re often more inclined more one way or another. Which way is your default position?
Mine, even though you readers might not believe it, is a listener.
It seems like I’ve listened to others for half a lifetime. Listened to dreams, desires, ambitions, regrets. Listened to wonderings and figuring outs. Listened at times so deeply that the boundary between “you” and “me” dissolved and it was just one open heart beating, listening, sharing.
I’ve listened through a thousand lunches, OK, maybe a hundred. Listened through a thousand phone calls, maybe a million. Listened to you, and you, and you, and even you, the little mouse who hardly said two words to anyone else. Listened to people who never talked much before, with whom no one ever invited sharing.
Once I listened to a spiritual seeker talk for five straight hours. She covered birth to adulthood. She talked soooo long. I actually had trouble listening after the first couple of hours, but persevered. Later she called to say, “I have never felt so heard, so loved, in my entire life.” (I swear the Universe simply used my body to listen to her. That’s where the love came from.)
The listening so often feels like a gift because it teaches me so much. It teaches me about the heart of another being, the fascination of another human.
Something in me goes totally silent (well, sometimes) when you talk. In those moments I live you as you share. There is no “me” left. Simply you. Sometimes it takes a good half hour to shake off the listening and to re-enter my own body.
What’s been fascinating about blogging is that–for once–I have a platform to talk. To yak. To say whatever. To say EVERYTHING! To even talk about meeeeeee!
It’s taken back some people who only know me as the listener. They can’t seem to reconcile the *me that talks about her own life* with the *me who is a listener*.
OK, maybe it’s not the other person who is startled. Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps I’ve startled myself finding my own voice so definitively after all these years.
Synchronistically, I just heard this song. (And I am NOT usually a country music fan…not YouYouUsually….)
Back to my original premise. I think we’re both listeners and talkers. In Book Club (or after a glass of wine) I’ve been known to talk, talk, talk about whatever, whatever, whatever.
What about you? Are you a default talker or listener? Can you pinpoint some relationships where you listen more? Where you share more?