The power of being listened to

Tiffany Varpalotai
Written by Tiffany Varpalotai

The relief of saying it out loud.

I think many of us are familiar with the feeling when you have something in your soul frustrating you, but you just don’t have anyone available to tell it to. In these Covid times of isolation it can be pretty hard to share things that you’re struggling with over the camera. The barrier between people just got super real with the in-person meetings replaced by Zoom calls.

The importance of saying things out loud.

The thing is, now it’s more important than ever to say things out loud. To let the things bothering your inner peace go. That’s why we should facilitate deep conversation, even online. When we ask someone ‘Hey. Are you alright?’, we should really mean the question and we should be interested in their answers. Many times, when we meet with our colleagues or neighbours or friends, we only ask the question ‘how are you?’ because that’s what we learned to ask of everyone. But are we actually asking this or just saying things we are supposed to say without any real meaning behind them?

I experience it a lot. There are many things that are going on with me and it would feel so good if someone was actually interested in what’s happening with me. In this past year I think we have all learned the importance of connecting with people, and we should use these connections to build deep and meaningful relationships within our little world.

Care about what people share.

There is a big chance that you will come across someone soon who will be relieved to know that you do actually care about what they are saying. That you are someone who takes the effort to slow down and listen to the other human’s story and that can be an extraordinary experience for yourself as well. You’ll experience what we mental health workers experience day-to-day, the power of being listened to. You’ll see how much influence you can make on the other’s mood, just by really listening to them. Look at their face when they’re finished with their story and you’ll realise that you might not even need to give advice to be useful, just by being present and open to whatever they say has been enough for them.

My problem is too small.

In the time of hyper evolved social media where everything seems to be happening super quickly our own issues might seem ridiculously small or meaningless compared to things happening all around the world. Thinking this way is really damaging. We should believe that whatever we’re dealing with has the same weight for us as all those events have for the world. In our own world those issues are the major ones, and we should treat them with seriousness and not underestimate them by hiding them within instead of saying them out loud. You’ll experience that if you release your inner pressure, if you vocalise your problems, you’ll be a lot more balanced, and your mental health will improve a lot.

Be the change.

I’m kindly asking everyone to be the change. Be the person that others can talk to, who’s happy and willing to listen to their real words and be the person who looks behind the “I’m fine’s” and instead asks meaningful questions. Make sure though that you ask the same things for yourself and find people that you can tell your problems to, people who help you keep your balance.

This is how the ‘magic and power of being listened to’ comes alive and fills human connections with meaning.

Main Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash