The need to be heard

I joined twitter yesterday, after eight years of giving off to Ryan about it – things like. ‘why do you have to tell other people what you’re doing, when I know already?’, or calling it his mistress, the thing that gets more attention than me.  Funniest of all is that he first signed up when I was in the other room, going through the mid-stages of labour.  So you can see why I was against it.

Still, the desire to promote my latest book has pushed me to it.  One day in, and I still hate it – what a massive waste of time, scanning through, just hoping that there will be one tweet that makes it all worthwhile.  None yet, but maybe it’s because I seem to be following more organisations than individuals…

Anyway, it was yet another confirmation that what people want more than anything is to be heard.  I’ve become increasingly aware of this when I’m in a group situation – everybody has something to say, and most are so desperate to say it, that they’ll just talk louder.  I’m no different.  I keep something in my head, wait for the right moment, and go away frustated if I never got it.  I do wonder why people post vague things on Facebook like ‘I wish they’d stop.’  Who are you talking about?  What are they doing?  Why is it so unacceptable to you?  But they never say.  I think they only say so little because they want others to engage enough that they ask those questions.

Which brings me to my conclusion.  Maybe we need to move on from needing to be heard, to learning to listen.  That is the generous thing to do.  What does it gain us to be spouting loudly about our own thoughts really?  (Like I’m doing right now.)  But to consider others’ voices, surely that’s more rewarding?  And who knows, it might even give us something else to shout about…

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