Do you feel like you are not heard?
Have you ever had a day, week, month or year (hopefully not a year) when you feel like no one is listening to you?
Do you feel like you could scream from the top of your lungs and no one would hear you? Well if the answer is yes…well I hear ya!
I recently went through a week where I felt that I was not being heard. I was feeling a little stressed and I tried talking about it with different people in my life. No one was listening to me. I was cut off in conversation, talked over, and my story or feelings were discarded for the other person’s story, idea, problem, etc.
Finally, I just gave up!
At the end of a few days of this I could have just cried. I went home wondering if I am interesting enough and if anything I say is valid or important.
I have always been someone who was such a good listener, kept quiet, didn’t take the attention and always let the other person speak as much as they wanted.
I would put my feelings, ideas and opinions aside to be there for someone else….
Then when I needed someone they weren’t there, too busy, too much on their mind or they wanted to do all of the talking.
What I took away from this and the best advice I can give is don’t be there for them when they start talking… don’t listen to them, don’t ask them how they are doing, don’t message them back right away, be aloof, don’t seem too interested in what they are talking about, do your own thing and be distracted.
Some may think this is childish but you know who you are and this is not your normal behavior and you are and always have been a caring person.
Some may say why don’t you just talk to them and tell them how you feel…. Well if you can’t get them to listen to you in the first place then it’s going to be hard to get them to stop and listen to you now isn’t it!
Next time let them come to you. Let them ask you how you are doing. Let them initiate the "how’s it going" greeting first.
I guarantee that most of the time they will listen. If they try to cut you off keep talking until you are finished. Then after you are done open up the dialogue by asking how they are doing and let them finish.
This may seem mundane or foolish but it works. People have realized that they are cutting me off and they stop and direct their focus back onto what I was talking about.
This is in by no means a perfect solution or an excuse to be rude to someone. You deserve to be heard and feel valued. Your thoughts and ideas are important and you have the right to share them in a healthy and respectful way.
This doesn’t always mean that you must cut everyone out of your life but you just need to learn ways to communicate to be heard.
And yes, there will be those people that we may need to cut out of our lives or limit your time with them. This sometimes can be the hardest thing to do but once you do it it’s freeing.
If you still need to get things out you can start by writing it down. One of my favorite things to do is journal. It has proved to be one of the best ways to get everything out of my head and I often work through anything that is going on right there on the paper. Things don’t seem so big or stressful once you have them out on paper.
If you are worried that someone might read your journal I suggest you open up a document on your computer or journal in the notes app on your phone. Trust me I have had those nosy people in my life where I couldnt keep anything private laying around!
If you still struggle with being heard I suggest you find a coach or a supportive professional to help you find your voice. I guarantee you that you deserve to be heard, you have interesting things to say and sometimes we just need a little help finding our voice.
Remember there is no such thing as too big or too small of a problem or concern. They deserve equal amounts of attention!