So I've been thinking a lot about listening lately. More specifically the art of listening to someone when they give you "input" on some situation in your life.
Matt was telling me the other day about a friend who "wouldn't listen to what anyone had to say to her, she was just going to do what she wanted either way". And it was funny, my first response was "well, wouldn't you?" or "wouldn't I?". And then it started this bigger conversation, where I started to ask people - "who do you actually listen to? and why?". It seemed like the common demoninator was often that we listened to people who had been through the same things as us, and that we trusted. But not necessarily. For example, our parents might have been through something and we may "trust" them, but we still don't want to hear their opinion. We want to act for ourselves.
And the more I talked about it, I wondered - is this our generation? Were our parents more willing to say "no, that's wrong, don't do that" (for better or worse sometimes) Are we too afraid? Have we reacted to them and gone too far in the other direction? Will we never say it? When I talk to a friend, I often hold back some of my thoughts if I think they sound "judgemental" in my head. I don't want to be that person. I want to show my friends I love them no matter what.
Sometimes, I think that is right course of action. You can hear in their voice - they have been judged, or hurt by a lot of "do's and don'ts" thrown at them by parents, or friends, or whoever. And you are just there to listen and love them.
But other times, I am not so sure. I wonder - should I have said (in love and with a lot of caveats) that I was worried abut them? But would it make a difference? Or would it just lead to friendships ending because we hate hearing this kind of stuff. I have to admit that I tend to spend more time with those that agree with me.
These are just some thoughts - spinning my head, and I just wondered what you thought - if you think we're all like this, or if you think you can take it. I know - sort an intense post. I'll try to make the next one lighter - perhaps about the Bestseller I just finished. Yep, it's true.