Have you ever felt like no one understood you or like no one was listening to what you were saying? Have you ever had your boyfriend/girl friend break up with you and when you tried to tell your friend about it he/she just spaced out the whole time you were having an emotional break down? Wait let me answer for you, yes you have. everyone has experienced and participated in some form of poor listening skills. Written in the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey, the five poor listening styles are as follows: spacing out, pretending to listen, selective listening, word listening, and self-centered listening. All of us are guilty of committing all of these poor listening habits at least once in our life. Yet we expect people to listen to us to the best of their ability.
A few years ago I went through some tough situations that a person should never have to experience. I was in deep depression and no one would help me. I tried to tell everyone I knew what was going on. I wanted help so bad but no one would listen to me. They judged me and just because I was young they thought I was making up stories and being dramatic. When I thought someone was listening for real I would look them in the eyes and realize that they were spacing out thinking about their own little world. (Yes spacing out is very obvious no matter what you may happen to think.) So I would just get up and go to my room and cry. I also experienced people pretending to listen, and let me tell you pretending to listen is just as obvious as spacing out. There was one time that I was sitting and spilling my guts out to my mom telling her everything and all she would reply with was, "Oh" "No way" "OK" or "Cool". She paid me no attention what so ever. Then she looked away from me and started talking to someone else, forgetting all about me sitting there needing her help. No one understood the gravity of my situation. I felt so alone and depressed. Then one day I met a girl named Kari. She came up to me and said, "You look like you need someone to talk to." We went and sat under the tree in front of my house and I told her everything. I was so desperate to talk to someone and have them understand that I did not care that I had only known her for 5 minutes. The whole time I was pouring out my heart and soul she listened intently. She looked at me not around me. She mirrored me warmly with care clearly seen in her eyes and she cared about what I was saying. After that day we were inseparable.
Kari helped me to ascend up and above my problems and to move on in life with my chin held high. She listened to me when no one else would. She brought a light and shined it on the dark world I was living in. Listening, the easiest thing to do for someone, helped me get out of a world of depression. So next time some one tries to talk to you about their problems, whether they as horrible like mine or very simple, sit and listen. Maybe you could help them and be their friend, a bright sun in their shadowed world.