Can you hear me?

Can You Hear a Voice from My Side?

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you are not doing what I ask…

Hear Me!

When I ask you to listen and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel this way,

You are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you tell me I’m not seeing it right,

You judge me wrong and try to invalidate my point of view.

When I ask you to listen and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,

You have failed me…strange as it may seem.

Listen! All I asked was that you listen – not talk, not do, not judge or correct – just hear me!

Can You Hear a Voice from My Side?

Advice is cheap: fifty cents gets you a newspaper with both Ann Landers and Billy Graham.

And I can do for myself. I’m not helpless – maybe lonely, discouraged, unsure – but not helpless.

When you try to do something for me that I can, and need to do for myself,

You contribute to my fears and to my feelings of inadequacy.

But when you accept, as a simple fact, that I do feel, no matter how irrational,

Then I can quit trying to defend myself and get about the business of understanding what’s behind my feelings.

And when that’s clear, answers are much more obvious.

Feelings make better sense when we understand what’s behind them,

But then again, feelings can stand alone, without the “support” of reason.

To ask me to make sense of my feelings by using a series of leading questions to guide me to your conclusions is like I’m broadcasting in FM and you’re listening in AM;
Or, worse, it’s like you’re trying to taste music coming out of my picture TV.

When you think about it, trying to make me make sense out of my feelings according to your realities and from your point of view, doesn’t really make any sense at all,
Because my feelings arise out of my reality, not yours.

So please, let go of you being the center of everything and learn what it’s like to experience the world from my point of view.

Hear a Voice from My Side! Then, I promise, I’ll listen to you.

(Redacted from verse by Ray Houghton, M.D., Berkeley, CA.)