(a lesson in listening skills and practical application of caring concern)
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen, not talk, or do - just hear me.
Advice is cheap. 25 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.
That I can do for myself; I'm not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.
But, when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what's behind this irrational feeling.
So - PLEASE LISTEN - and just hear me.