Saturday, January 12, 2019

Shut Your Trap and Listen

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash


Me:  9-1-1.  What's your emergency?

Him: I might need to go to the hospital.  I feel like I want to hurt myself.

Me:  Are you suicidal?

Him:  Yes.  I haven't done anything yet, but feel like I want to.

Me:  What's going on that you want to harm yourself?

Him:  I just have a lot going on in my life.  Anytime I try to talk to someone, they tell me it will all be okay.  They don't care.  I just want someone to listen.

*This is a condensed version of a 9-1-1 call I took early last year.


Having been a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for 14 years, there's not a lot of calls that really stick out.  They tend to run together, one and the same.  That particular call, though, was one of the few that etched in my memory.  Thankfully, the male received help.  But his words have stuck with me.

We are so caught up in ourselves that we don't pay attention to others.  REALLY PAY ATTENTION.  When someone is telling you a story, do you focus on what they're saying or are you chomping at the bit to tell about something similar that's happened to you?  Do you brush someone off when they're trying to talk because you are feeling rushed?  Are you quick to offer advice, but slow to lend an ear?

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Hypocrite #1 here would like to advise you to take the time to listen, really listen, to a person.  Ask the person if they want to vent and let out their feelings or if they want advice.  Don't be quick to dole out how you'd handle things if that's not what the person is actually looking for.

If someone tells you about their trip to see a Cardinals Game, don't try to one-up them by immediately interjecting how you got tickets behind the home plate with inclusive food and drinks.  It's not that your story doesn't matter.  But let their story matter too.

In a nutshell, shut your mouth and open your ears once in a while!

8 comments:

Jackie said...

That had to be a very hard call to take. I'm glad he got help. It's a good reminder to let people talk...sometimes that's what they really need.

gloria mckellar said...

So true, we should listen to people instead of giving your opinions. A lot of people need this.

Peggy said...

This was a very good article. Thank you for saying it again. People need to read and heed what you said.

Renee said...

Sometimes a person doesn't want answers or solutions, they just want to be heard. We should all remember that (me included!)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Great advice. It's true that some people just want you to listen; they don't want a solution or to hear "it'll be okay." Just listen and empathize, you know? It's something we all need to remember. I'm glad that guy got help, and that he called in the first place.

-Lauren
www.shootingstarsmag.net

Edna Williams said...

That was a great article and certainly something to ponder!

Sparkles and Lattes said...

I couldn't have said it any better. I hate when I try to one up someone. It isn't on purpose, but I catch myself doing it sometimes. You are so right, you need to open your ears and listen.

tat2gurlzrock said...

I love this post. Everything you said is so true. People need to slow down and actually listen.