Listen: I'd Like a Girlfriend or Shrink
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Politics and Activism

Listen: I'd Like a Girlfriend or Shrink

Listen: I'd Like a Girlfriend or Shrink

Life presents us with undulating relationships. The people that were closest to us years ago may be long forgotten. And now our best friends are people we didn't even know a few years ago. This happens because people change, circumstances change, and thus, life itself changes. But one thing is for certain, in our closest friendships, our constant is finding sanctity and solace. 

Through these relationships, I value getting to know other people and listening to their stories. Listening, in relationships, goes a long way, but it does not come easy. Often times when people ask us to listen to them, we retort by offering advice. But advice is cheap, and that was not what the person asked of us. They did not ask us to solve their problems. Other times, and I am most guilty of this, we point out why others should not feel a certain way. This accomplishes nothing, but trampling one’s feelings.

My critique of society is this: we have collectively lost the ability and the desire to listen to one another. Sadly enough, there has even been a term coined to describe the occurrence in which two people speak to each other, but neither one is listening (for those interested, it’s called a duologue). In almost every story that we hear, we try and find a way to relate it back to ourselves. How does this pertain to me? How does it affect me? If someone is telling me a situation or incident in which they experienced sadness or trouble, I almost always try and relate it to a similar situation that I experienced. Only then to tell them what I had done to make myself feel better. But I’m not them, and they’re not me. 

Fortunately, I don’t have any troubling issues that I need to desperately talk through, but nor do I require any. Simply, I’d like for people to hear me. And in return, I’d gladly listen to you too. Listening, like any other trait, is finely developed. But it can be one of the most important things we can learn how to do as human beings. Listening to someone is selfless, and it can be the best thing we can offer other people. It is a way of showing people that we care and that they mean something to us. It shows others that they are valued. 

We learn that when we listen to others, each and every person has a unique story to tell. They have their own subtle takes and perspectives as well as a myriad of independent experiences that we can learn from and enjoy. When people tell us of their best moments, we can feel a great happiness along with them. And when they tell us of times of trouble, we can feel their pain as well. Through other peoples’ thoughts and stories, we earn a collective experience of the world and all that it has to offer.But perhaps that’s too difficult. Maybe people just don’t care enough to listen to other people. 

That’s why I want a girlfriend. It’s inherent in her title and she would have no choice, but to listen to me and hear what I have to say. I guess I wouldn’t know for sure, since I’ve never had one. But that's what you're supposed to do when you care about someone, right? Hypothetically speaking, she would want to hear what I have to say, without feeling inclined to respond in any way at all. Dear readers, please don’t get me wrong. This isn’t the only I want a girlfriend. There are clearly other benefits, such as love, companionship, happiness, etc.

Getting back on track, therapists, in this case, are like girlfriends for hire (don’t ever let one know I said that). While they are paid to provide psychological counseling, a good majority of their therapy comes from attentively and purposefully listening to their clients. It seems sad that we have many issues that can and should be worked out on our own, and all we require is for someone to hear us out and understand what we are saying. If everyone would just listen to one another, we may actually see fewer psychological issues concerning self-doubt, loneliness, and anxiety. 

I believe that as a society, we can do a much better job of listening to one another. To adequately listen to someone, means we have to remove ourselves from the picture. We have to give another human being our vested interest, and in return, we should expect the same form them. To be heard shows us that we are deserving of value and that our thoughts and ideas are appreciated. To be listened to, means to be respected. Modernity has caused us to deviate from this stance, and unfortunately it’s resulted in a way of living the emphasizes “me” instead of “us.” 

So while this article facetiously looks at girlfriends and therapists as a means of getting to people to listen to us, the serious point is that we can make others feel better if we just hear what they have to say. I know that we can do better if we just give other people five minutes of our time. I believe that if we make a conscious effort, that we can truly attempt to listen to what others are saying. Who knows? We may even learn a thing or two. But until then, I feel society leaves me with only two options. In one case I’d have to court another person in listening to me, while in the other I’d have to pay them upfront. Neither seem entirely desirable from an economic standpoint, as both require valuable resources in time and money. The day society doesn’t force us to give something up to be heard, will be a day that I can look forward to. But until then, given the fact that I'm broke, consider me single and ready to mingle. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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