Tales of a Listener: Part 1
Health and Wellness

Tales of a Listener: Part 1

Listen up, and listen in.

Wall Street Journal

Lately, I've had the enormous pleasure of noticing that friends of mine tend to come to me when they need comfort, advice, guidance, or straight up someone to listen to them. I've been feeling really humbled by that, feeling tremendously lucky that who I am is able to grow who you are in even a small way. There is something about me that comes across in some sort of way that allows others to trust me, as they hand me the golden nuggets of their innermost thoughts, fears, hopes, wishes, and dreams, for me to absorb and respond to thoughtfully.

If I've done nothing else, as least I've done that.

My best friend told me the other day: “You're an open-minded person.” She then went on to mention how much I've helped people I've dated and befriended.

It’s just something I'd never really thought of about myself before.

But this article isn't about me tooting my own horn. It’s about the lessons I've learned from my approach to listening to those around you in life.

In college, I was beside myself with smug amusement that I had to take an entire course called “Listening” as part of my Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication.

“Listening?” I laughed to myself. “What am I going to do, sit silently at my desk staring at the wall? Sit outside and become one with nature?” My lips curled at the edges at the thought of myself wrapped around a tree in a warm embrace.

My dad was always the type of person to laugh at these sorts of values, and though I haven't taken much from that relationship, for some reason that piece of negativity latched onto me for the better part of my life. People like that, calm, steady, learned people, are what he'd consider “hippies,” and are thereby a joke in life.

Well, I'm sure my prizewinning hunter of a dad would bust a gut laughing at his daughter now: a practicing yogi, dedicated vegan and animal rights activist, a believer in herbal medicine, crystal healing, and all things mystical.

Back to that Listening course. I spent actual course hours sitting through guided meditation. I sat outside in my campus quad and was challenged by my professor to write down every single sound I heard: every bird chirp, every roar of a lawn mower’s engine, every bit of gossip as students tinkered nearby. It was an amazing experience to actually honor and respect what I had just thought of as background noise: everything around you can teach you something.

Though that course only lasted one semester, and really only brushed the surface on these kinds of Eastern philosophical concepts, I took the lessons I had from it and challenged myself to apply them to my life. I had never been a good listener. I spoke more than I even...thought. I was impulsive and emotional and often didn't even grasp what others had said to me until later on. My professor would define this as “self thought,” the idea of thinking of your next sentence during the seconds another person is taking to communicate theirs.

What a shitty way to be, I thought to myself. I knew that she was describing me, and I hated that I was that person. I needed to change, and so I did.

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

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less

Now that college is around the corner for most if not all young adults, students once shook by a pandemic now have to shift their focus on achieving their career goals. As if we thought we had it together already! As an NYC girl, I have always seen myself as a hustler, hungry to advance my career in journalism by having one skill: working hard.

Keep Reading... Show less

Kourtney Kardashian has decided to leave "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" after nearly 14 years and although we saw this coming, it breaks our heart that she won't be there to make us laugh with her infamous attitude and hilarious one-liners.

Kourtney is leaving the show because it was taking up too much of her life and it was a "toxic environment" for her.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Disney Plus

Millions of musical-lovers around the world rejoiced when "Hamilton," the hip-hop-mixtape-turned-musical harder to get in to than Studio 54, came to Disney Plus.

For those who had the luxury of being able to watch it in person and rewatch it with us mere mortals on our screens, the experience was almost as gripping as sitting feet from Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. From the stunning sets, graceful choreography, witty dialogue, and hauntingly beautiful singing, the experience was one even my musical-averse family felt moved by.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Keto Is All Fun And Games Until You're Undernourished And Almost Pass Out

Keto is just another extension of diet culture that boasts rapid weight loss, but at a steep price.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

There has been a Keto diet craze going around in the past couple of years, with many of its followers claiming significant weight loss. With any new, trendy diet claiming miraculous weight-loss, one starts to wonder what exactly is happening behind the curtain. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that claims to help the body shift its fuel source from carbs to fat. In the medical community it has been prescribed to patients with uncontrolled epilepsy to reduce the frequency of seizures, but other than that there is little conclusive evidence to other potential benefits.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments