Monday, November 24, 2008

things I learned about myself tonight

Tonight I learned that my communication skills suck - oh yes, they really do. I was doing my homework - yes, it is Monday night and I go to training tomorrow - yes, I procrastinated again! Apparently I have not learned to listen intently to ANYONE EVER. Nope, I have never done it, according to how it is suppose to be done. And I also have no idea how to ask open ended questions without putting my own opinion or judgements in there somewhere. No matter how much I tried...I kept sliding my opinion in one way or another - which I repeat - is NOT intently listening to someone!!!

I am trying to make it funny, but it is not. I am feeling overwhelmed, and not sure at all that I will ever get all of this. I am not so sure that God REALLY called me to do this, did He? I know in my heart He did - but I did NOT know it would be this hard - and would creep into all the areas of my life I need to work on.

I WANT to learn to intently listen and care and love those around me. I WANT them to feel understood and cared for - so why are these skills so hard to learn? I wish having the will to do it was enough to get you there - but NO - after 40 - yes, I repeat 40 years of doing it incorrect - I can't expect to get it in one night I suppose.

I am going to go to bed, and not talk to anyone for a while - cuz now I will be questioning every response I give.


Friar Tuck said...

I wonder why the first place you went with yourself was...

"I have not done anything right all my life"


"I am a failure"

You are learning a new skill. A skill that you will probably be growing in as you go along in your ministry there. They won't expect you to have it all worked out. They will expect you to be working on your active listening skills a little.

To be honest as your friend, I think that this skill will help you. It will help you to detach your personal issues from the conversations at the center you are working with, and you will find that you can listen to others close to you in a new way as well. You have always been a supportive and encouraging listener, but I do think you have a hard time removing yourself, your experiences, and your emotional triggers from conversations with others. This training will help you do that, and you will have another very helpful tool in your caring ministry toolbox.

A little danger of this listening skill I will tell you though, is that as you practice that kind of listening people will assume you agree with them on all sorts of things when you are only being a supportive listener. At least that is my experience.

Jen said...

Discerning God's direction is tough! Sometimes he allows us to hear what He is saying as something different so that we can learn from that, or put us in situations where we need to learn something new. Don't be so hard on yourself. Go with your new attitude and do the best you can in helping others. You will receive a gift as well.

citizen of the world said...

I'm here to tell you that really listening and talking without bringing in your own view is a skill that takes a long, long time to learn. It's hard work.

reliv4life said...

friar - I responded to you this morning, now I am on here and dont' see it! anyway - yes, I agree - thanks friend!

Jen - Yes, blessing all the way around!

citizen - I am sure you are right!