Can You Hear Me?

I’ve noticed that lately I haven’t been feeling heard. I’m a pretty quiet person (except when I have a good, hearty, cackle laugh) and sometimes I mumble so I’ve grown up used to hearing “what?” after I say something to someone or being asked to repeat myself.

As I’ve gotten older, it’s started to bug me more and more when I feel like people can’t hear me but more so when I feel like they’re not listening to me. I’m a thirty something, reasonably intelligent woman. I feel like I know a fair amount of things. Sometimes though, it seems like that counts for nothing. My knowledge falls on deaf ears. I’m not taken seriously so sometimes I feel like I would have more luck talking to a brick wall. It feels almost like I’ve become a kid again. Like people think “oh that silly girl, what does she know? I’m not going to listen to her.”

I try to tell people things that might be helpful and they don’t take me seriously but when someone else tells them the exact same thing, then they listen. When I said the roof in my room was going to get damaged for the 3rd time because of the neighbors’ tree so it needed to be cut, my request fell on deaf ears. So in December when we got really heavy rain, the roof started leaking just as I had predicted (and only just got fixed last week).

I’m forever being interrupted (something I do sometimes to other people I’ve realized but am trying really hard to fix) and talked over. It’s a bit ironic because for so long I’ve wished I was invisible to people so they wouldn’t notice or ask about my MD, but now I’m actually being treated that way a lot and I just want someone to listen instead.

I’m as credible as I need to be. I don’t think it’s me that needs to be fixed at all. If people want to see me as some dumb child, then that’s on them. My voice is just getting a little tired though and I’m reminded of why I spoke up so little growing up. Because if you do speak up and no one seems to hear you or listen, then what’s the point?

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5 thoughts on “Can You Hear Me?

  1. Jackie,

    Your post fell on listening ears…I found myself nodding my head and agreeing in my heart. Rather than repeat each line that struck a cord with me I will simply say, Thank you. Being a highly reflective person, I have often wondered over this same concept and spent time thinking about my personality, how the world relates to it, and I respond from it. Rather than trying to fight to be heard I have simply decided to love the voice I have. It may be quiet, but I have found that in the right context it is powerful. Rather than try to quibble over the mundane, I choose to save my voice for those things that I am passionate about. In those moments I have been struck to find that people actually lean in and listen. I am far from solving all the other conversational problems I have encountered but I have found a contentment in moving in and out of conversations, working it out when I feel unheard, and being willing to step up and speak. And if I occasionally cut in on someone else’s stream, apologize. I have found we all have our own quirks and struggles in conversation. The difference is, some people live there. I would rather live in the quiet so when my attempts sometimes fall flat, I move back to my own space and let it go. I could chat on this topic for hours. I realize how much my distaste for feeling unheard stems from my childhood as well. But as I work that out, I realize I can live with the mix of joy/pain that I feel accompanies so much of this world. Sometimes my attempts to be heard land and sometimes they don’t. At the very least, I am proud of myself for the attempt. For being willing to brave it out and speak. Even if in that moment I feel unheard, I have learned to be content with my attempt. Thank you for sharing. I am encouraged to read my own thoughts and struggles spoken through someone else’s voice.

    Blessings,
    Shara

  2. I know what you mean, Jackie…I’ve been asking friends to help set me up on dates (on & off) & all I get is excuses like, “oh, I don’t know any single people, but the moment I do, I’ll introduce you!” Bullshit. Now you know why I put NO faith in people. They obviously don’t listen that I ask for help. So, I’ve pretty much said, “f them” & gone on my merry-ass way!

  3. Dear Jackie,

    If it’s any consolation, I believe that your voice is not only heard, but very well understood by many. It’s not even been more than a day, and you’re receiving comments from others that relate to you. And that includes me! I really related to your blog post, because I often feel that my soft-spoken nature makes it hard to be heard as well. I just wanted to express that you’re not alone, and your opinions do matter. I think it’s great that you have this mode of communicating your thoughts through these blogs. Not only do you provide a space for your thoughts to be heard, but your blog helps other people who share similar hardships to be heard as well. I hope that your blog responses will provide you with multiple strategies that will help you feel heard and respected. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject, Jackie.

    Take care,

    Mari

  4. Hi Jackie,

    Thank you very much for your post. Like everyone who replied to your post, I found wisdom in your words. I have always been the quiet and shy one growing up. It was my belief that if I stayed quiet, the world would just leave me be and I could have my own peace of mind. However, there came a point in my life when I realized that there are a lot of things that I can do to contribute to the world. And having my own voice was the first step to realizing my life goals.
    It was really hard at first as no one took me seriously. People knew me as the “nice and quiet” guy and never tried to understand my beliefs and wants. My conversations with my friends were superficial as they did not want to know who I really am. At that point I decided that I need to stand up for myself and expressed my concerns towards them. It was a scary moment but a good one. Ever since that day, I have been a lot more expressive. Now I am the “nice and quiet guy with a lot of quality”.
    What I learned from this experience is that you can never change what other people do, but you can change yours. Its ok that they don’t listen to you because you have already improved yourself internally through sounding out what you want to say! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing Jackie!

    -Nick C

  5. Hey Jackie. People in the world are shitty. People are mean and people judge you, but your support system is where that question goes along (can you hear me) and there are people all around you posting back to you. Also, I realized you don’t need those individuals in your life that are so mean and won’t hear you even if it’s just a simple “hello” back from a random stranger. If people want to see you as what they want to see you as, then it is their loss.

    I have people every day treat me meanly in some sort of way because of a selfish act or maybe that individual was having a bad day, not sure, but I can react how I want to react towards others. I have been struggling through some real …. thinking that I am the only one feeling ‘not heard’ and I only want to feel heard from my abusive parents. What kind of world is that? Not the world I want to live in either. BUT to me there is a point to all communication, just like your post today.

    There is a point. You know why? Because there are people like me and you, whom I hope you are loving and a generous person, because I know I am showing those qualities in a character. I can choose to hate my mom and dad, I can choose to be mean to individuals around me, I can choose to not listen to a random person, I can choose to not wonder if people are taking me seriously, I can choose to do whatever the heck I want, yes? If they aren’t, I would not associate myself with them. There is a point. The point is that we all human beings need to communicate, whether it is verbal or non-verbal, from our loved ones or from people we don’t even know, whether it is a bad or good, people express their interactions with others in a way it can change their lives.

    I believe in God and I pray every day that if I listen to them (people) the way I want to be listened to, then God will provide me with my needs (not necessary my wants). I believe that if I still love my parents even though they have been abusive my whole life and finally just two days ago I took stood up for myself…. that maybe ONE DAY I can become an amazing parent who is NOT abusive and support their child with love and care.

    So I think I need to love more, listen more, care more, and be more like God more. I apologize if I am very blunt, I know people do not enjoy that characteristic in my personality, but I think there’s a point to why I am the way I am. If I wasn’t, I would not be alive and breathing, typing to you. I have a strong mind because I needed too, but just know there is a point to all of it, ALL of what “I have NO IDEA how you feel and what you are going through and I am sure it is incredibly hard”, but I hope you know you have helped me to keep pushing myself to more like God (treated others how you want to be treated), rather than just standing by on the side doing nothing. I want to express my thoughts back on my WordPress page, but this time not about the surface issues, but the problems that affect my heart and my thoughts. Thanks for giving me motivation to do that. Thank you for sharing your thoughts because now I want to love more, listen more, care more, and be more like God. Hope we can keep in touch.

    Jess

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