‘Listen to Me’

Listen to me, please, I need to talk to you;

Give me only a few minutes;

Accept what I experience, what I feel,

Without reserve, without judgment.

Listen to me, please, I need to talk;

Do not bombard me with questions, advice and opinions;

Do not feel obliged to settle my difficulties,

Could it be that you lack confidence in my competence?

Listen to me, please, I need to talk;

Do not try to entertain or amuse me,

It would make me think you fail to understand the importance

Of what I am going through.

Listen to me, please, I need to talk;

Do not feel it your duty to approve, if I need to tell my story

It is simply to be set free.

Listen to me, please, I need to talk;

Do not interpret and try not to analyse;

I would feel misunderstood and manipulated,

And could no longer tell you anything.

Listen to me, please, I need to talk;

Do not interrupt me to question me;

Do not attempt to force me to reveal what is hidden,

I know how far I can and will go.

Listen to me, please, I need to talk;

Respect the silences which help me to make progress;

Be very careful not to break them;

It is very often through them that things are clarified.

So now that you have let me have my say,

I beg you, now you may speak;

Attentive and at your disposal,

I, in my turn, will listen to you.

From Bulletin of the International Medical Association, Translation of the No. 253-254 – April 1996

How did this poem impact you? Did you recognise that desire to be listened to in that way? How often do you experience that kind of listening? Could you ask someone to listen like this? What specific elements of listening mentioned in the poem surprised you, if any?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Image credit: Seven Story Learning

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