Friday, February 24, 2012

Learning to listen to "I Don't Need Help!" by Kelly Peters, MA


It can be hard, if not impossible for some people to see something that (they think) needs to be fixed and do nothing.  It's maddening.  Twice last week, when working with adolescents I saw the need to help, to fix what I saw to be a problem, and twice last week I was shut down.  I've thought about it and realized that as a caregiver it can be difficult to refrain from rushing in to help.  Whether it is a person with an addiction, an aging parent, or a young person dealing with the frustrations of a world that doesn't always understand them, the impulse to fix, to help, is overwhelming.  What we miss in our rush to fix, however, is the opportunity to listen. The chance to simply be present and aware for someone.  To allow them to talk, as much or as little as they are ready to about what is going on.  To simply BE for someone without extensive probing, without questioning them, without solving things. Sometimes it is the process of the problem; sitting with the issue, allowing it to develop on its own that is the learning, that is, truly, the fixing.  So I will be working on my new mantra this week "shut up and listen". Wish me luck. Kelly Peters, MA

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