I am discovering something about myself that I don't like. In fact, before these last few weeks I would have denied this ever happening to me. I am discovering that at sometimes I can be a bad listener. I can hear what someone is saying, but not truly hear them. Not hear their life, and not hear their pain, struggles, and joys, BUT just hear their voice. I feel as though sometimes when I am listening and talking to someone that might not interest me all that much I basically hear the voice from Charlie Brown. You know the teacher that Charlie and friends understand but we never can. I hate this about me, and now that I realize I have made some changes.

This week was good for me because I have started to see the benefits of really listening. I have an acquaintance that I see often but wouldn't necesarily say we are friends that would hang out outside of where we see each other every once in a while. I have been struggling with this person and feeling as though we would never have anything to talk about and never have a normal relationship. Well this week I listened. I truly listened to her. It was great. I let her talk and actually processed in my brain what she was saying instead of thinking of my next words to say. I felt great after our conversation.

Another example that I am terrible at is babysitters. (If you are my babysitter and reading this, I apologize!) When I get home from wherever I've been I don't want to talk. I want to pay the sitter, them leave, and me get back to life. This week I had a sitter and we talked for about 35 minutes after I got home before she left. I listened to her and was interested in what she was saying. I knew that I had not truly listened to her before when she had to tell me stuff that she has already mentioned to me before.

So, here I am out in the open, telling you a big fault in my life right now. Trying to listen better. Trying to think of others and not just myself. Trying to be a better friend to all, not just those that I think best suit me.

Jamie Ivey