When I ask that you listen to me,
and you give advice,
you have not heard what I ask of you

When I ask that you listen to me,
and you tell me why I shouldn’t feel as I do,
you are trampling on my feelings

When I ask you to listen to me,
and you feel you have to find solutions to my problems,
I feel let down,
strange as that may seem

Please listen
All I ask is that you listen
– not talk or do or advise –
Just listen

Advice is cheap
I can get that anywhere.
I can do for myself
– I am not helpless –
Maybe discouraged and faltering,
but not helpless

When you do something for me
that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear
and reinforce my weakness

When you accept as a simple fact that
I feel what I feel
however irrational it may seem to you,
then I can quit trying to convince you
and explore this irrational feeling

When that’s clear,
the answers are obvious
and I don’t need advice,
my irrational feelings
make sense
when I can discover what’s behind them

If you listen and understand,
I can work things out for myself

So, I ask again
just listen
and if you too have something to say
be patient
then I’ll listen to you.

~ Anonymous

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

 

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This website is produced by members of the Sanctuary Support Group. We are not mental health professionals nor clinicians.  We are ordinary people who care for someone with BPD. This website is a collection of information that we have found helpful or of interest in the context of our own lived experiences. The content of this website is not a substitute for independent professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.