- When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice,
you have not done what I asked.
- When I ask you to listen to me and you start to tell me why
I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
- When I ask you to listen to me and you have to do something
to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may
- Listen! All I asked was that you not talk.
- Advice is cheap. Thirty-two cents will get you both Dear
Abby and Billy Graham in the same paper.
- And 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 do and need to do for
myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.
- But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel
no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you
and get about the business of understanding what's behind this
- And when that's clear, the answers are obvious and I don't
- Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what's
- So, please. Listen and just hear me; and if you want to talk,
wait a minute for your turn, and I'll listen to you.
This formula for listening, author unknown, appears in the
Volusia County School's Youth Motivator Handbook, 1991.