I got a phone call today from a young friend in frustration. She told me that her and her roommate were in the throes of a fight. She then continued to paint the scene with its full fledged dramatic scenario. The episode of their saga ended with her roommate leaving in a huff, shunning her to say no more, and going to work.
"The problem is," this young girl told me, "is that she won't listen to me. I've got her best interest at heart. I love her! She's too close. She can't see. I don't want to hurt her, but I don't want her to be hurt."
To sum it all up, it was all over boy stuff.
That's when I told her that her roommate's defenses are up. It's what we all do. It's normal. We need to give people room for that. She heard what you said, I told her. Perhaps she'll be able to hear it when she's off alone and can weigh all that you've said?
She told me, "I just wished she'd hear me out. I wish she'd let me say all that I needed to say, and then I'd leave her alone to her own decisions and I wouldn't have to say anything else about it."
I told her that's often all of our problem. That we all want to say all that we want to say, and we want the other person to hear us. We think, "They won't listen to me!" All the while they're thinking the same thing about us, that we won't listen to them!
I told her. If only both parties (in their throes of wanting to be heard) would both sit calmly at a table. And then, both parties simply and peaceably dumped out all of the pieces in their boxes (saying all at that they want to say). Both pouring it all out until finished. And then, in union, they both could sit and examine each piece and put together the pieces until the puzzle's picture can clearly be seen as the situation really is. That, my dear, if we could only do that... without taking offence, without being defensive... would sure make most things a whole lot easier!