When I talk and someone is listening.

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I love to talk.  There, I said it, having a good old chin wag with someone, I really enjoy discussing things, sharing thoughts and opinions with someone and putting the world to rights.  Yesterday was a prime example.  I had coffee with a lovely friend of mine who I don’t see very often, our boys go to the same school but ‘life’ gets in the way of us seeing each other regularly.  We talked about everything under the sun and after my couple of days of ‘electricity drama’ (see previous post) I came away from my time spent with her feeling upbeat, ready to face the day and like I had really had a good time with someone who is able to have a positive conversation about life, the universe and everything.

These people help us in unexpected ways.

They help us to stop going and over and over whatever is in our head that might be making us feel down, worried or frustrated.

We talk about things which we enjoy, things that are good in our lives, sharing stories about our children’s antics, (not always funny at the time but funny retrospectively).

We don’t look at a friend expecting them to have an answer to the thoughts and anxieties whirring round our head, but if we wanted to share with this person, we know that they would listen, they would try to understand and appreciate what is going on from their perspective.

Our brain loves these people. It rewards us for having these positive interactions with friends who make us feel good about ourselves, that someone is listening, not able to solve our anxieties and worries, that’s our stuff, but actually listening.  Phones are in our bags, not one mention of 11+ tutoring or children’s reading levels (2 of my biggest conversation avoiders at the moment) and proper talking, without distractions.  What happens after this time spend with these positive, understanding people?

We feel better.

We feel like things are that little bit more manageable.

Why?

Because your anxieties and worries are important, and deserve the time and space to be considered, and understood by someone who cares about you and your feelings.  However, if you are not ready to share them, that’s okay, because talking about good stuff, interesting stuff, stuff that makes you you is one of the bests ways to help give you a boost, like you can manage life, that’s it’s not so out of control, and if it is, what you need to do to find a solution.

Don’t get me wrong, one conversation with a friend is not going to change everything, those thoughts and worries and anxieties may still be whirring round your head, but a positive conversation, and some time out from thinking about it all with someone you enjoy being with can give you perspective, uplift you, help you see life in a different way, and maybe, just maybe, inspire you to take action to move you forward.

I know now who I enjoy spending my time with, I choose to spend my time with people I enjoy being around, people who make me laugh, smile and enable me to talk, properly about my thoughts and feelings, as well as them feeling able to share their own.  If I find myself holding back, stuffing my own feelings and thoughts back inside and focusing purely on the other person without any regard for me, then that’s not good, it’s not helpful and chances are it doesn’t make me feel better, often it can make me feel quite drained and negative.  There are people like that out there, people who just want to talk about themselves, their drama and their lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I am there 100% when something is going on for a friend which is causing them hurt and upset, according to one of my best friends, I make the best cuppa this side of Marlow!  However, this shouldn’t be the sole focus on the friendship, relationships are reciprocal, and spending the time with the people who help you to feel good about yourself makes the biggest difference.

So, who are the people who uplift you, when just a 5 minute catch up with them leaves you feeling a little bit brighter, a little bit better?  Who are those people who ask you how you are, and actually listen to the answer.  We are not always okay, I’m not, being honest about what is really going on sometimes means you can find support in unexpected places.  If the bigger stuff is too much to talk about to a friend then talk to me.

I can support you to find that perspective, to work out what’s going good amongst what isn’t. It’s good to talk, Bob Hoskins says so.

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