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Listening more than talking

(85 Posts)
Newquay Sat 27-Jun-20 17:54:38

Is it just me? Since this pandemic started I’ve made a list of some 2 dozen or so folk I know-many alone and shielding-to remind me to keep in touch with them; by phone or FT. Some friends I have continued to meet up with too-in each other’s gardens at a safe distance. Last night I met up with a good friend of long standing and we «walked and talked» or I should say we walked and I listened. It made me think that I only ever seem to listen-if they were asked afterwards what I’d said they wouldn’t know! I DO have contributions to make and am willing to do so but can’t get a word in edge ways!!

Kate1949 Sat 27-Jun-20 17:59:07

Oh yes Newquay I mentioned this on another thread recently. I too am a sounding board. I have had a few unbelievably one sided conversations recently. I've come to the conclusion that no one is remotely interested in me!

Newquay Sat 27-Jun-20 18:34:03

Sorry, hadn’t seen that thread. Strange isn’t it? Many of these folk are lovely folk I’ve known for years; we know each well. They know I’ve had a major upset with my sister but no one asks about the situation.

seacliff Sat 27-Jun-20 18:38:28

Maybe they have been alone so long (haven't we all) they are desperate to unload, and you are the lucky recipient.

Mind you, my BIL is always like that, even before lockdown. I just let him run on, with the occasional mmm here and there. It's always me who gets him too.

Kate1949 Sat 27-Jun-20 18:53:18

No need to apologise. It was something I added on to a thread about something else.
I try not to be unkind but sometimes it really is in unbelievable. Like your situation with your sister, we have problems like everyone else but very few ask (some do). My DH gets cross with me. He tells me it's my own fault, that I shouldn't contact them as they have their heads up their own backsides. I feel bad if I don't contact them.

Peardrop50 Sat 27-Jun-20 19:07:49

I'm another who has this problem, if it is indeed a problem. I seem to be quite a good listener and have supported friends through many crises but some years ago when I had my own crisis I felt a lack of interest from those same people. I did however have friendly support from others. I came to the conclusion that there are givers and takers and vowed to remember the givers more if they were in need. The takers are not necessarily bad people but perhaps not emotionally strong enough to deal with others problems.
Beyond that, in general conversation the takers are mostly the conversation hoggers while the givers tend to be more able to give equal time.
These people are all my friends but I admit to enjoying the company of givers more.

Kate1949 Sat 27-Jun-20 19:13:24

I don't see it as a problem really but it's very annoying. I feel a bit used at times and as though they're thinking 'It's alright for you.' Well actually it isn't. It might be nice if they asked occasionally.

ladymuck Sat 27-Jun-20 21:04:22

I'm another one who attracts incessant talkers. I'm a quiet person and others seem to take this as an indication that I'm a good listener. It wouldn't be so bad if these people had something interesting to say, but they just want to talk about themselves and their own problems.

Newquay Sun 28-Jun-20 08:50:28

The thing that really gets me (lockdown irritation warning!!) is often I find myself having to listen about someone I don’t know at all in great detail! Often I think WHO are you talking about again (no! Don’t tell me again!) and one person seems to think we need to hear only about everyone else’s ills and, sadly, bereavements. I try to always end these conversations on a positive note but it can be quite a challenge.

Kate1949 Sun 28-Jun-20 10:02:39

It can Newquay! My neighbour is the worst for this. She never listens and frequently says things like 'Jean's husband has had his operation' and goes into detail about how Jean and her family are coping. I have no idea who Jean is. I just nod and say 'oh dear'. She is in her 90s bless her but she's been our neighbour for 40 years and she's always been the same.

MissAdventure Sun 28-Jun-20 10:10:37

I've been driven to stay indoors because I have two neighbours like this.
One gives me a full rundown of her budgies activities, and the other talks of missing her husband and wanting to kill herself, and the health of her late husbands friend, whom I've never met.
(She also talks really loudly about the first one, so I have to keep saying "shhhh!"

wildswan16 Sun 28-Jun-20 10:22:43

Being a patient listener is a real gift! I'm sure many people go home and think how wonderful it was to be able to tell someone else all their troubles and news etc - and to be "really" listened to.

However, I expect some just prattle on regardless and never have such nice thoughts!

Yes, they should have provided you with the same experience but I fear some people are just talkers and not listeners.

Kate1949 Sun 28-Jun-20 10:38:00

I think it's rather rude and ignorant to be honest. I wouldn't dream of going on about my (many) problems to someone. If ever I feel I've talked about myself too much I worry about it for days. Still, it wouldn't do if we were all the same.

MissAdventure Sun 28-Jun-20 10:44:30

I've been really quite angry the last couple of months,having both neighbours waiting for me, to talk at me, so one of them got short shrift on Friday when she was waiting for me as I got in from work.

Kate1949 Sun 28-Jun-20 10:46:57

I wish I was brave like you MissA!

MissAdventure Sun 28-Jun-20 10:53:52

Desperate, I think is the word. smile
It really gets me down, and I often sometimes feel at a low ebb myself, but they don't even acknowledge that, should I ever mamage to get a word in edgewise.

Kate1949 Sun 28-Jun-20 10:59:51

Exactly. We all feel low at times. I listened to one friend last week and I couldn't believe how she went on about herself and her troubles. The final straw was when she said what a mess her hair was and she is desperate to visit a hairdresser. This to someone (me) with alopecia who is really struggling in lockdown. She is off my list smile I have a couple of lovely friends and we take an interest in each other's lives. I'll get off my high horse now.

MissAdventure Sun 28-Jun-20 11:12:00

Feels great, doesn't it, to get it off your chest?
I almost made a thread about it myself, so I'm glad you did.

harrysgran Mon 29-Jun-20 10:08:07

I often feel like a sounding board for friends I'm a quiet person but I do feel like saying "are you finished now" so I can get a word in I have one particular friend who rings and talks about herself continually then at the end of the conversation just before she rings off says take care glad your well😂

polnan Mon 29-Jun-20 10:10:07

I agree with Wildswan, I used to think of myself as a good listener, (well part of my job)

and I feel privileged if I can still "listen" regardless.. actually, I hate talking about myself.. especially now (grieving etc)
if anyone asks how I am doing.. etc.. I can cry just open the tap.. so I can hear myself turning the conversation to the other person..

I love to hear about other people,, (being isolated!)

lol I don`t complain about being a listener! just wish there was someone here to talk to me!

polnan Mon 29-Jun-20 10:11:50

had to come back
aren`t people amazing..

we are so different
the other day, a lady , who was chatting, via emails to me and others in similar circumstances, was "complaining" that with her husband she had to wait in a queue to take their rubbish to the local tip!

I couldn`t but help remark, how I wish I was in her shoes!

I hope I said it with the smile I had.

DS64till Mon 29-Jun-20 10:22:04

I am that type of person although I never used to be. Quite often I come out with things because otherwise I forget and also I don’t get to see many people. My Friends are used to it now and quite often say ‘ Hang on let me get a word in ‘

Bumpsy Mon 29-Jun-20 10:23:22

I know how you feel. I had a friend who got in touch after not seeing each other for years (this is all before Covid). She was divorcing and invited me for a meal. She spent the WHOLE evening talking about her divorce, and said as I backed towards the door that she hadn't asked me anything. I saw her twice more to give her the benefit of the doubt but the same happened each time. I'm happy to be a sounding board for a friend in crisis but enough was enough! I think some people just take, and they take advantage of good people like you. Friendships should be a two way thing.

rowyn Mon 29-Jun-20 10:36:03

I've had similar experiences many times. However, I think its partly of my own making. I'm quite a private person and find it hard to share my significant worries and troubles. So I suspect friends are hesitant to ask me about certain things.
And my life is pretty mundane so there's not a lot to talk about!

Pambles01 Mon 29-Jun-20 10:38:29

Totally different scenario Dont you ever wonder why its always you that makes the contact By phone or text I have a friend of over 30 years who I used to text good morning to every day then thought whys it always me doing the texting So left texting fir a day or two Eventually she texts asking why I haven't texted her!! Not asking if everythings okay AIBU