I talk a lot, much more than I should, most of the time more than I should. Speaking less and listening more is one of my more elusive traits. I continue to try and strike a better balance between listening and speaking but at best I am a work in progress.
I possess a sensitive soul and when I was younger, I was often hurt by the things people would say, especially when it came from people I respected and cared about. In the majority of cases, I can now safely say, the words weren’t meant to hurt me.
Over the course of my life, I have been battered, bruised and threatened by people’s harsh words. Words also escalated to physical confrontation. But I have learnt to be more resilient and to rise above it. It is an issue I have to watch carefully all the time.
This past week I again experienced an incident that made me feel bruises, but this time I had a moment of insight that has made all the difference. I suddenly realised that perhaps my timing is off and the person in question might not be in the right headspace to listen to me now. I kept quiet and we had a most constructive conversation a day or two later.
As it turns out, the person really wanted to hear my thoughts, but she had a serious personal crisis and could not give me the time she felt I deserved. Her short answer was not intended to be an attack, it was a reaction towards my poor timing, and I should have been more aware of the non-verbal cues. Read my opening sentence again.
The lesson I take with me is that it’s all a matter of timing. That doesn’t mean you don’t matter, or no one wants to listen to you (which is an easy deduction to make). Don’t allow your sensitive heart to be crushed. Sometimes, in spite of our best intentions, the world just isn’t ready for us.
Tomorrow is another day. Get your timing right. Don’t take it personal. Give people space and time.