The Power Of Listening To Others

Discussion in 'Fellowship Time' started by vengaturreino, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. I think we all feel that we could be better listeners, don’t we? Or at least many of us do. But do we realise the true impact of listening from the heart when someone we know is upset or in distress?

    I hadn’t really thought about this so much until it happened to me the other day. To give you a little context I’ll just explain that I had woken up in the night around 3 am and couldn’t sleep, and for some reason I started investigating online into alcoholism. I’ve seen a lot of very serious, “far gone” alcoholics in parks and squares etc, who sleep rough, and I was wondering if they could all become sober, or if some physically couldn’t survive without the alcohol in their system. I was thinking about it because I remembered a conversation with one homeless man who explained to me that when he drank water he would throw up and that the only thing that would “normalise” his body was alcohol. I didn’t understand this at the time, but after my late night investigation, I’ve come to comprehend it a little better, by reading this article about the about the “myths and realities of alcoholism”:

    Anyway, back to the topic in hand: listening. When I woke the next morning I was very distressed by what I had learnt, as I have a close family member who is an alcoholic, and I felt so bad that I hadn’t understood their condition before and that I had been judgmental towards them.

    Thankfully, my husband was at my side, ready to listen carefully to my inner suffering. I asked him to close the computer and to put away his phone and that he look at me. I know that all sounds very demanding, but I found that I physically couldn’t tell him anything of importance unless he gave me his undivided attention. And when he did, it was like a soothing balm to my spirit. When he looked at me and listened and understood I felt such relief and healing; I was able to unburden my sorrows and feel so much lighter afterwards.

    One of the reasons why it is so important for me to feel listened to is that my “Love Language” is Quality Time. I don’t know if you have studied or even heard of the “5 Love Languages”, if not, I recommend you investigate them as they are extremely beneficial too all, not only married couples. This is a nice little video in which Dr. Gary Chapman gives a brief overview of the 5 Love Languages and their importance:

    Everyone feels better after being listened to without interruptions, unwanted advice or judgement. However, those of us whose “Love Language” is Quality Time need to be listened to in this way in order to stay emotionally sane. It’s easy to fall into the trap of labelling someone as “attention seeking” or “immature” when they tell us to put down our smartphone / newspaper or turn off the TV / computer and give them our undivided attention. But it’s not that at all. I can tell you that when I’m not listened to I feel ignored, unloved, frustrated and alone. But 5 – 10 minutes (or more!) of being listened to in a meaningful way can make a HUGE difference; a world of difference. It’s very powerful.
  2. That's a lot to take in, but very good stuff.
    ElliDV and vengaturreino say Amen and like this.
  3. #3 jonbanjo, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    My own experiences with my own battles with alcohol would lead me to debate a few points on that website but. yes, physical addiction is a reality. You wind up needing more alcohol to combat the withdrawal symptoms and you can't be functional without it. To try and go cold turkey can prove fatal.

    The way it was explained to me is that alcohol depresses the central nervous system and, with withdrawal, the body sort of goes into shock as it "wakes up". A common treatment is the use of benzodiazepines, often chlordiazepoxide (Librium is one brand name). My understanding is that it has a similar effect to the alcohol on the CNS. One is put on a high dosage of this to "replace" the alcohol and then weaned off it over period of say a week.

    It is possible (and I've been successful in doing this several times - it's usually been my body giving other problems that has caused hospital detoxes) to get out of physical dependence by a self reduction detox but I think you probably need motivation and, at least with me, circumstances to be going for you (I've for example let myself get set back by family rows). The plan I follow is to reduce by 4 UK units (40ml alcohol/ approx 2 x 500 ml cans of std strength lager) every other day.

    Ending the physical dependence is not the end of the story though. In the shorter term, personally, I find the first couple of months quite a vulnerable time where I'm more likely to reach for a can than I would be otherwise. For the longer term, many advocate complete abstinence but I'm not sure. All I can say is that I've broken down both after say 6 months of abstinence and after 12 months of occasional drinking. The only common factor (except for the first time when I did simply run away with drink) has been my reaction to runs of things getting on top of me and I've eventually snapped and started another round. Unfortunately these days and when in that mood, one day of heavy drinking seems to start a cycle I don't understand. I know I should stop but I seem to find myself fighting what feels like withdrawal symptoms and I go through a period where I loose control before, inexplicably after a week or so suddenly getting control back. I am usually able to self reduce from that point. I have likened that loss of control period to sort of feeling like a demon holding you under but such talk can get you in trouble with psychiatrists...

    Anyway, the latter part is just me and how I find things. I don't believe that everybody with alcohol problems are the same.
    vengaturreino likes this.
  4. I have noticed that in several of your posts that you want to overcome alcohol addiction. I used to study natural health a lot and there is an amino acid (all natural) that causes the loss of cravings for alcohol for a good portion of the people who take it. If you are interested in trying it, (its not harmful and you can go on the net to research more) just pm me and I'll give you the information.
  5. I searched in the thread titles for 'alcohol' and nothing came up. Are there any threads that deal with the alcohol issue, i.e. what is considered a 'drunk', how much is acceptable to drink, overcoming alcoholism, etc.? Should we create one?
  6. I don't think we are to have those types of threads on here which is why I always tell people to pm me if they want more info. If you want information on the amino acids pm me and I will give you links.
  7. I'll post here this time (nothing to do with this forum but I sort of withdrew from getting involved in pms on forums some time back) but I may follow up via pm if you think it might be helpful.

    I might get the odd day when I fancy a can but I do not regularly suffer from cravings to drink alcohol (ok, if I have a can, I might fancy another... but that's about as far as it goes and even if I did have a night out, it stops there). The big problem to me comes after I've completely lost my rag with everything (I'd don't think these happened in quite this order but let's say, my web site gets hacked, at the same time for no reason, family rows fire up, I then wake up in the middle of the night with raging toothache...) it's then when I get on the roll. "DRINK, DRINK, DRINK" sort of yells at me, I loose sense of reasoning and I would quite happily down a bottle of whisky. As I said before, these days, one day of doing that is enough to start the pattern I mentioned before when it feels like my head is being held under.
  8. Yes this amino acid helps a lot with the craving. That is why I am telling you. Don't worry, I'll just give you the info if you want it. You don't have to discuss anything with me unless you want to.
  9. Generally the women I dated where listeners.
    They cared more about listening, than coming up with solutions.
    Kinda like this video:

    I'd always say: "We men would never understand them (women)".
  10. That's an interesting subject.
    ElliDV likes this.

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