Back in January my Blog “ARRRGH” identified the importance of releasing internal anger and stress. I talked of the impacts of not releasing these emotions on an individuals mental and physical health. Unfortunately in a woke society where we focus more on the feelings of others the release of our anger and stress is viewed as unacceptable. This blog will debunk that approach and hopefully encourage people to release emotional pressure rather than letting it snowball.
A couple of weeks ago during an Orange Sky shift I sat with one of the “Friends” and started a conversation. I used an accepted opener of “so how are you doing” to get the ball rolling. While the friend seemed a little edgy there were no indications of what was to follow and how they would react.
As we sat in the sun he started taking me through everything that was happening in his life. As I listened I understood that this friend was in a bad place mentally, financially, emotionally, physically and whole range of other “…allys”. During the first couple of minutes listening I thought the friend was coping remarkably well. This thought changed dramatically and quickly.
As the one sided conversation developed the friend became agitated, raised their voice and leaned into me. I started to feel a little concerned until I realised the friend wasn’t angry at me. The more I listened the greater my understanding of their stress and situation was. While the friend was looking and shouting at me they weren’t focused on me. The internal emotional pressure had built to a level where only a small opening was required to release it. My conversation starter provided that opening.
I sat and listened for a few minutes as the friend released everything inside. Not knowing when it was going to stop I waited patiently and suddenly it stopped. Like a light switch the light returned to the friends eyes and they were at ease again.
The conversation shifted to calm and normal as the friend thanked me for listening. There was no expectation, or want, of solutions or a response from me. Only that I listen. Not long after thanking me the friend left smiling and ready to enjoy the day.
I took two things from this experience. First the importance of listening, nothing else but listening. The importance of a person letting go can not be understated and though you may think a response is required it’s not. Just listen.
The second is personal safety. Only you can judge if the situation is safe for you. There are a couple of things to look for here in the persons body language. Watch their hands and feet, are they opening and closing their hands of stepping towards you. Are they standing for a sitting position. Listen to see if the conversation shifts to you rather than what the person is feeling. At he end of the day if you think it’s unsafe politely break into the conversation. Let the other person know that while you want to listen you’re concerned about where the conversation is going. Allow them to take a breath and decide where you go from there. Every discussion is different and needs to be had but not at the expense of your safety.
So, and this is for everyone from someone living rough to a CEO, you need to vent. I’ve discussed this with a lot of people and it is a popular opinion. The ability to release internal pressure sooner rather than later controls the level of vent, sooner equals smaller. It also allows you to return to a better place quicker. When you feel the need find a safe person or place let go. Trust me it works.
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Thanks for writing this. I find that listening does help. It can be challenging to incorporate the story heard into your life, and for this it’s always good to have your own social network to share these experiences with. I hope your friend finds a better place mentally, physically, financially and emotionally.
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