The concept of the listening service may not be really new. Hair stylists and bartenders have been listening for ages. But most people are unfamiliar with the idea of using a listening service. Which actually seems a bit strange given that everyone is familiar with the idea of wanting someone to listen to them.
We all have the desire to be heard. It doesn’t have to be a problem you have, that needs therapy, it could be exciting plans you have about something that you think others don’t care to know about, so they pretend to listen but you know that they are not really listening. You might try to use social media for the purpose of sharing something exciting, but then get lost among the superficial likes or lack of likes feeling lonelier than ever.
Finding someone who listens with interest and curiosity but without judgement is not that easy. We all have people in our lives who will tell us what we should be doing or offer lots of advice that we may not really want. But someone who just listens and really hears what we are experiencing is harder to find. Think of the person that you are just about to share something important with, that picks up their cell phone to check a text message or their social media page instead of actively listening to you. It makes you feel unimportant doesn’t it? Or the person that is pretending to listen to you, but is checking out other people in the room. It makes us shut down and we feel unheard.
We asked Claire Samantha of Phone My Friend a unique confidential listening service to tell us more about the concept and how it works.
Claire is a Postpartum Doula and Founder of Phone My Friend.
“It really came from my own experience.” Claire told us. “I had a number of experiences in my own life from postpartum depression to feelings of loneliness and more recently a very painful loss to suicide. I wanted someone to talk to. But more importantly I wanted someone to just listen. I wanted somebody to listen that didn’t try to fix me or tell me their story, by trying to top mine thinking it would make me feel better. I wanted somebody’s undivided attention that validated my feelings by being empathetic with me, without butting in.”
People often notice that it is hard to get someone to listen. And sometimes when sharing experiences with others people feel compelled to help or do something to deal with their own feelings related to what they are being told. Sometimes those who are closest to us are actually the worst at just listening to what is being said without judging, helping or attempting to modify how we feel. But sometimes people don’t want help, therapy or advice and other times the most healing thing is to just know someone else “hears us” and cares.
Claire explains, “In this digital age we see other people constantly through social media but sometimes this can add to feelings of being alone. Some people go the entire day without having a friendly conversation with someone who just listens. I don’t offer counseling or advice. I listen like the hairstylist or the bartender and provide a non-judgmental ear.” It is a safe place for people to share their secrets and their stories.
It has been noted a number of times in recent media stories how social media is increasingly seen as contributing to feelings of disconnection for some people. Many people don’t have someone they can really trust to just stop and listen to them and hear what is really going on in their lives. Other times individuals have something they would like to talk about but are not sure they are ready to talk about it with the people in their life. This could be a secret that they are dying to share, but are worried about being judged about it. They may not be sure how others will react or just don’t want the inevitable help or input that can come from those interactions. A confidential listening service can be just the right answer for this type of situation.
To learn more about Claire or Phone My Friend visit www.PhoneMyFriend.com