Is Anyone Listening?
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Somebody Is Listening, Aren’t They?

Yes, somebody is. This is something I have asked for years and, as usual, I decided to dig into just what those words mean to me, and maybe you too. We’ll see if anything written here resonates with you, and there is no quiz or lengthy test to come.

It depends on whom it is you want or expect to listen, and what you have to say. Well, at least most of the time. Generally speaking I choose plain language to explain whatever message I have. Plain language is best most of the time, even when addressing complex or difficult concepts, ideas, and feelings. I am not suggesting that difficult math equations or microbiology can be explained or understood with everyday language we all use. Terms are very useful when we all share the same terms, no matter what we are trying to communicate.

In the context of hep C, it can be a problem when we try to explain how things that can accompany living with hep C are impacting us. This is a lot different than telling a bad joke that nobody wants to hear, and being ignored because everyone knows the punch line. There is no punch line with hep c and it is not a joke. I cannot imagine any circumstance where the discussion about hep C is considered humorous. If you have ever heard the line “about as funny as a heart attack” you get the idea.

Fear and Lack of Understanding

It is like the heart attack line; it can make people nervous talking about hep C when they don’t understand anything about it, or what they think they know makes them nervous. Mortality and disease are hard things to talk about for some of us and fear of loss can be a difficult subject to discuss. In this light, it is easier to ignore and shut down when we are confronted with discussing things that make us uncomfortable. This is a natural response, as hard as it is to be on either side of the table.

When Will We Be Heard?

Everything changes when the person you are talking to is discussing how they can assist you as a professional or a volunteer. Being paid is not the measure, and ether way the roles and responsibilities change. We all want to be heard, regardless of the role of the person we are speaking to. We never feel good about feeling like we are not being heard, no matter what we are trying to communicate. It is no different for any of us, and I don’t like it either.

Can we do anything about it, is the burning question. The short answer is no, we can’t. If we are rich, famous, strong and powerful, more people are likely to hear us but there is no guarantee they will actually listen. Listening is not always easy. On the other side of being heard is the ability to listen well and I have to say I have not always been very good at listening, but I try. It is a two-way street, this listening thing.

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