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When I ask you to listen to me
and you start giving advice
you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems,
you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

LISTEN! All I ask is that you listen.
Not talk or do - just hear me.

Advice is cheap:
50 cents will get you Dorothy Dix
and Dr. Spock
in the same newspaper.

And I can DO for myself; I'm not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering,
but not helpless.

When you do something for me
that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and weakness.

But when you accept as a simple fact that
I do feel what I feel,
no matter how irrational,
then I quit trying to convince you
and can get about the business of understanding
what's behind this irrational feeling.
And when that's clear;
the answers are obvious
and I don't need advice.

So, please listen and just hear me,
and if you want to talk,
wait a minute for your turn;
and I'll listen to you.


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