Why Was I Not Told?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

That is my question of the week, well maybe just one more; do you listen or do you talk? Myself, I try to do both; don’t think you are going to talk to me and not get my opinion. Isn’t that what conversation is all about, back and forth, give and take?

To listen, actually listen, is something I have had to work hard at; it did not always come easy to me. I use to have a bad habit of being two steps ahead of the conversation and often would say something that made me sound like a total idiot. A few moments later it made sense. Again, I ask, “Why was I not told?”

Why was I not told that once you master the art of listening you become a board? The proverbial sounding board where any and all of your friends comes to take that proverbial whack; that “Don’t tell anyone but let me bounce this off of you” board.

I have had an emotional roll coaster of a week being just that board. One of those extremely “TMI” weeks where your heart bleeds and at the same time you ask yourself, “Why are they telling me this?”

It just became a bit much and who do you call when things get too much, your mother. I phoned mom for bit of comforting and a bit of, “you won’t believe how I spent six hours of my day.” Funny thing was, she did believe and began to enlighten as well.

The question of “Why are they,” had no more come out of my mouth when she dropped the bomb shell. “Didn’t I tell you? We apparently have this neon sign on our foreheads that reads; I will listen tell me.”

I thought about this long and hard all evening, it bothered me. I did not ask to be the “TMI Board.” Why was I not told this before I became a good listener, I would not have studied as hard. So I did some research, the modern way, I Googled.

Google does not know if there is a “TMI” switch. It knows what TMI means, told me TMI also makes car upholstery and air doors and that it is a private school for girls in Texas but no switch. I’m doomed.

If today you have a visitor to your blog that looks similar to a convenient store robber, do not fret. I’ve put on my ski hat for the rest of the week or at least until this blasted sign stops blinking.

Happy hump day and remember there is always someone in worse shape than you.



Karen Walker said, 

Oh, Jules, being a good listener is so very valuable, but your'e right - too much can overwhelm. I've learned to say something like, "I'd really love to help but I'm just not in a place where I can really hear you right now. Can we talk later?"

August 24, 2011 at 7:59 AM  
GigglesandGuns said, 

Did I tell you...
Take off the ski mask and fluff your hair because you're wasting your time. No matter what you do it doesn't stop. I know....
You could try dropping your head, moving fast and growling. Sometimes that works for me but some strangers don't care.
For "Others" I use caller ID. I confess to using the ignore button or letting things go to voice mail.
You are too funny!
S They were always telling you stuff. Before you weren't listening and they didn't know or care. :o]
M Beth Vaughn

August 24, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Summer Ross said, 

Jules- I actually had this happen to me on Monday. Strangely enough after my first class two of my classmates walked over to me and dropped some seriously emotional stuff into my lap for listening. Yikes! But I nodded, gave small helpful ideas, told them I hoped it would get better soon, and they left with a smile. Those smiles- they are the easiest thing in the world to give someone and it make their day.

I hope you have a great midweek Jules.

August 24, 2011 at 8:35 AM  
Velvet Over Steel said, 

And I was about to 'share' my latest happens... LOL.. just kidding!

Actually I totally understand. I have a good friend that I tried to 'cheer' and encourage them after a heart wrenching breakup. I was the Only one who wasn't negative. Well.. they still talk about this person with TMI, only to me. 'sigh'..

We're good friends right?! :-)

Have a good day in hiding!! I will not be scared! :-)
Coreen XO

August 24, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
Bossy Betty said, 

I am not too good with the TMI stuff. Really. I try but it's hard. I have to work to be a good listener too.

August 24, 2011 at 10:10 AM  
Berts Blog said, 

Ha ha, I loved your post. I am grinning like a crazy girl as I think of it.

From one old girl to a young girl, I learned long ago how to deal with it.

I am totally capable of sleeping with my eyes open and even though I am sleeping I have conquered the skill of nodding occaisionally and saying "Oh No" and "Oh that is so unfair"

Only a few people have learned to see the signs. No schooling, just long periods of being a "Good Listener" and you will acquire this same skill.

Good Luck

Berts My Vickie

August 24, 2011 at 10:56 AM  
Katie Gates said, 

Interesting dilemma. I don't know that I'm on the receiving end of TMI, but I've often been in conversation with someone who is relatively new to me, and his/her contribution to it ends with, "I've never told anyone that before."

You may not have a neon sign on your forehead. Rather, you give off a positive, empathic energy, and that's a GOOD thing! As to curtailing the details, jump in and make your boundaries clear. Easier said than done, I realize!

So, anyway, about this problem I have...

August 24, 2011 at 11:40 AM  
floweringmama said, 

Hey, Jules. Sometimes you need to just tell those that are talking that you need a short break. It isn't easy, but it is effective. And it will turn off that loud blinking sign on your forehead!

August 24, 2011 at 12:00 PM  
The Golden Eagle said, 

I was thinking of something along those lines yesterday. Most of the time I like to listen, but it can be overwhelming.

August 24, 2011 at 3:21 PM  
Alex J. Cavanaugh said, 

A balance is best, but yeah, sometimes I have that TMI sign on me as well. Sorry if you've been dumped on a lot this week.

August 24, 2011 at 5:30 PM  
Lisa Ricard Claro said, 

Ha...I always seem to wear that sign in airplanes, in lines at the market, and often with my grown children who, unfortunately, believed me when I said, "You can tell me anything." LOL They've shocked me more than once, I can tell you, and I always keep my face un-shocked and interested. Then I wonder, "Why did they tell me that?! I'm the parental unit! That is TMI!" I guess it's a good thing that they know they can come to me, but geez...some things a Mama would rather not know. Ya know? But I'll never say a word...just listen. I've even learned not to offer advice unless it is requested. After almost 30 years I'm finally getting the hang of this Mama thing. :)

You're lucky to have your mom. *sigh* I've been without mine for over a decade now, and I miss her every day.

August 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM  
Kid Shuffle said, 

I'm never told anything, I know exactly how you feel!

August 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM  
Larri @ Seams Inspired said, 

People tell me all sorts of sordid stuff. I think it's because I can keep my face passive and my words soothing rather than looking as schocked as I feel on the inside. ☺
I'm a good secret-keeper too. Although, one day...I may just write it all down in a book. No names, just secrets come to life on the pages of a juicy novel. LOL Happy Wednesday! Hang in there!

August 24, 2011 at 9:56 PM  
Clarissa Draper said, 

I think I have that sign as well. I'm a great listener but often wish I wasn't. Sadly, I even listen to body language which says more than the words itself.

Hope you have a better week and keep your hat on!

August 24, 2011 at 11:30 PM  
Jayne said, 

This is terrible, but as I've aged I've become less of a good listener. I was always the listener. But now I find that if I don't say what's in the noggin' as soon as it pops in the noggin' then it's entirely lost. Maybe I should take this as a sign that whatever the thought was, it wasn't worthy of mention.

Dang. Lack of storage does not make for good listening!

August 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Julie said, 

It cracked me up that there's a school called TMI. I don't think I'd want to be wearing that t-shirt for school pride.

I know just what you mean as I can relate to this, and it is very frustrating. Hope you have a more relaxing end to the week, and don't feel the need to get out the ski mask!

August 25, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Karen Lange said, 

I like the idea of a TMI switch. Where can I order one? (Not for listening to you, just so you know.:)

Have a good weekend,

August 25, 2011 at 10:20 PM  
Tammy said, 

Believe it or not, I am on the quiet side, so I've always sported that sign, too. I know things about some people that I'm sure their clergy-people will never hear. There is a switch. Are you ready? For it is a powerful thing and must be used judiciously. If it gets to be too much, just offer advice. Works like a charm.

August 27, 2011 at 1:05 PM  
DL Hammons said, 

I'm a listener, which frequently gets me into situations you refer to, but when my empathy level starts to drop I just pretend like I'm asleep. :)

August 29, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Chickadee said, 

Hehe yup. Me too. Unfortunately, I have friends who do the same thing and forget that I need a sounding board too sometimes.

September 2, 2011 at 10:46 PM  
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