Jennie C asks, what is your greatest strength?
Oh dear, this was not easy for me to answer as I have so many strengths and it was hard to narrow it down to just one. Ba da bump! But for real, it did take me some time to come up with something. Finally I settled on this - people have told me on more than one occasion that I am a good listener and I make it easy for them to open up about things that are sometimes difficult to open up about.. For many years this was a huge burden. In college, friends were constantly coming to my room due to my listening skills and when they left I would stay awake and worry about everyone and their problems. Occasionally someone would drop a real doozy on me and I would be torn about whether I should tell someone else and if I didn't tell someone else, would disaster ensue and if it did, would I be responsible. Then I grew up and got older and decided that I'm not in charge of anyone and all I can really do is listen without making obnoxious, judgemental comments and then let it go and it's no longer a burden but a gift. Just this weekend my neighbor, who is going through something quite painful, saw me sitting outside and she came out and asked if I could come inside and talk to her. She didn't want me to talk, she wanted to talk and when she was done she gave me a huge hug and I left and felt pretty honored that I happened to be around when she really needed someone to be around. So that's it, that's my greatest strength, or at least a strength. Also, have you ever had someone tell you that they are a great listener, that they really know how to put people at ease and all you want to do is start laughing because they are the exact opposite of that? Well while I was writing this I was a bit worried that maybe I am that person and if that is the case, well just ignore everything I wrote.
Tiffany, I will answer your questions tomorrow and then I suppose I will have to stop answering reader questions altogether because all of this me talk is feeling self indulgent - not that I have a problem with that of course, but I should at least pretend I have a problem with it.
Being available to listen when people need to talk is a wonderful gift. An act of extreme charity, even. Most people don't need or want advice; they just want someone to hear them.
Thanks for sharing. :-)
I just told a mutual friend the other day that when I'm going to get together with you, I compile a mental list of things to talk about! Not only are you my favorite writer, but you are also one of my favorite listeners!!
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