Sometimes, I Don’t Feel Like Listening

Sometimes, I Don’t Feel Like Listening

My friends know I love them like they’re family. In all honesty, some of them are more family to me than my own blood relatives. Before I get into this rant, don’t take it personal. Please spare me the text messages saying things like “I didn’t know this was a problem” or “I’ll stop bothering you” etc. This is less about you all and more about me. So again, don’t take it personal.

I often tell people, friends, family, strangers, that I’m here to listen whenever they want to talk — and I mean it. But does it make me a bad friend because I sometimes don’t want to listen? I’ve said it twice and I’ll say it again, this isn’t about any of you all, it’s about me. I was mid conversation with an old friend and they were talking to me about something they were dealing with and I found myself zoning out of the conversation as my mind ventured off into something more exciting. What am I going to wear to my event in October? Is it going to be hot tomorrow? Gah, I hate when it’s hot, especially when I have to commute to work — those sweaty funky people touching my skin on the subway. Will  I have a decent day at work? Do I have a gym session with Fernando? Smh I hope we aren’t doing arms — I hate doing arms. I need a vacation in a far away place away from everybo — “Londiee! Hello are you listening?!” Yes, I’m here, I’m listening. So what are you going to do?

That happens more often than I’d like to admit. And it’s not that I’m uninterested in what they have to say, but I just sometimes feel like I’m having the same conversation over and over each time and nothing I suggest is being met with real action. My opinion of a situation isn’t the be all end all, but if you’re telling me you have a problem getting to work on time, and I say “maybe you should take your clothes out for the week on Sunday, pack your meals and bag them at night, and set an alarm” and you rebuttal “but it’s not that simple” and follow with a laundry list of excuses — why are we having this conversation?

AGAIN, I don’t mind listening when I’m needed. But I am getting a bit flustered of having the same conversation day in and day out with people who 1. Have no real desire for change, and 2. Are using me to solve problems they deem “too hard” to figure out on their own. I am, in part, responsible for taking on the task and accepting the position as in-house problem solver, but I have learned that when I have feelings of resentment, it’s time for me to detach.

Moral of the story here today is this: You are not obligated to sort and solve everyone’s problems — friend or not. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a friend is to grant them enough distance to figure things out on their own.

– Yolanda Danae’