Some people get their feelings hurt easily. Perhaps they take everything personally. Sometimes they think their friends aren’t listening or aren’t taking their problems seriously. At times they may feel a friend is in a bad mood with them.
Perhaps you go to visit your friend Sarah. You have lots of news to share. Maybe it’s not so much news as problems you want to tell her about. It’s been a bad week for you. You really need to talk to someone.
Today Sarah doesn’t seem interested in what you have to say. You wonder why she is upset with you. What have you done or said to make her act this way?
Perhaps it isn’t anything you have said or done. Maybe Sarah isn’t feeling well. Did you ask her how she was and wait for an answer before you started talking about your problems? If you did, perhaps she said she was, ‘Okay,’ or ‘Fine,’ but perhaps she isn’t.
Sarah could have other worries. Perhaps her relationship is going through a bad patch. Her children may be having problems at school. There could be stress involving her parents or other relatives.
The issue may be something Sarah is embarrassed about and so she hasn’t mentioned it. If it is to do with someone else she may have promised to keep the matter confidential.
It could be she decided not to say anything to you because she could see you wanted to tell her stuff and she thought it best to let you talk first. By the time you had said everything that was on your mind Sarah may have made a decision to leave her problems for another day.
Perhaps Sarah is just really tired. She didn’t get much sleep last night. Her baby/child/cat/dog/ kept her up or woke her several times. Sarah can hardly keep awake, let alone take in all that you are saying.
There are times we can feel we aren’t being listened to and we think it is because of something we have said or done. However, it may have nothing to do with us. If you have a good relationship with Sarah you could ask her if something is wrong. On the other hand you may decide to leave it and see how things go the next time you meet up.
If Sarah is just tired or has a headache today, things will be back to normal the next time you meet. If she has problems of her own you may need to show more interest in what is going on in her life. You will need to be tactful and non judgemental, especially if the issue is a sensitive one. Rather than jumping in with solutions you may need to listen carefully and be supportive.
It is also possible you often feel Sarah isn’t too interested in your problems. However, Sarah may just have a more reserved personality than you and may sit quietly while you talk. Perhaps you tend to lean forward when a friend is talking and say, ‘What happened next?’ or ‘What did she say to that?’ Even though Sarah is quieter she may be listening carefully.
You may be in the habit of telling a friend with a problem what they should do. Sarah may care about your problems but not offer advice or take sides. She may just let you work it out for yourself which shows she has confidence in you.
Communicating can be tricky. We all have different personalities and expectations. We handle situations differently. At times we misinterpret what is being said and how people feel. However, with a true friend it is worth working out what is really going on so we can maintain and strengthen the relationship.