A listener

Assalamualaikum.

Gratitude log day 12 and 13.

Generally speaking, I am a listener by nature. Well, I wouldn't call myself a great listener but I always prefer to listen rather than speaking. It is always a burden for me when people started to ask for my opinion. Sometimes it is because I can't express myself so well when I talk. People usually don't understand me or stop listening half way. That upsets me before but not anymore because I know it's me to blame for not being able to express myself. Sometimes I think people don't understand me well enough for me to start talking. Ironically, I have to start talking about myself for people to know me. Sometimes, I think my opinion is worthless and I am afraid to say hurtful things.

Anyway, coming to the UK changed me a lot. I started to be more vocal and sometimes I thought that I know everything. Well, this is when things become so interesting, I started to lose myself. I realised that one of my best friends stopped sharing stories and everything because of that. I know the reason why, it is because I seem to know everything and lecture her instead of listening and being compassionate. It took a great toll on me just because I refuse to listen. Sometimes I listen only to reply or argue, not to understand. That was my biggest mistake. Speaking gives me a lot of power, to be honest, I mean the more words I spoke, the more authorised I was.

But coming onto 3rd year in the UK, I started to realise that I need to give myself a break and choose to listen. I need to become myself, but a better version of it. Believe me or not, it gives me more serenity than before. I don't need to reply when I don't know how, I just need to keep asking all the open-ended questions and the stories will get better rather than just a simple conversation. I tried to not pontificate all the times, even if it is so hard for me. I would always tell myself secretly that I need to learn something outta this conversation. So, that is when I listen attentively. But I am not gonna lie that I am sometimes a goldfish but yeah I know listening is where I am learning the most.

But then, this year I aim for a balanced speak-listen ratio, well lemme tell you IT IS SO FREAKING HARD. But good thing is, I only speak a lot to the people I most comfortable with. I choose to listen to people that I don't know to know them better. As uninteresting as it sounds, I do learn a lot. And I always train myself to ask lotsa questions, even the most pointless one, sometimes even if I already know the answer.

So I am actually so grateful that I am able to get my friends to open up to me again and I get to know people so much. Anyway, this is now the end of February, 3+ more months to go before I am back for good. May Allah ease and strengthen everybody!