Just as there are things a Listener should do, there are things a Listener shouldn’t do. We will cover them in a series of blog posts. The first of these is, as Deb calls it, Volunteer as Tribute. What is that? It is a listener who gets so lost in the emotions of what you are sharing that they spiral into that emotion, taking it on themselves, and the speaker now needs to make THEM feel better. Rather than getting any relief from having shared whatever needed sharing, they are burdened by this extra task. It might even make them disinclined to share again.
When Deb worked at the funeral home, she saw this happen a lot. People meant to be caring, but instead of simply listening to and staying present with sad feelings, they would take them on and the roles would flip. A total role reversal! Don’t jump into the volcano for them – they won’t like it, and it helps no one.
Remember our Pay It Forward option if you need a listener and funds are tight.