Zidge Catto (formerly Apfelle) said 6 years, 7 months ago:

Maybe this is just me being silly, but does anyone else ever get the feeling that maybe you’re not listening for the right reasons? Usually I just assume that I like to listen because I like to take care of people, but recently I’ve been thinking that maybe the reason I like solving other people’s problems is because that way, I don’t have to deal with my own.
Does anyone else have problems like this?

Valeska said 6 years, 7 months ago:

I have felt that way too. I was going through a very awful time in my life, and I just felt so uncomfortable talking to people about it because in most cases my situation was very unreal. It was embarassing discussing it with my friends, and online made it worse to explain. I found that listening helped me see that other people need help and some had way worse issues than I did.

Sometimes though, I vented! Venting really helps let out some steam, even tears if so be it. I felt better, so I decided that people need somebody to listen, who wouldn’t judge them and just give support!

Ides said 6 years, 7 months ago:

“maybe the reason I like solving other people’s problems is because that way, I don’t have to deal with my own.”

This. I know this is the case for me. But part of that is because I just really don’t know what my problems are sometimes. Just going through the motions everyday gets monotonous and talking and trying to help people let’s me feel like my life is currently a little more purposeful.

Exia said 6 years, 7 months ago:

It’s kind of the opposite for me- I listen not to escape my own problems, but to give me the tools to solve my own problems. Experience by proxy in a way. And it always feels so good to help someone else, like it feels like you get to see the world get better first hand because you play a part in it, in a small way.

Deleted User said 6 years, 7 months ago:

I first came here to vent, but I ended up listening to over a dozen people and I later joined the site. I listen because I know what it’s like to want to be listened to. To want to know you’re not alone. I’ve only vented once, don’t plan to do it again. I’m not much of a talker.

Deleted User said 6 years, 7 months ago:

I want to feel like I am part of the human race and when I listen, I am not so much in only my own head and thoughts. I don’t feel so self-absorbed. I feel like I am contributing. I feel like I am giving something back that the world gave me when I needed comforting and empathy. I want to give something that I also would like to have. Listening is good for me. It helps me learn things, too.

Zidge Catto (formerly Apfelle) said 6 years, 7 months ago:

Thank you so much to everyone who’s posted so far.

Exia, that’s actually really clever. It’s always easier to give advice or to do something helpful when there’s the driving necessity of someone else being at stake, I suppose, but there’s no reason why those same ideas can’t be turned around and used elsewhere.

Ides, I get the feeling we may have been separated at birth :P Definitely part of the reason I don’t like dealing with my own problems is because they sometimes seem like little flies: impossible to ignore, impossible to catch. But if a venter can lay out their problems, solving them is just a matter of figuring out how to make the best of things. Not always easy, but always possible, in the end.

That’s another thing, actually: I sort of wonder how many listeners truly just listen. I always find myself feeling quite obligated to straighten out every single crease in a venter’s life and make everything perfect for them — or at least trying to do so. I don’t think venters exactly mind this, at least when they agree with me, but I wonder if I’m not really being a good ‘listener’ if I sometimes end up speaking more than my venter does.
For those of you who have vented (I’ve tried it once or twice but it’s not really for me), what are your thoughts on this?

Deleted User said 6 years, 7 months ago:

I would say that talking to people about their problems makes things clearer for me in my life. It seems so logical & rational when I talk someone else out of something, or give them advice–in a way I can’t be with myself. It is a win-win situation.

Deleted User said 6 years, 7 months ago:

I like helping people. I’m very empathetic and when I know someone is suffering from something or has a problem they can’t get over, I feel their pain. It’s a great feeling knowing you’ve helped someone.

Anonymous said 6 years, 7 months ago:

There isnt anything wrong with you wanting at to be a listener because its a way of not dealing with your own problems.
Its therapeutic and most people who care for others,go out of their way to help in some way,have their own issues and will benefit from doing so.
I do volunteer work and I also have many things on my plate to deal with,but when you lose your self in the service of others you get great benefit from it too.

Birdie said 6 years, 7 months ago:

I’m with a lot of you on this. There’s a funny sort of relief at having someone else open up to you. I feel like everyone has some sort of trust issue (be it in whatever shape or size), and having them allow you to help and listen is like knowing they’re putting a degree of that precious, hard-to-earn trust in you.
I also like to go by my own little motto, that ‘By helping others with their problems, sometimes you find the answers to your own’.
But I mean, if I try to dig down straight to the root of it, in all honesty I would have to say that helping people (for me) comes mostly out of the fact that I would like to believe someone would help me in the same way some day. I feel selfish for saying it, but I guess that’s why I can’t bring myself to do anything but listen. Venting just isn’t really something I’m good at it, even if I want it to be. I always facepalm when I realize I’m starting to talk more than listen.

Andrew said 6 years, 7 months ago:

I dont really know. I guess I like to help people. I can’t solve my own problems, so I like to try others solve their problems. It makes me happy when others are happy.

SetiDrow said 6 years, 6 months ago:

it is an escape, yes, however, we must not defer the intentions behind the “reasoning” or logic we seek to ponder or wonder or get curious because we lose sight, its best to remember the intentions behind us being here, not the reason why we came for our own selfish needs. (We all have personal needs/wants that we reason to terms with as to why we have come to “provide” help to others)

Drakko said 6 years, 6 months ago:

“Make have where you been better for having been there” (my mom says that xD)
which means: “Make whever you go better because you went there”

example: by brightening someones day, helping, or simply bringing possitivity.

I have always believed in treating others how you want to be treated, I was raised to help others as much as you can and bring positivity to where ever you go, because in the end, everything is easier when we help eachother, and its best to try to be an “Upright person” in an “upside down world” as my therapist says.

also, when i was going through a hard time I felt like I had no one to listen to me,

So i decided i would dedicate my life to being that person who listens for someone else, who says “You matter” when they think they are worthless, and “I care about you” when they feel alone.

I vent sometimes but mostly I feel better when I help others rather then when I am focus on my own issues.

It’s a win win situation because I feel good about listening to someone and they feel good about being listened to. :)

Pipistrelle said 6 years, 6 months ago:

Reading all these lovely selfless replies makes me feel a bit guilty about this, but: I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that I don’t do things for others due to altruism, but because having contributed and having somebody to care about makes me feel good. I do it to cheer myself up, which is pretty much the worst reason to help somebody. Still, they remain helped. People doing good things for bad reasons isn’t the end of the world, I think.