Are you the primary sounding board for the people in your life. Perhaps you feel you are listening often and you are providing frequent emotional support. Being a good friend or family member is a give and take type of situation and that has a beauty all it’s own. It is healthy to have relationships in which you get and give feedback and exchange ideas. It is often important to be a listener. At times though, it may feel as though others aren’t really hearing YOUR struggle and are not being empathic. These friends and/or loved ones may think they are being supportive through their suggestions, but suggestions and advice often leave you cold.
Your friends/ loved ones earnestly believe that they are very supportive and caring for you but sometimes to you, it feels judgemental, critical, unsympathetic. Family and friends aren’t always good listeners, it’s true. You can either help them be better listeners by letting them know that you need to be heard now. If they are open to feedback, then their inability to listen can be improved with your requests. If you don’t receive quality “listening” support in your relationships no matter how hard you try, therapy is a good place to find excellent empathic support and validation.