I am a listener. I have audiobooks read by my favorite actors because my favorite thing about them is their voice, and I'd rather listen to a film score than watch the movie it's from (seriously. Please don't make me watch Gladiator ever again - but I love the soundtrack). When I'm getting a migraine, sound, rather than light, is what I become sensitive to (why must everyone breathe so loudly?!)
As the youngest person in the room for a good chunk of my life, I also listened to others speaking. I'm fascinated by the paths people have walked to arrive at the spot we're both standing on; I love hearing the way their experiences have shaped their perspective; and I fully agree with a quote I heard recently, "When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new."
That doesn't mean that I don't have thoughts and opinions that I'd like to make heard - I do. And I've felt the frustration of being talked over, interrupted, and ignored many times. But that's only made me a more sensitive listener - especially with my Littles - because, while I know they will experience that at some point, I'd like it to not happen with me.
I'm far from perfect. There are times when I can't hear myself think over the roar (or scream, as the case may be), and times when I step back, earbuds in and music up, for a moment of relative quiet. But when it matters (and sometimes when it doesn't seem important), I always try to be open, available, and ready to learn - ready to listen.
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