The capacity to stay silent and listen to other people.

by Elizabeth

Family situations occur when matters of mutual concern have to be discussed and one family member may rule the roost and ignore and dismiss the opinions of one or others involved.

The people concerned feel that they have no say, and that their feelings of that of the person they could be supporting are not important, and that will lead to considerable bitterness which may last for years.

Parents who are stressed out with their own personal problems and agenda will brush aside matters important to their children, and then wonder why the kids have gone to someone else or turned to their friends for help and advice.

This outcome could have disastrous results for the family if the children turn away from them.

There are times when one has to stop and think. Am I holding the floor too much? Is what I am saying more important? Is it time I shut up and listened to what so and so wanted to say? Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong. Do I want to bring myself more strongly full on, or is it time that I stayed in the background for once?

It depends. I have kept silent for a while, perhaps now it is time I spoke up for once, I do not like what is happening, and I wish that someone else would come in behind me. I am sick of being a doormat.

How many of us feel that at meetings we are not allowed to have a say in what is going on and often there is noise and confusion as people try to speak up, feeling that they are being sidelined.

Many meetings turn into a rabble when everyone tries to talk. It can be very hard for the person taking the minutes to get them down correctly, or other people to get the right gist of something being said.

It is exhausting being part of a rowdy meeting, and later on feeling wrung out because you wonder if anything was sorted out, and whether everyone knew what was decided.

There is nothing worse than the organisation where one person has held the reins for a number of years, where they were the only ones who set out what was to happen, and they would not accept that someone else had other ideas.

They then wonder why people have left in droves as they would not go along with never being heard. The dominant one has finally killed the group, and it has had to close down for lack of support.

People who have belonged in charitable group for many years become complacent and feel they are the only ones which count.

Then there is a change, someone else has come into the group and holding sway. There is a change of format, the group has brought some property which they are going to use for the purpose they are together. This will cause dissention when people feel they are being toppled off the perch they have occupied for a long time.

They have always felt they were important to the organisation, now they are being challenged and they do not like it one little bit.

Someone at some time has to listen – very, very carefully.

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