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Kill 'Em With Kindess: Real listeners are friends worth having

If you read last week’s column, you’ll remember what has been going on in my family lately.

With that being said, I decided to take an unexpected trip back home. As usual, I met up with some old friends, and being girls, we talked for hours.

Don’t you love a good venting session? It is amazing how having someone listen to you ramble on can decrease the pain and strengthen the heart.

Unless someone is deaf, everyone knows how to listen. You sit and hear your friend talk about their girlfriend or boyfriend problems, their schoolwork, or what sometimes seem to be petty complaints. It’s really not a hard concept.

Have you ever met a real listener, though?

If you have, you will know exactly what I am talking about. You walk away feeling exhilarated, brilliant and respected. If you haven’t met one of these individuals, I pray you do before your time comes because they will forever rest in the back of your mind.

They seem so devoted to you — not just you and your hobbies, but you as a person. It truly feels as if they are looking into your soul.

They look you straight in the eyes and remain silent, nodding sparingly or asking a question, only speaking when they know you have no more to say. Their questions always lead to your further explaining whatever subject you were on.

I know three people whom I would call good listeners, and they’re above the age of 40 years old. After I get what I wanted to say across, I start to feel myself trying to find more things to say.

It feels so unbelievably nice to have someone pay so much undivided attention to you. It doesn’t matter whether everyone on campus knows you or no one knows you; finding someone who cares so much about your thoughts, words and feelings is something that you will cherish about them forever.

I think those people are remarkable, and if you return the favor and listen back, you realize just how smart they really are.

Geniuses arise from listening. Unspoken words can easily speak the loudest. Silence could mean listening to another friend who needs to vent or dealing with inattentive parents. A person’s lack of words can really have an effect.

Honest, uninterrupted listening takes practice and patience. That’s why these people are so interesting to me. How many people do you know who have exemplary patience? Aside from the listeners themselves, I know none with wholehearted patience.

I found an anonymous quote that I feel sums up what I’m trying to say: “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

I know listening has saved or cured me from time to time. I idolize the real listeners out there, and I am thankful to have some of them as family. I hope one day I will return the favor to someone else. I would love to be the person who helps create, unfold and expand someone as others have done for me.

Meagan Dixon is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. If you’re one of those good listeners, email her at md341410@ohiou.edu.

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