Tags: communication | therapy | stress

Someone Overwhelmed? Lend an Ear

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Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 12:43 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The other day, an editor called me and said, “Doris, I feel crazy. I have so much to do, and I’m never going to get it all done.”

Clearly, this man wasn’t going crazy; but after listening to his schedule with all the deadlines that he had to meet, I could understand why he felt so anxious. It sounded as though he had about 200 hours of work and only about 130 hours left in which to complete the work.

After listening to him list in detail everything he had to do, I asked if he wanted any suggestions, or if I could do anything for him.

He said that just talking helped; and in the end he knew he would get it all done, or at least get done what was absolutely necessary.

So often I hear the same lament in therapy. The person feels that he has too much to do and that he doesn’t have enough time to do it all. His life is disorganized; and if something doesn’t give, he’s going to die of a heart attack.

Usually when someone starts feeling overwhelmed, and most everyone feels overwhelmed occasionally, all the person needs is a good listening ear. In the telling of his tasks, he gets to dissipate some of his anxious feelings.

And sometimes in the telling he is able to figure out what absolutely needs to be done versus what he would like to get done.

So when your friend or mate or child tells you how overwhelmed he or she is feeling, give the person an ear. By reviewing aloud what they have to do, people start to feel more organized because they are sorting through and listing their chores. They will feel more in control as they see what they must finish versus what they can put on hold for another week or two.

Rarely do over-extended people need suggestions, but almost always they need someone who will listen.
 

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DorisHelmering
Usually when someone starts feeling overwhelmed, and most everyone feels overwhelmed occasionally, all the person needs is a good listening ear.
communication, therapy, stress
327
2016-43-23
Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 12:43 PM
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