It may seem easy to be there for others on a daily basis and just listen, but there are a lot of things that I wasn’t prepared to hear when my role was simply to be there and have people tell me things. A number of confessions triggered me and I had a hard time processing them. They affected my regular day-to-day activities and made me very depressed even if my life wasn’t anywhere near sad. People’s sadness had engulfed me and I didn’t know how to separate their feelings from mine.
Always listening isn’t easy and every now and then you need others to listen to you too. Don’t bottle everything up until it explodes. Do your best to find someone you can communicate this stuff to. We all need support from time to time and it’s not something we should be ashamed of asking for. In order to carry on as a good listener, you need to be listened to. Removing that weight off your shoulders will allow you to carry on helping me people by listening if that is what you wish.
In my case, that is my job and as I’m navigating a way out of it one of the main reasons I want to leave is to deal with how drained I feel with all the things I have to listen to and then look into, to make sure that person is okay. There isn’t a support system in the workplace for me to be able to be listened to on a regular basis and it becomes very depressing very soon.
Despite my wish to help everyone, it became clear a while back that that’s impossible. My superiors would have me believe otherwise, but I know the truth. You can’t save everybody and quite frankly no one can see that I’m drowning and I need to be saved too. So, that tells me everything. I’m not worth saving, only the people I work with are. I suppose a lesson to learn from this is that no one will value you as fairly as you would like and it is up to you to draw the line. You have to put yourself first from time to time and save yourself.
That is one of my goals for this year, leaving a toxic environment where despite being a good listener and problem-solver I am not deemed important enough to be listened to.