I once was a nervous talker but with age now try to listen more than talk. It's partly because I just don't feel like my life is all that interesting, but really I find it's more advantageous to not be verbose but and to actually hear what others think first. That's not to influence my own steadfast decisions but because I like to know what kind of person they are before attempting any kind of meaningful friendship. What few friends I have are "keepers" because they are kind souls that can be trusted to look to God for guidance and not be constantly watching which way the tide is shifting so they can have an opinion. Plus, for some reason, they actually like me. That's always a happy mystery [grin] for which I am very grateful.
How does one transcend from verbose to listener? Experience, yeah. In my case it was also from an outside source. It was many years ago, when we where still living in The Big City, I had the good fortune to have access to the Dr. Laura Show. Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a professional psychiatrist who hosted a daily talk show on the local AM station. Her broadcast featured troubled souls calling in asking for advice for how to get out of their usually self-made messes. Good advice is consistent on the talk show. I was working a 40 hour plus week but I would try to always find time during lunch break to listen to the pearls of wisdom from Dr. Laura. She'll never know how she saved my emotional bacon many times from making an otherwise detrimental decision. However, I know I'm not a professional at analyzing others. I've made many errors in that arena, but I feel that her advice has helped me gain a lot of insight into my fellow humans psyche which has greatly improved my life.
My father-in-law paid us an uncharacteristic visit this weekend. As you know, I'm not close to my father-in-law. Even though we where once all living in the same City we've only met face-to-face a few times in the 35 years of marriage. Husband has regaled me with all the stories of his growing up. Of how both his parents have dealt with the three of them. Maybe it was not the right thing to do but I had F-I-L already categorized. Even without personal meetings, I had mentally pegged him as being self-serving, cold, untrustworthy with feelings, a braggart and distant. He's already deliberately hurt my feelings many times. To be fair, I know that I have a strong personality. And if someone acts uncaring or unkind, I walk away, never to return. I've no time for unfeeling cretins. This weekend, again, he has treated me like I'm invisible. For the last time. Without going into detail about this weekend's visit, I feel more right than ever about father-in-law. He's not a "keeper". Emotionally, I'm walking away. I see my only recourse now as to do what I hope would please God: continue to always be polite, don't gossip behind his back (gossip is mean and pointless) and welcome him in our home as long as he behaves. He's not shown any outward aggression but I can tell that I don't "rate" in his eyes. Sadly I'll probably not ever be friends with him. In my heart of hearts I did so want him to attempt to be more engaging. That he would want to know me as a daughter-in-law. My husband and his dear sister deserve so much better. Husband's brother can take of himself (long story). So, I'm rejoicing that he's back in his cave and we are secure and snug in ours. "And never the twain shall meet ..." [Rudyard Kipling]
So just call me The Invisible Woman.
You know, sometimes I really hate it when I'm right. I did so want to be wrong this time.