When a person’s feelings are not understood or their issues are not acknowledged, it might result in grief or it might erupt into anger from not being heard. Everyone has the need to be heard! Chronic “not being heard” issues usually begin in childhood when parents don’t allow their children to properly express their feelings. Feelings might have been pushed to the side or ridiculed, deciding on the situation. If you’d like to be heard and resolve grief or anger issues, practice appropriate expression of your feelings and ask those around you to acknowledge your feelings.
Parent Child Dialogues
An unheard child will eventually need to speak louder and louder to be heard. A simple, “I’m sad,” might eventually turn into a fighting match declaring, “I hate you!”
Child: “I’m really worried about my test in school tomorrow.”
Parents: (unheard child) “That is ridiculous! Don’t be a scaredy cat!”
(Heard) “When I was in school, sometimes I got worried about tests too. I suggest studying hard tonight in order to be confident that you will do well on your test tomorrow.”
Child: “I’m really sad” (crying).
Parents: (unheard child) “There is nothing to be sad about, stop that silly crying right now!”
(Heard) “What are you sad about? Please tell me about it.”
Child: “I have a stomachache.”
Parents: (unheard child) “Stop complaining!”
(Heard) “Where does your stomach hurt? Tell me how it feels.”
When a person doesn’t have the opportunity to talk through their personal tough situations, pressure builds up inside, eventually leading to a breakdown in emotional stability. Being heard and valued is a vital component of mental health and well-being in a marriage.
Wife to Husband- “I’m worried you don’t like me very much.”
Husband – (unheard wife) “Don’t be crazy!”
(Heard) “What am I doing that makes you feel that I don’t like you very much?”
Wife – “My friends don’t pay attention to me anymore.”
Husband – (unheard wife) “Stop complaining.”
(Heard) – “What makes you think your friends aren’t paying attention to you anymore?”
Husband to Wife- “I think I might lose my job!”
Wife – (unheard husband) “I don’t like your boss anyway.”
(Heard) “Why do you think that you might be losing your job?”
Hearing from God
God declares, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Mark 2:17)
Person not hearing from God, “Jesus doesn’t care about me, I have too many problems.”
Person hearing from God, “God, what would you like me to start changing in my life?”
“And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Mark 9:7)
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)
Not feeling heard by people and not hearing from God sometimes stems from severe childhood neglect. If people ignored you as a child, emotional neglect transfers to the adult life. Begin recovery of unheard feelings by firstly starting to listen to yourself. When you are feeling emotional, ask yourself, “What’s wrong”, “What am I afraid of”, “What is making me feel this way?” Meditating and finding out why you are feeling a certain way is the beginning to mending your relationships with other people and with God.