Hey there. How are you doing? There’s a lot going on in the world right now and it has affected most of us. Yes, I am talking about the infamous Coronavirus outbreak. Owing to this terrifying pandemic, I have seen a spike in anxiety and depression – in myself and in the people in my life. While I have managed to control my state of mind, it got me thinking about something I’ve been wanting to do for years: be an active listener.
What is active listening?
According to MindTools, “Active listening is a technique that enables you to fully concentrate on what others are saying, and to understand their complete message.” Basically, it’s the skill of listening to everything that someone is saying.
Sounds like one of those new-age jobs, doesn’t it? Like professional cuddler and hire a friend? But it isn’t! Fight Club and life experiences have taught me that generally when you are talking, people aren’t really listening.
I believe that people still don’t listen even when someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness and has very little time left on earth.
It’s not like we tune each other out on purpose. Listening requires attention and in today’s times, our attention span has decreased drastically due to the deadly combination of smartphones in every hand and constant internet connectivity.
The irony is that even though we have 24×7 connectivity, we are more disconnected from each other now than ever. Think about it: when was the last time you had a conversation without doing something else?
Humans need to communicate effectively to help each other, to work effectively, and to form meaningful relationships. An important part of communication is to not just speak, but also to listen. But we have lost the skill of listening, which has resulted in people speaking at each other instead of to each other.
I am not judging – I can personally recount endless conversations in which I made assumptions, jumped to conclusions, and interrupted my friend, therapist/sister. I was a repeat offender and I just couldn’t stop even after I was made aware of this problem.
But this month changed that. The Coronavirus panic magically compelled me to hear people out. It somehow made me go back in time: I was a good listener until a few years back. And for the most part, I have retrieved that quality. Now, I want to be the best active listener I can be so that I can truly connect with people and give them the support they need. Some of you have been brave enough to share your problems with me and our conversations have helped both of us. I want to continue doing that in a better, improved way, especially right now. After all, the Coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected mental health on a global scale. And seeing that it won’t go away anytime soon, we all need to have better conversations. Starting right now.
Here’s where I come in: hit me up on email so we can schedule a texting session or a voice call where YOU get to talk about your mental health issues.
Why am I the right person for this job? Brace yourself, it’s a long list:
⭐ I am a mental health advocate with lived experience of suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and some traits of Borderline Personality Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
⭐ Your mental wellbeing is one of the primary reasons this space exists – be honest, how many people do you know who can say that?
⭐ I am both new and experienced as an active listener. Isn’t that intriguing? You could say I am a “born again” active listener. (Please don’t get offended if you are a born again Christian. I think it’s pretty cool.)
⭐ You are tired of people who give you advice when all you want them to do is listen to you vent. So am I. I promise to NEVER do that when you speak. You do not need solutions, you just need to blow off some steam.
⭐ I have the qualifications: I am an Achology certified life coach and have a certification in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy from Virtued Academy International. I am currently learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Positive Psychiatry on Udemy and Coursera respectively.
Time to do some deep breathing and let all that I said sink in. Done? Okay, let’s resume this list…
⭐ You quit therapy because it is too expensive. I get it, that’s one of the reasons I quit too. For 5 emails or 60 minutes of my time, you will have to pay me *only 9 USD* via PayPal. Compare that to a traditional therapy session (including commuting costs) and you can see that this is an epic deal.
⭐ My coping mechanisms are personally tried and tested and tend to be offbeat. Forget out of the box thinking, we will tear up the old box and create a whole new box instead.
⭐ You and I will have fun. We will see the funny side of things. And if you like dark humor, get ready for some ‘Cyanide & Happiness’ level shit.
⭐ You will get access to the same resources that I was provided by a psychologist via traditional face to face talk therapy. FYI, she helped me overcome crippling depression and become a functional human.
How many stars do you need to see to say YES? I am all out of them and that list up there was pretty solid, so hit me up, okay?
It goes without saying that whatever you and I speak of will be 100% confidential and judgment-free. I am just here to listen to you and give you my opinion if and only if you ask for it.
Allow me to be your human diary.
Talk to me about whatever is weighing you down.
And in place of a testimonial, consider this for now:
Bye for now. See you in my inbox.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist (yet) and I am certainly not an alternative to psychiatric medication. Psychologists and psychiatrists are the best options for debilitating mental health conditions. The service I provide is suitable for mild to moderate mental health conditions. If you can afford it, always make sure you consult a therapist first.