Why People Won't Listen to You

Have you ever had this happen? A friend, co-worker or family member

(someone you really care about) approach you with a problem. They say

‘problem, problem, problem.’ You listen, attentively. As you do so

you know the answer they need, you have the solution they are looking

for. You wait patiently for your opportunity to inject your wisdom

and ‘yes!’ They ask you. “What do you think I should do?” With

confidence you lay out the plan. You are feeling great. You know

this is what they need. You are feeling a strong connection to them.

At that moment you are so glad for this person in your life and so

proud that you have the answer to their needs. “I’m such a good (mom,

friend, boyfriend etc).” You think triumphantly.

“That won’t work.” They say annoyed.

Like a balloon, failed to be tied properly you flutter about loosing

air and energy rapidly.

The rubber hammer on the knee cap reaction to this might be. They are

stubborn. They really don’t want to solve the problem. They won’t

listen. Pause a moment. Remember the phone call that started, “Don’t

hang up this is an important…” click. If you are being honest you can

remember back to a few times you treated well intentioned friends and

their advice with the same attention.

The real reason that people don’t take your advice is that they are

not in an emotional position to hear it from where they are. Like a

time when you were in a really bad mood, happy people make you feel


If a tree falls in a forest in Oregon, you won’t hear it in New Jersey.

In order to hear advice or even take the next step in your goal you

need to have an emotional proximity to that next step. You know

despair to appreciation is just too big of a jump.

So what does this mean. Your friend and her problem are in Oregon.

Your advice is in New Jersey.

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