It all started Tuesday morning. I got out of bed, ate breakfast, watched the news, showered, shaved, checked my email, and prepared for work. When it was time to leave, I picked up my briefcase, went downstairs, and dug in my pocket for my car keys. They weren't there. I went all over the house, looking for my keys. Upstairs, downstairs. Upstairs and downstairs again.
I was going to be late for work, and Teresa couldn't help me because she was on the phone. Finally, in desperation, I decided to look in the car. I thought that maybe I had left them in the ignition. When I opened the house door, there were my keys, hanging from the door knob. Quickly, I grabbed them, ran for the car and headed for work.
When I came home that afternoon, she asked me where I found my keys. I said, "Oh, they were downstairs." She shined her desk lamp into my eyes. "You found them in the door knob, didn't you?" I squirmed. "What makes you think that?" "Because I heard your keys jingling when you took them out of the lock." Then I said, "That's just cheating!! It's not fair that your hearing is so good." Yep! My wife is a cheater. I can't get away with anything.
We men have been put at an unfair disadvantage. God created women with superior hearing faculties. It has been scientifically proven. Women have better hearing than men. Some researchers say that it is four times better. Long before any research was done, I had already reached my own conclusions about this. Think about it. In your family, who is always hearing those noises that the car is making? Who hears the teenagers sneaking in? Who hears the refrigerator door opening? Who hears the pin drop?
I used to wonder why this was so. One day, as I was meditating on the greater questions of life, I realized why women hear so well. It's because that is the way that God intentionally designed them. When the hungry baby cries at night, someone has to get up. The child has to be fed. So, what sense does it make for the Daddy to hear the baby? He doesn't have any milk. Not naturally anyway. Ever since the beginning, Mommy was given the milk, so it's only reasonable to expect her to get up and feed the baby. That's why her hearing is so good. Unfortunately, Daddy sometimes has to pay the price for this plan. Occasionally, he is heard saying or doing something that would be safer left unheard.
So, what does all of this have to do with depression? Well, just because a person hears better than another (male or female), it doesn't necessarily follow that he/she will listen better. Listening is more difficult than hearing. We've all encountered people who were poor listeners, and we've been tempted to say, "Excuse me for talking while you're interrupting." If you are talking to someone who is depressed, and their input into the conversation is minimal, then you have to be an especially good listener, so that you will not only hear what they say, but also what they don't say.
Here are some Tips For Communication
01-People who are depressed don't talk much, so listen well. You must listen carefully so that you will be able to understand, comprehend and evaluate. As Job said, "Listen carefully to my words; let your ears take in what I say (Job 13:17)."
02-There are good times and bad times to talk, so be ready to take advantage of the best "mood times" to discuss things.
03-Make an offer to listen. "Whenever you feel like talking, I'll be ready to listen."
04-Don't complain about the lack of communication. Talk to family or friends who will meet your need for conversation.
05-Accept the fact that much of what you say will not be heard. Whatever part of the brain processes auditory sounds doesn't always engage when a person is depressed. They hear, but they don't hear. Sometimes, words heard don't really connect with understanding and retention.
06-Make an effort to improve your skills as a listener. These are skills that can be acquired, and great advice is found on the Internet. Listen twice before speaking once. "He who answers before listening, that is his folly and shame (Proverbs 18:13)."
07-Saying, "You never listen to me" will diminish the depressive's motivation for conversation.
08-Don't wait until you are upset to talk. If you are angry or irritated, allow some time to cool off, but don't stuff your anger and fail to communicate your feelings.
09-Be knowledgeable about depression, and understand that it is very difficult for people with a depressive mood disorder to listen back to what you are saying, and comprehend what you are trying to communicate.
10-Butter your tongue with love. Remember, during times of frustration, that you are not adversaries. You are simply two people connected at the heart, who are sometimes disconnected at the ear.
Yes, my wife is a cheater, but at least there is one person in this family who can hear the phone ring, and take time to listen to her "Ding-A-Ling."
["I'm so low, I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]