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Wonder: How to deal with someone who won’t listen

Some people just won’t hear you out, especially if your point-of-view isn’t perfectly in line with theirs. They will shut down your perspective and try to silence you with lines that seem conciliatory but are anything but. They won’t have a conversation. Maybe it’s fear, anger, or cowardice. Maybe it’s good old-fashioned jealousy.

This happened to me recently when someone I know literally screamed in my face and twisted my words, in front of others in public, to suit her own rage after asking me a question. I answered it, not to her liking, and she flew off the handle. It was a weird and unwarranted display. And it was upsetting, but not surprising. I tried for a while to make myself clear and the person just shut down. I was glad when it was all over.

All you can do with people like this is turn away from them. Maybe they come around. Maybe they don’t. But don’t for a second take on their issues or problems. Those aren’t yours to carry. That is the hard work they have to do, or not do, as the case may be. They are not worth your time.

There’s a lot of lack of listening in the world now. The best we can do is continue to lift our voices to those who will listen. Spend your time on the people who will engage with you and talk openly and honestly about difficult subjects. The only way we can find common ground is to seek it out together.

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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