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creativity

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.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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