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Image by Barrett Ward on Unsplash.

I’m seeing more articles on the importance of being a good listener. One author even sees listening as a new life purpose. Another wrote that listening will be especially important among “elders;” she speculates that “older people” have more time available. They can use their time to listen to people, including people we are paying for a service.

In my opinion, when you pay for a service, you don’t get involved in the provider’s problems. They get involved in you. If they have problems I don’t want to know, especially if they’re on my dime.

After all, listening is a skill. Listening takes energy. Read Arlie Hochschild’s book, The Managed Heart. Listening begets burnout.

And it’s not always appropriate to ask someone to listen to problems. It’s not appropriate to assume others owe you something anyway as I’ve said elsewhere.


I’m not totally heartless. I will listen to people I consider friends. I listen a LOT to people who pay me to listen.

But listening is like volunteering. It’s what “older” people are supposed to do. They’re assigned a chirpy-cheery role of helping other people for free. They’re expected to be kind and selfless. As I say in my. book, they’re sometimes expected to serve as free therapists or coaches because, after all, they have time.

Guard your ears! You don’t need to lend them to anyone just because you’re old.

Asking for help is overrated.
Why I Don’t Want to Leave A Legacy