"Eventhough I smile on the outside no one knows what I am really feeling inside" this was what she said to me as she held the knife to her wrist. At first I laughed, asking if she was an attention seeking jackass. She stared at me, her eyes filled with tears. As the first tear fell from her eyes... I stood there, the smiled wiped off my face; she was really serious about this. I had no clue how to handle the situation, I started thinking about how I should have paid attention to what my psychologist was saying in my one hour sessions.
I moved slowly towards her, carefully trying to take the knife from her hand. "Stand back!" she shouted, now pointing the knife in my direction; Apparently she didn't remember I just completed two months of anger management. I gave her the "know yourself" look, she immediately came to her senses, for the first time in years she broke down. This is not like her, I use to think she was created without tears or she did a surgery to cement the tears in her eyes. She fell down on her knees, crying like the world was coming to an end. The first thing I did was take the knife and put it somewhere FAR from her reach.
As we began talking, she shared some deep personal stories about her life. The things she revealed, made me think twice about my thoughts of her. I always saw her as this hardcore person who no one could ever make break down, this can't be her someone must of cloned her. During our two hour talk, I learnt so much about not only her but also myself. She had so much pain inside and just wanted someone to confide in. At the end of the talk there was a big sign of relief, I could see the smiles in her eyes. I learnt one valuable lesson that day, and that was to "listen"...
I encourage everyone that the next time someone vents or acts a certain way, don't just jump conclusion that they are crazy. You could be a major help to them by just taking the time out to listen and providing positive feedbacks. On the flip side remember to share deep personal thoughts with persons who you consider can keep a secret. You wouldn't want to share something with a person who by the time the conversation ends, your business can be typed into google search engine.
Always remember, "Hearing is different from Listening" which do you do best?