Have you seen pearls or diamonds or some very costly stones or jewellery? Do you keep them on a table or juggle them in your hands? Do you not try to keep them safely and securely in a safe or locker?
Remember, the same way, our emotions and feelings are like those precious pearls which we need to handle or preserve or keep with utmost care and security.
In 2013, I attended a 10 days Training program on Trauma Counselling. The trainer addressed us and warned us about one thing which impacted me a lot and I treasured that statement in my heart every time someone shares her/his heart with me. She said, “Whatever we all are going to share here and pour out our hearts talking about our vulnerabilities, our emotions should not go out of these four walls of this room. Treat everyone’s emotions and vulnerable moments as precious pearls“. And I truly am very careful when someone shares his or her heart with me afterwards.
A few years ago one of my friends who is a doctor and was in Kolkata at that time requested me if I can counsel a lady suffering from schizophrenia. I was 30 years old then and the lady was 42-45 years old. She was rich being a wife of a businessman. His driver used to come and pick me up from my place to her house and after the counselling, I was dropped back at my place.
What I wanted to point out here is, why my doctor friend asked me, a man with no counselling background to counsel her own client? I asked her out of nervousness and fear, “What made you ask me to do that favour for you? I have no such degree or license to counsel a schizophrenic patient“.
“Because the way you helped me in my times of trouble, the way you made me feel happy and comforted when I was so discouraged, I believe you can do the same with my client. So I have trust in you and your attribute to make people feel important and comfortable.” She responded and that made me understand why I should sharpen my skills further to help many others in future.
Lynn Carol Miller, at the University of Southern California, explored the psychological profiles of openers by creating a questionnaire to assess the degree to which people are openers.
According to her –
People frequently tell me about themselves.
I’ve been told that I’m a good listener.
I’m very accepting of others.
People trust me with their secrets.
I easily get people to “open up.”
People feel relaxed around me.
I enjoy listening to people.
I’m sympathetic to people’s problems.
I encourage people to tell me how they are feeling.
I can keep people talking about themselves.
I see myself as an Opener after I went through the list given above explaining the character traits of the same. At my workplace, I always complain jokingly, “Am I a temple bell that whoever comes rings it? Why me always? Why do you people always try to go through me?” And I know the answers to those WHYs – because I never send anyone with a NO, instead, I make them feel comfortable. I am very approachable to all. That’s my nature which I further tried to sharpen it more for the benefit of the people around me.
Sadly, it takes just one human folly that turns an Opener into a Gossiper. If we read the number fourth point about maintaining secrecy or confidentiality, we understand what I am trying to say. The attribute of keeping people’s secret distinguishes an Opener from a gossiper or a slanderer. Once people mistrust a person with the way he or she handles their secrets, all other 9 points become immaterial or useless to them afterwards. So an Opener’s credibility is based on that number fourth attribute before everything else.
I try my level best to be a good keeper of those precious pearls which they place in my palms with so much trust and belief.
How do you manage?
Keep pondering and keep reading the articles of this week…