Years ago in a law school mediation class, I learned that what people desire more than anything else is to be heard. It is a prerequisite to negotiation that leads to outcomes recognized as mutually beneficial, even when both give something up. It’s a prerequisite to healing and moving forward in a positive direction.
Hearing and being heard isn’t about exchanging stories. It’s not one-upping with tales of similar experiences to convince that you’ve been there, gained the knowledge and moved on. It’s also not the patronizing listen of a psychiatrist or counselor who has heard it all before and is trying to place you like a dead specimen into a textbook category.
All the righteous indignation that social media can absorb cannot fill the vacuum created by a culture and society less interested in hearing than in being heard.