Maybe that is why I need to feel valued in a conversation. I hate it when I don't think someone is listening to me or all they want to talk about is themselves. I have been guilty of this as well, but am aware of it and am working on it. The more I work on being a good listener, the more I notice how everyone else is not. Most of the time, I really don't feel like what I say matters. People are really only half listening and are more interested in talking about themselves. It is annoying. It causes me to get impatient and bored in conversations which makes it difficult to socialize which leads to isolation which might lead back to drinking. Alcohol makes me not care about that. When drinking with a friend, I don't notice that they aren't really listening. I don't think either one of us is really listening...just mindless chatter for hours fueled by alcohol. It does, however, make it easier to communicate and be social.
So what am I going to do about that? I asked the therapist and she had two suggestions. First, she suggested I need to expand my bubble of friends. Maybe find some volunteer activities or attend some recovery meetings. Just put myself out there and be open to making some new connections with new people. I think that is a great idea, so I am searching around for some different opportunities. Instead of quasi-connecting with everyone while drinking, find some friends that I have a lot in common with and enjoy talking to - relationships where I do feel valued.
Second she suggest I read this book: