It is difficult when we struggle to be heard. But most of us will face this at different times in our lives. You may have experienced a child putting the palm of their hand on each side of your face as they talk to you, ensuring you have their full attention. Children, teens, and adults want someone to listen. Something special happens when others listen.
Joseph Wanted his Brothers to Listen to Him
In our story, Joseph grew up in a large family of ten older brothers, and God gave him dreams. With such a large family, he wanted to be noticed by his much older brothers. He wanted to be taken seriously and recognized by his brothers when he tells them about his dream.
Before he tells them about his dream, he uses the word listen. Genesis 37:6 “Listen to this dream,” he said. 7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” 
We Can’t Force People to Take Interest in Us
As Joseph told his brothers to listen, he told them about his dream. But instead of taking an interest, they are angry with him. Genesis 37: 8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. 
I believe we all are like Joseph because we want to be taken seriously. Sometimes we want this so badly that we don’t take the time to process what we are about to share. I would love to share more spiritual things with my siblings, but they are not ready to receive what I want to tell them, so I keep such matters to myself.
A Good Listener Can Make a Difference
What if Joseph’s brothers had shown interest in him as he told them about his dreams? Unfortunately, this did not happen because of his poor relationship with his brothers. People bruise easily and like eggshells. We must remember this as we share the Good News of Jesus.
When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman who had come to the well for water, he listened carefully to her story. After listening, Jesus tenderly responded to her. John 4:10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”  Listening allows us to connect to the other person’s heart. Only then can we offer the help and hope of Jesus they need.
To hear more about when we struggle to be heard, listen here: