In this qualitative research (N = 27), positioned at the intersection of interpersonal communication and queer studies, the resilience-related elements of supportive listening situations are examined. The research broadens the perspective related to the assumption that being listened to is an empowering experience when it focuses on experiences of lesbians and gay men regarding situations in which they have felt or been excluded because of their sexual orientation. The results of the narrative analysis indicate that in supportive listening situations, the elements contributing to resilience are the person-centeredness of the supportive listener’s messages, the ability to make sense of the experience and the reasons leading to it, and temporal distance when closely attached to the first two elements. If the supportive listening is low person-centered, and/or shared sense-making is missing or fails, it hinders the participants’ ability to engage their resilience capacity and affects the long-term attributions and relevance given to the experience. Therefore, the listening that support seekers receive in a support seeking situation may help them recover from an ostracizing experience, but it can also reactivate the traumatic memories and reinforce the experience of exclusion.



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