Your friend calls you up and asks if you have a minute to talk. You stop what you’re working on and tell her that you are all ears. She starts to tell you how frustrated she is at work, that her boss is a tyrant with no appreciation for her contribution to the company, her neighbor just posted about yet another vacation that your friend could only afford in her dreams, and one of her kids’ refuses to go to school.
How do you answer?
a. I know just how you feel. Let me tell you what happened tome at work today….
b. At least you have a job and kids.
c. You should speak to your boss and tell him how much you do at work. And I know a great psychologist for your kid. You have to get on that right away.
d. That’s nothing. Think about what Jane is going through.
e. It sounds like a lot to deal with all at once. I know how much your job and kids mean to you and how much you’ve been wanting a vacation.
Two of the most fundamental human needs are to be seen and understood.
It is not a fundamental need to be
compared to others, to have your feelings denied or
negated, or to have your concerns waved away.
If someone comes to you to talk or opens up to you, focus
on the person in front of you, give them your full attention, and most importantly, listen to understand.
Most people aren’t looking for solutions or ‘fixing’. They are looking for someone to hear and see them and simply be with them in their challenges.
Can you be that person?