Sometimes It’s Best Just to Listen

One thing I hear often sounds like this: “I had a bad day at work/school/wherever, I got home and told my husband/wife/partner/friend about it, they just kept giving me advice or trying to solve the problem and didn’t really listen.”  

As humans, we often want to just vent or recap.  When we do this, we are not asking for advice or a solution, but just the space to say it.  Try to recognize this from both sides.  As the listener, try to know when it is someone’s desire to just unload, in this case be present and listen.  If you’re not sure of whether you’re being asked for advice or not, you can always ask “may I offer my advice” before offering it.  As the unloader, don’t be afraid to say “I just need to vent right now, is that ok?”  While it would be wonderful if everyone in your life always knows exactly what you need at every moment, unfortunately we can’t read each others minds (yet!).  Asking if you can vent gives you a space to do so.

Sometimes it’s best to just listen.  This is a big part of human connection.


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