Sometimes you need to talk to someone about the issues swirling around your head and all you really want to do is talk… not listen to a bunch of solutions.
Have you ever sat down to talk to a friend or family member about something that is really bugging you and they come back with a simple and flippant solution before you’ve even got it all off your chest? Yup me too.
It’s right up there with mansplaining and almost all men will happily give you a practical solution without knowing the full set of circumstances you have to deal with. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we need to speak to our girlfriends to stay sane.
There are times for discussion and there are times for release. Granted it is hard to tell them apart. I too am guilty of offering simple solutions to complex problems I don’t fully understand, but I’m trying to get better at just listening.
I once read of an ancient cultural practice of finding a rock, telling that rock all of your problems and then throwing the rock away. I really like this idea as shows a good understanding of our need as humans to unburden ourselves. Often it’s the act of talking about our troubles that gives us the most relief. In saying the words out loud we can often see our own way out.
Some people do take advantage of this and complain all the time… I am not referring to those people. They suck and should be avoided at all cost!
So the next time someone close to you is pouring their heart out, take a breath and look at the situation. Ask yourself if they need to get something off their chest or really wanting your opinion. I’m sure with practice we can all get better at identifying when our sage advice needed.