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Depending on your personality this may be more of a struggle than others.  I really struggle with this sometimes because it’s in my personality to want to solve problems and fix things.  I always want things to be efficient, run smoothly and have no problems. So often when someone comes to me with a problem they are struggling with I immediately default to a way to solve it and sometimes I may not be able to hear the entire issue before I start to figure out how to fix it.  Now, don’t get me wrong there is definitely a time and a place for this behavior and it has helped me and those around me in many situations. However, there is definitely a time to not act like this and it is usually when someone close to you is coming to you with issues in their life.  

Just Because You are Right Doesn’t Mean You Need to Say it

They might even agree with your thoughts on how to fix a problem in the end but more often than not a person just wants to be heard.  They just want to know someone cares enough about them to take some time out of their day and just listen to them talk about whatever issue is going on at the moment.  If they come to you then you need to safeguard that relationship because they obviously consider you special and close enough to share details on their life, especially when things are going wrong.  If you immediately launch into a solution and do not even give them the time to talk through the entire issue they are not going to feel validated and they may not come back to you in the future.

Validate Their Feelings

Sometimes it’s about understanding other people, and hearing them out and just being a support to them in life.  Life is definitely not always about just sharing your opinion or about being right all the time and always having good advice.  Don’t just wait through someone else sharing their heart just to quickly speak your thoughts but instead really listen to them and give them the attention they crave.  People at their core just want to feel validated in their feelings. They want to feel like there are people around them that care and support them through the good times and bad.

Don’t Assume Someone Wants to be Fixed

You may know a better way to do it, you may know how to fix their problem but just listen to them anyways and instead of launching into a monolog of how to fix their life you can always just ask them if they are looking for advice.  Gasp!!! What, is it that easy? Yes!!! If you were to just ask a person if they are looking for advice or just someone to hear them out I bet things would go much smoother in a lot of areas, especially with your significant others. They can let you know that they just want to be heard and if they are ready for some feedback they can let you know that as well.  Don’t assume they are waiting eagerly to hear everything you think about their issues or how you think they can fix their problems. Don’t assume, just ask and then proceed in a manner to best support them in that specific moment.

It’s Not About You!

Now, I want to be clear there are some situations that demand instant action.  If they are unsafe or it involves something dangerous or illegal then immediate action is definitely required.  For the normal struggles in life just be there for them, help them feel loved and listened to and help them if they ask for it.  It’s not about you after all, it’s about them!