When someone tells us about a struggle, how do we respond?
Do we jump right in and tell them the 4 things that they need to do to fix their situation?
Do this and this and this and this and your problem will be solved.
Such an approach makes us feel better because we shared our wisdom and provided a solution.
It lets us feel a bit superior and like we know a lot about how the world works.
Dispensing quick advice also allows us to move on to the next topic, the next endeavor.
Get past this and on to the next mountain.
But does this approach help our fellow feel better?
Does it ease their struggle?
Perhaps instead of jumping in and dispensing advice left and right, we may be better served to listen more, fix less.
Answers to some problems – especially complex ones – may not be so black and white.
They may not be susceptible to quick resolution.
Before we speak, maybe we should ask more questions.
Try and get to what is really bothering our friend or family member.
To listen and then listen some more – before we respond.
Sometimes, of course, the other person only wants to be heard.
They may also want to contribute to finding their own solution as opposed to having it dispensed as if from on high.
For today, let us strive to listen more to the people around us. To listen more, fix less.
Isn’t that what we want from other people when we are struggling?
To be heard.