Goal

  • other person feeling heard and understood by you.
  • they know that you’ll be there for them with a listening ear and you’re willing to help if they are looking for any

Instead of saying “You should ______”, try saying “What’s worked for me in the past is ______” People who are suffering aren’t always inclined to the most charitable interpretation of what you say.

ask up-front whether they just needed to vent or if they wanted advice.

A good advice giver is a person that actually knows what they are talking about and have valid experience to go with the advice.

that many times people don’t actually want advice, they just want to vent. let them talk all they want, don’t interrupt offer words of encouragement, and generally show that you’re there for emotional support generally people don’t just share their problems with anyone.

Saying “I’ve been there before, I know how you feel” is fine but don’t say “if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been having a shitty day too”. The first is a way of showing you can truly feel their pain and show support, the second just makes them feel bad if they care even a bit about you.

suppress any thoughts about what you want to say nex figure out what the other person is trying to convey and how they feel about it.

engaging in such a conversation without ever saying the words “I”, “me”, “my”, etc

imagine/create a mental picture of what the other person is saying and then try to increase the clarity of that picture. Clarity is increased by asking questions and listening. Usually this results in them speaking more and me listening.

Never give advice unless someone is asking for help.

Not everyone is looking for a solution

“If I were you, I would probably try to…”

What have you tried so far?

Whenever you feel the urge to offer one, ask yourself: “Did anybody ask for my advice?” If the answer is no, then just listen.

Venting out ones thoughts/frustration is sometimes all that’s needed to solve their problems

Unsolicited advice is not well appreciated and can be counter-productive

If you really want to offer a solution, always ask for permission first. “Are you looking for a way around that problem?”

be interested in what the other person is sharing and seeking to understand them better. That is reflected in your questions, sharing with them your understanding in what they’re sharing and how you empathise/sympathise with them.

Listen to what they have to say, instead of formulating a solution in my mind, presence is key. Being present in the moment with the person where my focus is on the person and not on working out a solution.

Try to understand where the person is coming from, and to understand truly is to feel. To be able to relate and connect on a deeper level. Where I am able to feel like I’m in the other person’s shoes.

This is what I share after listening and understanding. I share with them what I understand and feel. This is also an opportunity to make sure that I have not misunderstood the other person, this gives them an opportunity to clarify or correct my understanding if I’m mistaken (cause we all have times we have misunderstood right?)

“What do you think about X?

“If I were you, I would X” “I suggest, X” “I recommend, X”

“You had better X, or else Y” “You had better leave before I call the police


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