Saturday, January 14, 2017

Until Spoken To

It seems like a lot of conversations I have these days involve venting: so many people have so much to get off their chests. Like most listeners I think, my first inclination is to problem-solve complaint-by-complaint, but often it seems that such an approach results in a litany of counter complaints and reasons why my suggestions could never work. Such a conversation can quickly become frustrating for both parties, and maybe even fodder for another venting session down the road.

Recently, in fact, I was on the receiving end of a third-degree complaint: somebody complaining about somebody who complained and then refused to take their advice. I nodded sympathetically and mm hmmed at appropriate times, but was otherwise silent. "What do you think I should have done?" my friend finally asked.

I shrugged. "I've learned it's best not to give advice unless you're asked for it," I answered.

Her lit up, and she nodded vigorously. "That seems very wise!" she told me.

See what I mean?

No comments:

Post a Comment