It's not always about giving feedback or advice, but sometimes, all that's needed is a listening ear.
I've learned that when an individual talks to you, tells you a story, or just vents about their day, it's not always about giving feedback or advice. But rather, sometimes all they expect of you is just to listen. It's not always about saying the right words or giving the best advice, but rather, it's about being a shoulder to lean on. Sometimes we are so caught up in the conversation and our opinions are so strong, that we can't help but speak our minds. But, sometimes this can be the worst possible idea for the situation.
So, next time you find yourself a part of a conversation and your opinion isn't asked for, maybe it would be best to just listen. Just sit quietly and be there for the person. Don't let your words overwhelm them, but rather, let your compassion and attentive, listening ear be the thing that supports them.
I promise you, this will go over way better than you ever thought. Take it from me when I tell you, from personal experience, being that listening ear is far better in certain instances than being the person who shares their "good" advice.
I know it's hard. Hard to just sit and listen, and not give your opinion. But, lets imagine a situation where you do sit back and you just listen.
It might go something like this...
1. They are speaking to me and they seem very invested,
2. Maybe I should listen...
3. Wow, I should really listen.
4. I'll hold back. It's not about me tonight.
5. This is something very important to them, I can see it in their expressions.
6. I'm glad I can be here for them; just to be a listening ear.
7. I think this is something they needed, and maybe it was something I needed too.
8. Hey, thanks for listening.
9. Your welcome, I'm sorry I don't do it more often.
10. It's okay, I'm just glad you've started now.
You see, it's not always about speaking words of affirmation or confirmation into the person. It's not always about agreeing with them or giving feedback. But rather, sometimes the best thing you and I can do is sit, be quiet, and listen intentionally to the life story of the person who sits before you.