When I was little, sometimes my mom would talk to me about her day. My mother is a very busy woman and she can get stressed easily, so those conversations were usually a little bit of a rant session for her. I don’t know if she thought I was actually listening or that I would understand, but still she talked. When she was done, I would simply say something like I’m sorry you are feeling this way, or I hope tomorrow is better. She always seemed a little surprised when I would respond that way. She would smile and say one of the most genuine thank you's I have ever heard.
I never really understood why her face would light up that way, but as I grew up and started having my own rant sessions, I realized why. She just needed someone to listen to her. She did not expect that I was going to fix her problems, but she just needed to talk about it and have someone actually listen.
Now this is a very simple example, but it is very true. Sometimes people just need to talk about what they are going through, and sometimes they just need someone to listen. This does not mean that they expect that person to fix their problems. That is not possible, and it is not their responsibility.
We cannot put our problems on other people because that is unfair to them. It is very healthy and necessary to talk through problems, but it is not other people’s jobs or their obligation to fix it. If you are in need of someone to listen to you and talk through stuff with you, there are people who went to school for a long time to be that person. Take advantage of that opportunity. Find someone who will listen.
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