When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All that I asked was that you listen - not talk, or do - just hear me.
Advice is cheap. Thirty five cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.
All I can do is do for myself. I am not helpless - maybe discouraged, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
But, when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you, and get about this business of understanding what is behind this irrational feeling.
When that is clear, the answers are obvious, and I don't need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what's behind them.
So, please listen and just hear me. If you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn - and I'll listen to you.
From NHL discussion group