#SOL19 – Day Seven
I heard someone say once, “if a person tells you a problem they are experiencing it is never appropriate to start telling them that you’ve experienced the same problem. Like, if their dog just died, please don’t tell them about when your dog died. However coincidental it may seem….they don’t want to hear about your dog.”
That advice has stuck with me and I really try hard to follow it. I get it. They are telling you because they must value you and your listening ear. If you turn your listening ear into a blabbing mouth then their issue is no longer important. Suddenly your similar experience has become paramount, and that just isn’t right – or helpful.
A friend recently told me that her husband has cancer. This friend knows about my best friend’s battle with cancer 10 years ago, so I didn’t have to tell her, she already knew. But, in my mind, and sometimes in my words, I relive that horrible experience from a decade ago. I keep telling myself, be a good friend, don’t keep throwing your similarities into the conversation, listen, be there for her. It’s so difficult because I feel like I can help her avoid certain things or to feel some comfort knowing that there are others out there who have been where she is now. And, maybe that’s true. But, mostly I just need to remind myself that this is her journey and hers is not the same as mine. That is how I can help her. And, that’s all I really want – is to help her.