Do you want comfort or solutions?

Sometimes one person shares what happened and the listener just doesn’t know how to respond. What did the speaker want from me: “Do they just want to vent and be comforted, or do they actually want my explanations, input and solutions?” If you are the one who is sharing, say what you want from the conversation. “I just need to vent.” “I’m feeling awful about this; I need a hug.” “I need to know that I’ll be alright.” “I’m asking for your insight about this.” “Please help me make sense of what happened.” If you are the listener, and your spouse has not told you want they want from the conversation, just ask: “Do you want comfort or solutions?”

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