You never know what a listening ear might do for someone. Sometimes all we need is to feel like we are being heard, or maybe to get an opinion to give us better insight on an issue we are going through or an important decision we have to make. You don’t need a therapist to get good advice (unless that is what you feel is best for you).
One thing I have found that works as great therapy is just talking with my girls. Talk with those people close to you. Even if you don’t know a person that well and you just want an unbiased opinion and you feel comfortable sharing it, talk to whoever you can to get opinions (always consider the source you are getting advice from though, you may not want to take all opinions to heart). Talking can get things off your chest and can broaden your perspective on a given situation. Never doubt the importance of different opinions. Until you have thought of things in multiple ways and multiple circumstances, you may never really know how you should/would handle it, so don’t belittle the situation for someone else.
For instance, when giving advice to someone, always try to empathize. They didn’t come to talk to you to feel misunderstood, they obviously needed someone to listen. Realize that if you are having a hard time empathizing with someone, that is okay. We all have been through different things and some hardships cannot be understood unless you have been through them.
Keep an open-mind, open-heart and listening ears. You never know what you might say to someone that could help them or hurt them.
If there is one thing I’ve learned the most working with psychiatric patients it’s that you never know what is in someone’s head. Even when you think what you say isn’t going to make a difference, there is always that chance that it will. People who are in tough situations and reach out to others for help, can be vulnerable to advice that they are given because they may feel stuck – if they don’t know what to do maybe someone else will.
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