A FRIEND RECENTLY SHARED A FRUSTRATION WITH ME: someone in their life was grumbling about an issue – an issue to which my friend could clearly see the solution, but the other person wouldn’t take any of their advice or suggestions to resolve it.

As I type this, I wonder how many times I’ve been the person for whom the solution to what is troubling me has seemed so obvious to others, but not to me. 🤔 I’m pretty sure it’s not a small number of times.

Even after being offered suggestions, how many times have I rejected the advice, resisted the ideas that have been given – only to continue struggling for awhile yet before meandering my own way toward some semblance of a solution?

I’ve taken my sweet time more times than I could even begin to count – much to the agony, I’m sure, of the kind-hearted well-meaning problem-solving friends in my own life who were likely thinking, exasperatedly: ‘…but the answer is so clear! Just do this!’

Some might call this: learning the hard way. 😆

Keep in mind, I’m also a keen problem-solver too, so I’ve been on the other side of this conversation many times, as well.

Pondering this type of scenario, I’m reminded that sometimes people just need to share what’s going on for them.

As much as we want to ‘fix’ the issue, many times the person describing a problem doesn’t actually need or want solutions pointed out – even if it’s right in front of them, or seemingly very easy or clear (at least so it seems from the ‘fixer’s’ perspective).

They may not be ready for it.

Or perhaps – what the ‘fixer’ feels is easy or straightforward might require much more effort in the mind or heart of the person experiencing the issue, based on their experiences in life, their preferences, their likes and dislikes, their energy level, and so on.

People want to be heard.

Putting their voice to it (or pen-to-paper about it) can, itself, help a person get clearer on their solution or next step – the one that is the right one for them.

Letting the description of the problem or their feelings about it hit the air (or be expressed in writing or another form of communication) can offer its own kind of relief.

People make changes and adjustments to improve a situation if and when they’re ready, and based on a number of factors.

For this moment, though, perhaps a compassionate ear to listen, or kind eyes to read their messages without judgment – is the part of the solution that the grumbler in your life needs most right now. ❤