The other day someone thanked me for listening. There were no answers. Nothing got resolved. She thanked me for listening to her vent out her frustrations.
Listening isn’t hard. Listening doesn’t require skill. One just needs to be attentive and let the person talk. For me, and I believe many others, we aren’t expecting answers and sometimes don’t even want them. No matter what your opinion of the topic though, it doesn’t matter because if the person needs to speak out about it, then it is important to them.
Sometimes a response is needed. They have reached out to you and sometimes you have to reach back. I would say that a very poor response after listening is thinking you know the “right” answer. Not being judgmental can be hard, but don’t assume you know how they should live their life or what choices they should make. Advice is fine, opinions are fine, but know that is what you are offering: advice and opinions.