When others complain about being in pain, being tired, being frustrated—suffering in some manner—be open to offering advice and, at times, even helping. But as you are offering suggestions that might ease their discomfort, remember that your brainstorming, your words, ideas, action plans, may not be heard. Complaints are complicated. Multi-layered like onions. And sometimes the true emotion behind the complaint isn’t what it appears to be on the surface. With this in mind, when your advice is met with resistance, be sure to avoid getting irritated, angry or frustrated. Even though a complaint has been shared, it doesn’t mean the person who’s in pain is ready to take a hard look at what’s at the core of their discomfort and take action. From where you stand, this may seem confusing, even counterproductive. If you really want to help, resist the urge to point out the irrational behavior and think of yourself as a gardener—a planter of seeds that when the time is right, will flourish and grow.
E.L. Chappel author of Spirit Dance/Storm Makers/Coming very soon: The Surge
Helping doesn’t always mean doing: it could also be listening, offering, brainstorming, planting and waiting.
aka The Glamorous Wife