Even though we are tempted to fix things when people tell us their problems the best way to help them is to listen carefully, feeding back to them what we have heard and then we get their permission to make any suggestions from our perspective. Sometimes this is well-received and other times it is not needed. Nevertheless if we follow that formula we will be of more help and then feel more useful in the end.
You asked for my opinion
I was tempted to jump in and tell you what to do
before you even got the chance to finish your story!
then I remembered to listen first Ė Iím glad I did
because the story took another turn and I realised that
you just needed to have someone hear your story
as you had already dealt with the solution and
just needed someone to confirm that you did the right thing
indeed I thought you had and as I said so
I saw the relief in your eyes!
But I asked if you would be open for any suggestions
and you said that you were not prepared to
do any more just yet
I could see your point and felt
sure that what I had to add could wait