Friday, March 07, 2008

Validation

Sometimes I get frustrated when I'm upset because I just want Brian to listen to what I'm saying and agree with me that whatever it is just sucks. Instead, he listens and then starts coming up with solutions. I thought it was just in his nature to fix things, and didn't necessarily understand his impulse.

But yesterday I got a phone call from a friend. She was angry and upset, to the point that she was unable to sleep and could only lie in the dark fretting. I listened to her talk, and wracked my brain for any relevant advice, some sort of solution to her problem. I came up with very little of any use, and finally I just said, with complete honesty, "That's awful. I don't blame you for being bothered by that. I'd be furious."

There was a pause on the other end of the phone and a deep breath from all those thousands of miles away. Then: "Thank you." I didn't laugh out loud, but I was amused at how just hearing someone say that it was okay to be upset about this problem could help my friend calm down that quickly, as well as my own "fix it" mentality.

2 comments:

The Sister said...

With everything I've been going through lately it seems everyone has advice for me. I need it and want it almost all the time. But sometimes I like it when the only advice someone offers me is "sometimes life sucks." Somehow that makes me feel better. Also, calling Cindi at 3am because I am flippin out and having her tell me all about giving her Chihuahua a bath. That helps too.

eva said...

Hmmm. Is this perhaps a Male Thing? I get angry and frustrated and may have once even stomped my foot because instead of saying "That's awful," Vahan responded with a solution or (the less-than-helpful) "Well, it doesn't seem like there's much you can do about it." ARGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

From now on, I'm calling you when I'm having problems. ;)