This really, REALLY depends on the situation and the person. This guide isn’t cool at all it’s...wrong.
Yes. I like knowing I'm not alone and other people have experienced my problems. I also want support and suggestions.
Yeah but you probably ask for help/solutions. Ever get unsolicited advice? It’s the most annoying thing on the planet. Imagine you’re complaining about traffic to your friends, and they start offering you solutions you never asked for. “Hey, fanghornegghorn, you can avoid being late in the future by setting your alarm earlier, thereby skipping traffic and giving yourself a buffer so you’re not late for work”. Do you really enjoy hearing that?
I'm always asking for help. If I'm talking I want help.
I agree. Some people I know would only tell me stuff because they want my input, my advice. And some people just want to rant, they don’t want my input at all they just want to talk about what’s going on. It really depends. Usually I ask people outright: do you want advice or just a listening ear?
Some people empathize with people by sharing examples of similar situations from their own past. Also, a lot of the stuff on the left, if someone said it to me, I wouldn't feel like they're trying to listen empathetically. I'd feel either like they were patronizing me or they were trying to make it about themselves. How can I be there for you more? That reads as "I'm a really good person and I really need you to know that I'm a good person, so I'm gonna listen to your issues."
in my experience, most of the people who say the stuff of the right have mostly been trying to downplay my feelings and experiences by saying it happens to everyone or trying to talk about themselves.
Yes some people relate their own story to try an empathize, but there’s a time and place for that, truly.
If my friend was going through a hard time, I would never try to make it about myself. I would listen and ask what they need from me or if I can do anything.
The people in my life who have said all the things on the left, though some sounds a bit corny, they have always left me feeling cared about.
Edit: esp since my friends and I all struggle hard with major to severe depression and anxiety, things could be really hard to talk about. And most find it hard to reach out for help. So if someone started talking about themselves when I was trying to confide in them, when it took me a lot to reach out in the first place, I might feel like it was better if I didn’t say anything in the first place if I wasn’t going to be heard or listened to anyway. (Many people are super selfish & competitive about who have the biggest sob story when that’s not what it’s about.)
Edit2: i do agree though, that it is very situational and personal preference.
I definitely understand. I just think that in a lot of situations, if someone else has gone through the exact same situation (obviously every aspect can't be the same because different people, different lives, etc.) it can be really helpful to hear what happened to them and how it all turned out. There is definitely a time and a place for just flat out listening and letting the person know you're there to listen, and a time and a place for offering your own experiences. And I also know that a lot of people have problems with one-upsmanship. But I also know that sometimes certain things that people say can be perceived as attempted one-upping, when it's not that. Some things are more sensitive subjects for people to talk about, and so if someone else offers their story or whatever, it can be triggering and the other person shuts off and blows it off as a one-up.
There are all kinds of nuances to every conversation and everyone has a different upbringing, different life experiences, and intentions can be lost in translation. No one is perfect, and no one reacts to every situation in the most ideal way. I think it's important that everyone remember that and try and be a bit more forgiving. I often find it hard to fully say what I mean in the moment, especially in confrontational situations. My anxiety causes my brain to shut off and I can almost physically feel it misfiring and malfunctioning. Then afterwards, I regain my clarity and am able to think about everything said on both sides, and the situation that led to the argument, and it's not until a bit later that I'm certain of what I meant to say. I know this is a bit of a digression, but the point of what I'm saying is that all kinds of factors go into a person's reactions to things. Some people just stay completely silent or say things like "Yeah" intermittently, not because they're not listening or don't care, but because they've been chastised by someone in their past and don't want to risk saying the wrong thing. Or they want to understand more and ask specific questions, but don't want to say things that make them look ignorant about the topic, because they've been insulted in the past for trying to do so. Others don't have the life experience to say things that make it seem like they want to understand more (I can't even think of what the things on the left side say currently). I really do think that a lot of the time, especially in one-on-one conversation, almost everyone does truly try their best. I can't necessarily say the same for group conversations, because I feel like a lot of the time people say things in group conversations that are more for the sake of someone listening than for the sake of the person they're talking to.
I really like how big picture you looked at this. I definitely agree that hearing others experiences can help. Personally I think it’s easier for both parties if the party that needs a listening ear is the person to ask how someone else dealt with it, that way it’s almost like an agreement between the two. But overall it’s probably just best to go to the person you trust the most and vice versa.
Also definitely agree with the one-upmanship, it can be skewed because of ones mental state, and it can also be that the other party has always done that and maybe someone is finally fed up with it. Triggers can happen, and I know it’s not always intentional, but I feel like that also means others have a lower sense of self-awareness, and that they can’t just say whatever they want to whoever they want without consequence—because people are really going through it.
The anxiety causing brain misfires so SO relatable. It ties up the tongue! So frustrating!!
Also a good thing to allow time to think & reflect.
You are also definitely right about how everyone has had some sort of either experience or lack of experience that could come off as “dismissive” even though that isn’t the intention.
1-1 definitely a more feelings conducive environment. And your last point/sentence chefs kiss
Thanks for the discussion!! It’s always nice to be reminded that there are other big picture people who are understanding, and that can make you think a little bit more about situations.
Edit: sentence missing a word for clarification
I agree. And also this is so subjective. It completely depends on the person and on the issue. Some times a simple "you will see that's nothing special" followed by an example helps a lot.
"It sounds like you're saying... Is that accurate?"
That's the dumb type of corporate speak. Completely unnatural.
this guide sounds like what Zuckerberg reads every night to emulate being a human being
The phrasing is off, but the concept is good. Asking if you understand what they’re saying, before going further is often a great idea. Instead of “is that accurate”, you could say “Did I get that right” or “am I getting you”? Whatever sounds natural based on how you normally talk to this person.
What's wrong with trying to help fix their problems?
Most of the time, people don’t talk deeply with someone to fix their problems. Usually they just want someone to lend an ear, to vent to, or just empathize and understand where their head is at. They don’t want someone throwing solutions at them.
A non-serious example of this is if I’m complaining about too much traffic this morning and it made me late for work, and it’s clear I’m just chatting for fun, trying to have a conversation with you, I’d rather not have you tell me “Well you can avoid traffic in the future by setting an alarm earlier and leaving earlier”. I’m not looking for a solution, I’m just trying to bond with you/have a conversation.
Hm. I can certainly see that for small talk; obviously it's just for bonding and not Discovering the Most Efficient Way to Live. But isn't most venting about a rather serious problem? Do people only vent for human connection?
Also, there's some probablility if it is a serious problem, the person himself has probably thought about it in a much deeper way than the friend could possibly have, so it would be a waste of time coming up with overly simplified solutions. Truly irritating and downplaying. But I agree that coming up with solutions is by no means a bad or not-empathetic thing necessarily. Depends a lot on the situation, the people, etc.
Exactly. I remember I was going through depression at one point and my parents were constantly attacking me for being lazy and entitled. I finally told them what I was going through, and I was bombarded with solutions. “You should meditate. You should go for a walk, get some fresh air, it helps with depression. Keep your chin up, it gets better”. Etc...
All I wanted was a little bit of empathy and understanding. Not to have solutions thrown at me. I’ve obviously thought about these things for months/years, so their “off the top of your head” solutions are meaningless.
Usually, the only time people want advice/solutions, is when they explicitly ask for it. Otherwise, they usually just want someone to listen to them, to empathize, or to understand where their heads at.
Edit: tagging u/NickCannot
I know, right??! "You should meditate", "you should exercise", "you should go to this sophrologie class", "you should go explore new places" just makes me so mad. Like I said, irritating and downplaying.
Does saying "that sucks" really help the person, though? I've never been in a situation where I wanted to vent instead of seek a solution, so I'm having trouble understanding this.
99% of the time, if someone doesn’t explicitly ask for help, they don’t want help/advice. They just want someone to lend an ear, to vent, to make someone understand what they’re going through. Unsolicited advice is probably one of the most annoying things people give.
Just being there for them, not judging them, listening to them, that helps them. Being given solutions/advice that they never asked for doesn’t help them. It just annoys them. I don’t understand why people insist on giving advice/solutions to people who didn’t ask for it. Do you like it when someone starts giving you advice when you didn’t ask for it? I’ve never met a single person in my entire life who likes that.
All right, makes sense. Thank you for explaining this.
If they seek for advice, I think you can suggest. But most of the time, they just wanted to be heard. Also, you can only do much on something you can control and their problem might not be one of them.
I hate people just listening to me. If I didn't think it could be fixed I wouldn't be talking about it.
Looks like what you want is a conversation rather just being heard. Some people prefer that and some people prefer the later. As long as the person is being helped one way or another
thats not what is being told in the post though
I really think it depends on context and the situation and the relationship between the people. working with kids, often you want to listen and feel if they want/need suggestions. in a romantic relationship, its very often just about being there. I wouldn't say those things by themselves are naturally dismissive, but they absolutely can be
It's not that it's wrong, but that it's putting the cart before the horse. You can't actually fix a problem until you understand what the problem really is. Taking time to listen first and focus on what someone is actually saying makes it less likely that you'll make a faulty assumption and offer an unwanted 'fix' to the wrong 'problem'. And quite often, that listening - and centering of the person that's talking - is exactly the fix that's wanted.
Of course, if you keep having the same conversations, then there's a possibility that there's a deeper problem that should be addressed. But, again, the discussion comes first, solutions always follow.
Edit: Oh, and always remember that neither the problem nor any solution is as important as the person you are talking with. Don't reduce them to an unpleasant aspect of their life.
Ah, okay. This helps, thanks.
Glad to. I can't really blame anyone for being confused by an image like this presented out of context. It too easily sets up an absolute binary (this = always good; that = always bad) that ignores the nuances of individual situations. And even the artist recognises that the labelling isn't great. (I'd go with something more neutral, like "centering" vs. "focus-shifting".)
With the context of the author's own words, it becomes clearer that it's trying to say that, while both sides of this illustration have value, particular circumstances (such as when someone is feeling ignored or like they don't really matter) can subvert our good intentions.
this guide is trash...
thanks for joining my Ted talk
I’d like to be on the list for future Ted talks. Thanks.
Sometimes you can ask if they're looking for advice, or if they're just trying to express what they're going through.
It's not for every situation, but it has helped me sort out whether they actually want advice or if they just need someone to talk to
Yeah that works. Although 99% of the time, if someone wants advice or help, they’ll explicitly ask for it. But if they don’t ask for help, there’s a 99% chance they just want to talk to someone. For those occasions where it might not be appropriate to ask, you can use the 99% rule mentioned above.
I was actually looking for a way to express exactly this - thank you! I feel heard.
I'm here for cool guides, not pretentious propaganda telling me how I - as a person - respond to stuff. Sorry for wanting to fix a problem.
If everyone were like this, scientists and engineers wouldn't exist. Grow up, OP.
I agree. A lot of these guides are just feel good wank jobs. All superficial, no real substance.
I don’t understand how no one in these comments has ever heard “I don’t need you to fix it I just want you to listen” from their S.O.
Whatever works for you man.
This is absolutely absurd. There are times for both sides. Solutions, ideas for things to read, etc absolutely have their place.
Why do you insist on forcing people to listen to your unsolicited advice? If people want advice, they ask for it, in which case it’s obviously ok to give it to them. But if they don’t ask for advice, why are you throwing solutions in their face? Do you like unsolicited advice?
If you were complaining to your friend about how traffic this morning made you late to work, how would you feel is they said “Well pale grey cells, if you set your alarm earlier, you can wake up earlier and get to work before the rush hour traffic gets going. Plus, even if there’s traffic, you’ll at least have a buffer to make sure you don’t be late”. Wouldn’t you be kinda annoyed? Who the fuck wants to hear that?
If someone doesn’t ask for advice, don’t force them to listen to your shit. No one likes unsolicited advice.
They'd be right, and I'd feel just fine about it.
And you do realize you're literally giving me unsolicited advice here, right? I'm not annoyed. I'm happy to discuss things. And as I said very clearly, there are times for both sides. Yet you're the one saying there isn't a time for unsolicited advice while actually providing it.
So since you gave me some, here's some for you: you're talking in absolutes without actually taking a step back to see whether you really believe that. Your response here suggests your actions and words don't align
Uhh what? I’m not giving you unsolicited advice. Im not giving you advice at all. I’m calling out your annoying behaviours in direct relation to this Reddit post. I’m discussing the Reddit post that we’re both commenting on. That’s not unsolicited advice my friend. You’re just making shit up at this point.
Even if you don’t mind unsolicited advice, 99% of people fucking hate it. We live in a society. You can act like a dick and do things like 99% of people hate, it’s not illegal. But it’s a dick move for sure.
You're telling me how to act. I didn't ask for your opinion.
Thanks for the unsolicited advice. I'll keep it in mind. Have a great day.
I’m discussing the Reddit post we’re both commenting it. This is a really shitty troll. It’s ok to admit you’re wrong buddy.
Besides, don’t tell me to have a good day. That’s unsolicited advice. That’s what you sound like. You’re making shit up and being ridiculous to avoid admitting that you’re wrong.
You really have your head in the sand on this. You didn't talk about how it feels to you and left it there. You talked about how I should act. You decided that this was a time and place where telling me how to act was warranted.
And you know what? I agree. I think it's totally fine for you to jump in unsolicited and offer that up. Exactly as I said in my first post
This really isn't complicated. You're just making it so because you want to stick to your point about how I should act.
That was a very random incoherent rant that has nothing to do with anything. Congrats. Your rambling was so awful I have no idea what BS you’re trying to say.
Considering how little you're able to understand your own actions, I guess it should come as no surprise you can't understand other people's comments.
Have a great day.
This is subjective garbage
Friend: Susan and I are getting a divorce.
Friend: I found her texting other men, and she confessed to cheating on me with one of her co workers.
Me: Is there more?
Friend: I don't know! It sounds like she'll get there kids too. I'm not sure what to do.
Me: That sounds heavy.
Friend: Thank you for being empathetic.
The idea of splitting up responses into dismissive and empathetic ones is fine.
But the examples of dismissive are... sub par.
For example, "I totally get it... one time..." is empathetic not dismissive, you're trying to relate, trying to show the other party that they are not alone.
Dismissive listening in this graph should mostly be advice-oriented language. It's especially dismissive if the speaking party isn't asking/implying for advice.
Ask before you give people advice, don't be a smartass unless you have permission. People will like you more just cuz you care more about the journey than the end.
One of the worst things is when you’re pouring your heart out to someone about a really personal issue, and then they say something like “Yeah I have the same thing, one time...”. It can feel like they’re making it about them. Obviously context matters, but giving your own personal anecdote can often be dismissive.
You're conflating "relating with someone" with "being an attention whore".
The difference being, the whore keeps talking after the relational story is done.
The listener shuts up and gives the other a "chance" to speak.
And if the other does not speak, then that is permission to keep speaking.
And possibly turn into an attention whore in the perspective of the other.
Excuse my French hh
This is fucking stupid
fucking stupud, this is.
Commands: 'opt out', 'delete'
fuck you, you stupid fucking bot pointing out the spelling mistake I fucking edited out due to the irony of misspelling stupid
"Everything happens for a reason." Its so insulting.
Fuck this stupid bullshit
Man, I’m definitely the type to say the dismissive stuff. The stuff in the left side seems so fake and empty. But after being with my fiancée for a few years, she just needs empty words that show I’m listening. I feel like I’m being fake when I say, “oof, that’s rough!” But that’s all she wants me to say.
Sometimes I’ll just send her a kiss emoji after one of her venting texts and she is super happy with that.
Edit: after seeing other comments. looks like I’m not alone
Awe dont be upset OP
Left sounds clinical as fuck tbh, but it's a good idea
Not sure I agree with this. I am an empathetic listener, absolutely. But if I also know a solution and suggest it, why does that make me dismissive?
In a lot of scenario’s, people just want to be heard. Or they want to vent. Or they want someone to understand what they’re going through. They don’t want advice or solutions. They just want empathy. I feel like no one in this comment section has ever been in a relationship.
But it applies to non-romantic partners/people as well. When I was younger I had sleep issues and wanted my parents to understand that I wasn’t being lazy or purposefully staying up late. I was having sleep issues which caused the above problems. Instead of accepting what I was saying, understanding that I wasn’t being lazy, and just hearing me, they’d bombard me with solutions like meditation, sleeping pills, YouTube relaxation videos, melanin, etc... I don’t want solutions. I just want you to understand my thought process and for you to have some empathy. Offering solutions in a lot of contexts (not all), is absolutely dismissive and annoying.
aaaaaand i feel like an asshole
Extremely wrongheaded guide
It’s almost like all of this is situational
This is made by and for woke-faux intellectual gen z morons, who upvoted this. They're naive and know nothing but act like they're in a position to be 'guiding' others with this sort of hot garbage. Avoid all future guides that smell like this one, there are many posted everyday here on this sub unfortunately. Stick with the factual guides.
... sorry was that a little dismissive?
Listen to people have a solution but just let them in shit and cry with them as the situation worsen.... Women's stuff usually ( sorry but really. You can write women in the left and men at right) keep in mind that usually a woman want / expect the left reaction and a man the right. So if you are a man dealing with a women do the ' crying with' to have connections ... Sorry way tooo many years at psy school...
When is empathy not the correct approach
What this thing says is empathy isn't necessarily so, as is what it's calling dismissive
What is it good for?
Support for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in the general US population was predominantly led by empathy for the 9/11 victims (not hatred against Al Qaeda). Empathy can be a very dangerous thing in some scenarios.
Left part: vodka.
Right part, woman says: "Stop whining! Be a man! Pull yourself together! I hate your complaining voice!"
I know this is what you are trained to say but I received a lot of backlash for using the left side.
Many people said its empty. Like you didnt really care whats going on.
Could be the way I formed these sentences. So try it on your own.
Nevertheless I switched back to common phrases (would call it a middle regarding to the picture) and nobody ever mentioned it again.
Honestly, you have to take the concept of what’s being said on the left side, and customize the phrasing to for your social situation. For example, instead of saying “It sounds like you’re saying.... is that accurate”, I would say to a friend “So what you’re telling me is.... did I get that right, or am I just too fucked in the head to understand this shit”.
And that would be a perfectly normal, natural thing to say in my social circle. Take the concept, but customize the phrasing for your situation.
I see what this is trying to suggest, but honestly, I feel like getting serious about finding solutions to problems (rather than ruminating on the feelings endlessly) has just become trendy.
It’s an unpopular opinion, but I think sometimes a person simply needs to ask themselves “do I know what these feelings are telling me? Yes, they are telling me this thing is unfair / cruel / harmful / sad / anxiety-inducing / whatever.” The minute the emotion can be helpful for identifying whatever the core problem is, why not then move straight onto fixing the issue?
Dwelling in the shitty feelings beyond seems a bit self-indulgent or immature. It also obfuscates responsibility for dealing the with the actual issue. I also recognize very harmful things might take a lot of time and work to get to the bottom of (which is why things like therapy can help), but in my view, once the issue has been identified it’s time to stop moping and get into fixing it mode. As a listener, I would always want to empathize but not if it prevents someone getting to the next stage.
Identify what core problem the emotion is telling you > explore ways to fix the problem > fix it > be happy again.
"Do you have any book recommendations?"
"How can I show up for you moving forward?"