Ever have someone tell you about a problem they are having? They come to you as an objective person, trying to get your opinion or advice on something that may be bothering them. You try to provide a good listening ear and some helpful answers. But then, a little while later, they come to you again complaining about the same problem. Again you try to be helpful, but after a while it doesn’t seem that they’re taking your advice or even listening to you. It’s like they don’t want to solve the problem. They are complaining and upset but week after week, month after month, year after year, they are still upset about the same thing.
Here’s one thing we have learned: You can’t solve anyone’s problems for them. You can only change the way you react or deal with what they have to say. A lot of times people don’t really want you to “fix” anything for them, they just want to vent. It is up to you to decide if you want to listen to the same old scenario time and again. Sometimes it is frustrating to watch someone you care about be unhappy. Other times you just want to scream at them to change their behavior. Ultimately, if it is upsetting for you to repeatedly hear the same problem, it’s ok to walk away. Some people have their reasons for not wanting to get off the merry-go-round. Sometimes it takes years for change.