Since becoming a coach (not LCS yet, but I’m still amazing at it) I’ve having trouble not coaching my friends. Someone will message me with a problem and I rush in with things to try and ways to think about it, separating fact from opinion, circumstance from thought. Sometimes this is appreciated but recently one of my friends got really pissed off at me and said they just wanted to vent, why can’t I just listen to them vent? Honestly at this point in my life I don’t like venting and find for myself personally, it’s not useful, it makes things worse and I don’t like to do it or listen to someone else do it just for the sake of venting. In my opinion it’s a waste of time and I suggested that they should preface presenting a problem to me that they just want to vent about with “I just want to vent about this” and I get to say whether or not I’m available to listen without giving feedback.
This is kind of paraphrasing, I actually said, “so you’d rather I just said, I’m sorry, your life sucks and is a giant shit sandwich rather than trying to help you.” They said yes. I sent them a GiF of someone eating a sandwich and said I’m probably not the friend for you right now, I don’t understand why you’d tell me all these things without wanting me to offer you help. I don’t actually think your life is a shit sandwich and I’m not going to agree with you. They then accused me of being a man. (I’m not, at least not apparently in the flesh.)
I have people in my life I network with that when they tell me about a problem usually want to hear my opinion, though these are other coaches. I understand the average person isn’t interested in this and just wants to complain. I used to do the same thing, but it feels like a million years ago.
What am I actually supposed to do when someone tells me about a person they’re dating or some money they need or a problem at work? I’m ready to just throw up my hands and start using the shit sandwich line.