When someone tells you a story of their pain, the hardest job you have is to figure out if the pain is one they want solved or one they are attached to.

If it is a pain they want solved, provide options, not a solution. Let them choose a solution. If you have only one option, then offer it with the caveat of the circumstances in which it worked.

If it is a pain they are attached to, they are actually seeking sympathy or empathy, not a solution. Listen, commiserate and walk away.

For many people, their pain is their hindrance, the only thing limiting them. Offer an opportunity to take it away and you unleash their potential.

For some people, their pain is all they have, all that keeps them going. Offer an opportunity to take it away and they sign out of life.

How do you know if it is a pain a person wants solved or one they want to keep? Their response to your options.
Those that see merit in each option you present are seeking a solution.
Those that see a problem in any option you present are married to their pain.

– Osasu Oviawe

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