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People Help People Without Fixing Their Problems

two women helping each other

Illustration Credit: Goodstudio/Shutterstock

It’s natural to want to help people. But sometimes, people just want to be heard. You can’t always fix someone else’s problems. But if you’re truly supportive, you can enable a scenario where you can help them help themselves.

What to Say

  • "I can hear you struggling with this"
  • "That sounds difficult for you"
  • "How have you thought about resolving this?"
  • "I don't have the answers for you, but I can listen as you share"
  • "What are some solutions you considered?"

What to Do

  • Sit with them
  • Offer a hug
  • Listen to them
  • Be present
  • Ask them how they feel
  • Help them explore options

This post is part of a series by Nedra Glover Tawwab, a licensed therapist and sought-after relationship expert. For more wisdom from Nedra, follow her on Instagram @nedratawwab or check out her website,

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