A women under stress is not immediately concerned with finding solutions to her problems but rather seeks relief by expressing herself and being understood.~John Gray
And not just women, this applies to everyone. I read in The Happiest Toddler on the Block how it applies to kids and adults alike.
When somene is upset, they go ‘ape’ and their brains revert back to relying on primitive brain responses. This is the natural human response to stress. Logic does not work then. The kindest thing to do is to show sympathy in a way that your friend (or child or whoever is upset) cool down, by showing you care, that you understand.
So when a friend or your partner says “My boss is terrible. Illogical, I’ve had enough, I wish I could leave this job!” or something similar about any aspect of life, don’t reciprocate with “Yes I’ve had a bad day at work also. We should both look for jobs.” That makes you come out as insensitive. Lacking understanding. In toddlers it makes their moods worse.
Instead sympathize with a phrase like, “I know, it must be so difficult for you…” Afterwards when the upset person cools down, you can talk about things, with a clearer perspective.
I leave you with a quote by Mister Rogers:
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
~Fred Rogers in The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember
Read Stress, Don’t Let it Overpower You, a collection of inspirational stress quotations in my other blog.