Often when people when complain, they don’t want you to fix their problems

Often when people when complain, they don’t want you to fix their problems – complaining is often cathartic – solutions to the problem are often easy, not impossible. While people who complain will often want help fixing the problem, in many instances they’re not looking for your help applying those fixes. They just want to air themselves out, and have you agree. They want to know they’re not alone in being frustrated and, indeed, if you don’t acknowledge their complaining, they sometimes feel like you’re thinking less of them, belittling them. Know when the recognize when people are just complaining as a social exercise instead of to get things done.

Also, once you offer to fix a problem, you’re drawn into spending time and energy to help fix it. Worse case scenario: you get blamed when it doesn’t work.