Tip #17: Open your ears and listen to those who need someone to vent to.
This may seem simple to some; however, people screw this one up over and over again. Some get tired of being the "go-to guy" and just tell their friends or whoever it is to stop telling them stuff. In the end, feelings get hurt and the person who needed your help is now lower than before. All because you could not be the person who should have been there, listening and comforting them when that person needed it the most.
From past experience, it is a rather heavy burden of guilt. Especially for me. I've always been the person who listens and never speaks except to offer some words of comfort. Because I've been good at what I did, I made some very excellent friends. Unfortunately, I grew weary of doing what I was doing. I was feeling selfish and wanted my voice to be heard. When I offered some words of comfort or advice, sometimes it was taken, other times they were ignored. I don't mind that, it's their choice whether to listen to me or not. However, there was this one friend I had who listened to the words of comfort, but refused advice. At first, I thought this would not bother me. She needs comfort and someone to vent to, I thought. Time passed by and I grew tired of her constantly telling me her problems. Eventually I got to the breaking point. At first I thought I was giving her tough love, until I realized later, that I was not being the friend that she needed. When I realized it, I was too late. I regret my words that I have said to her. All she wanted was someone who would listen. She told me later that when she was in seminary, her teacher asked the class to list those they called "true friends." There was not one name on that list. Not one.
I should have been a better friend. I should have given words of comfort. But I cannot turn back the clock. I cannot take back the words that I said. I have wrote this lesson down in hopes that you, my dear reader, will not make the same mistake that I have. Please, please be the friend that you are needed to be, and don't let your own interests get away. Be the friend that will be willing to listen and who will be there whenever needed. Every broken person needs someone that will listen. Never forget that.