You’re sitting in a delightful, independently owned coffee/tea shop. You have a lovely English Breakfast in front of you, your friend joins you with a mocha java. You are friends even thought she prefers coffee to tea…
Outside of your beverage differences, you like this person. You enjoy the conversations about books and movies. You also talk about real life things.
After book chat, your friend starts to complain about her husband. She tells you her point of view about what transpired the night before. As you are listening, you begin to wonder about what the husband was thinking. You wish you could hear both points of view, because you think the husband may have had a valid point, and that your friend might be the one in the wrong.
Do you point out to your friend that her thinking might be a little off? Do you role play the husband’s perspective? Do you force her to look at the other side of the coin?
Do you just sit silently and nod in agreement as to what your friend is saying?
I understand both sides of this: I get that sometimes a friends just needs to vent. I also get that sometimes the friend is just plain wrong about something and needs to see it from another light.
What do you do?
What makes the determination of how you respond to your friend in situations like this?