‘I have this problem’

When a friend comes to me with a personal problem, what I think she wants is my solution. However, what she really wants for me to help her solve it.

The difference here might seem trivial, but it is profound. Solving somebody else’s problem is to give them your solution. To help somebody solve their problem is to help them arrive at their solution.

Deep down, we all know that a person’s own solution to their problem is more effective than one that somebody else gives them. Can we remember this the next time a friend approaches us with a problem?

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