A life lesson:

One of the greatest traits to have is to not only be able to listen, but to understand, to relate, to empathize. Tears on your shoulder, even for reasons you may personally not find worth crying over, need compassion.

Some people believe in the concept of “tough love”. Tough love is only effective as an occasional contrast, not as the standard. It cannot be the only tool in your emotional response arsenal. The emotionally distraught are weakened by their burden, and your focus should not be harming them in hopes of healing them, as that will almost certainly backfire.

If anyone you care about comes to you in their time of need, be there for them. Help them. Love them. Give them constructive feedback. Guide them where you can. If their needs conflict with yours, be willing to compromise.

Lack of empathy can lead to you becoming part of the problem. You will become a target of antipathy, possibly more than the actual problem itself, and you will only realize this after the damage is done. You will need to make amends quickly, because failure to correct transgressions will lead to permanent damage in your relationship. Apologies are rarely enough.

Strive to show compassion and love whenever you are able.