Do you consider listening to someone vent or express their feelings an indulgence? Does it matter if it is a friend or just an acquaintance?
Recently I heard a friend say they weren't going to indulge someone by validating how they felt about something. That made me so sad to think that someone could be so dismissive of another's pain.
It only takes a few minutes of your day to listen to a friend. They don't expect you to fix the problem, they just want to share what's in their heart. To dismiss them or their feelings makes that person feel invisible, that they don't count, and that they don't matter. No one deserves that sort of treatment, particularly from a friend.
The next time you're tempted to rush off the phone or out the door, stop and think for just a second. Could those few minutes of listening make a difference in that person's day or life? Have a seat, get comfortable, and let that friend know that they matter.