When people go to their hairdresser they tend to vent. Service providers such as hair dressers, bar tenders and others that one sees frequently and grows to trust, can become a safe place for some to vent about life’s challenges and frustration or joys.
Massage is similar in that respect.
When someone sees me consistently, we develop a relationship and we care for each other. Sometimes I even worry about my regular clients and their families. I have seen people go through big transitions and tried to be a good listener. It is tempting to interrupt and tell your own story or example of a similar situation. That is not what the person sharing their confidences needs me to do.
What they need is to simply be heard.
So, my advice is to take a deep breath. Then listen and acknowledge that you hear them but do not interrupt the flow. There is a need to hear themselves as they process their feelings. To sort them out. Most often, they know what they need to do. If you feel the person is being abused or manipulated, you can ask them this question. “Do you feel abused by this situation? Does it make your stomach hurt to be around this person”?
Very often abuse is manifested as colon pain or stomach issues. If they have pain in those areas, it may be time to ask another question. In the case of stomach and colon pain, perhaps you could ask if this person has always had digestive issues? Did these pains begin at or around the same time this relationship did?
It may help them pinpoint their understanding of their situation. Refrain from being invasive or accusative. Just, let them sort it out but have the feeling that they are safe speaking to you. It is hard to open up to people so let them open up gently and release what needs to come out. It will bring you joy to see them make decisions for their highest good and get to a better place. Do not underestimate the power of being a good listener, you are providing a valuable service.