Most of our friends and family are facing a serious problem of some kind. How can we help? I try to just listen. Offering unsolicited advice implies that you think you know more than they do about their own situation. When I have a truly useful suggestion, I ask if the person is interested. If not, I continue to listen. We can help by being a sympathetic, non-judgmental sounding board in a harsh, judgmental world.
Communication is an important part of "The Dragon Dreamer", where a flying dragon (Arak) and a silent, undersea shape-shifter (Scree) become friends. Arak and Scree communicate with sign language, expressions, and body language. They have emotions like ours, and serious problems.
Scree notes that “One can only see what one is prepared to see.” Everyone sees the world through a different filter, and some filters are as strong as bullet-proof glass. Scree speaks of trying to see the world with new eyes, to see objectively what is really there. Using positive words to describe a person or behavior can change our mental filter: a dreamer instead of lazy, take-charge instead of pushy.
The song "Sounds of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkle has a line that resonates: “People talking without listening.” Try the reverse and listen without speaking, and watch for clues of what the person is thinking. Being intuitive comes from paying attention and listening deeply. This is how to hear what is not said.
Truly hearing and understanding can change your world. Sometimes this can save lives.