Folks who care enough to listen to our greatest problems are an important aspect of our social life. This is often because we feel that we can confide in and trust them. However, we may be unsure of an appropriate term to use for such an important individual in our lives.
What Do You Call A Person Who Listens To People’s Problems?
In this article, we will be discussing the best terms to call someone who listens to people’s problems. There are many applicable terms, however, for the purposes of this article, we will go over the following ten terms:
- Best Friend
- Sounding Board
The preferred version that we will highlight is a “counsellor”. This is because a “counsellor” is a person whose profession is to listen to and mediate the problems of others. This makes the term “counsellor” a very applicable and appropriate term to describe someone who listens to people’s problems.
A “counsellor” is a professional who is trained to attend to people’s issues and give them appropriate guidance. Cambridge Dictionary defines a “counsellor” as someone who is trained to listen to people and give them advice about their problems.
This is someone who has dedicated years of their life to schooling, in order to appropriately assist the needs of others. This is a professional that is highly regarded as being trusting, also committed to confidentiality.
Here are a few examples that we can go over, using this term:
- My ex-husband and I attempted to seek the guidance of a marriage counsellor; however, he was unwilling to change.
- The college employed a secondary counsellor in order to further assist students struggling with their mental health.
- Every high school legally has to employ a guidance counsellor for any student in need to be able to reach out to or visit.
There is truly no closer relationship in our lives than that of our “best friend”. They are our ultimate secret-keeper – the person that we genuinely confide in the most. Often, we consider our “best friend” to be the most trustworthy person in our life.
Because of this, we will generally think of our “best friend” as the greatest listener and someone who is always willing to give us their honest opinion.
We will now go over the following examples showcasing this term:
- She’s my best friend in the entire world and the one person I can always rely on to tell me the truth, be my shoulder to cry on and make me laugh whenever I need it.
- His best friend offered him advice on his relationship because he has gone through a similar experience.
- My mom is truly my best friend – I tell her absolutely everything.
A “confidant” is someone to who we feel comfortable enough to tell our most sensitive or private information, knowing full well that they will not tell anyone else. Cambridge Dictionary defines a “confidant” as a person you can trust and share your feelings and secrets with.
Therefore, we can consider a “confidant” to be a reliable and trustworthy person that listens to other people’s problems. We can also use the spelling “confidante” for a woman; however, both are applicable.
Some examples that appropriately utilize this term are:
- He was considered a close confidant of the Canadian government, despite living overseas.
- My sister is my ultimate confidant in life. I know that I can trust her with my life, let alone my secrets.
- His dad was the only confidant in his life, as he had been burned by many people in the past.
We will often consider an “empath” to be an incredibly strong and understanding listener. This is because, as stated by Cambridge Dictionary, an “empath” is defined as a person who has an unusually strong ability to feel other people’s emotional or mental states.
Because of this ability, this is the type of individual that exudes empathy and compassion – always willing to lend an ear when someone is having a difficult day.
Here are a few examples that use this particular term:
- She was a known empath, who was naturally able to absorb and understand the true feelings of others.
- He was highly in tune with other people’s feelings and emotions, which caused others to assume he was an empath.
- I’m an empath, but I can’t sympathize or empathize with someone who commits heinously evil acts.
We will often think of a “supporter” as a very encouraging individual, that listens to, advices, and supports other people’s ideas, opinions or plans of action. Cambridge Dictionary defines a “supporter” as someone who supports a particular idea, group, or person.
This can be a person who actively supports others, or someone who Is known as being a “supporter”, that we approach when we are in need of assistance.
We will now go over the following examples, for additional clarity:
- She was my supporter, my cousin, and my best friend, all rolled into one amazing person.
- I needed a supporter – someone who cared! Where were you in my time of need?
- He was the worst supporter to his girlfriend, which caused her to break up with him after three years together.
When we think of a “comforter” we often think of a thick blanket, however, a “comforter” can also be a person or thing that provides us with consolation. This is often during moments of immense difficulty or grief when we need a trusting person, who’s always willing to listen.
We generally think of a “comforter” as being an open-minded and warm individual, that enjoys listening to and helping others.
Some examples that we can go over, that use this term are:
- My grandma was such a comforter and now that she’s gone, I’m missing someone like that in my life.
- She is known as being a comforter to her classmates. She’s always willing to lend a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.
- She was not known for being a good comforter and her new boyfriend was starting to figure that out for himself.
Another great alternative that we can choose to use is a “sounding board”. Cambridge Dictionary defines a “sounding board” as a person or group of people that you use to test something such as a new idea or suggestion, to see if they will accept it or if they think it will work.
Because of this, we often see sounding boards as the type of group or individual who listens carefully to our proposals, opinions or ideas.
We can look over the following examples, for additional information:
- I considered him my sounding board for all of my most important thoughts and ideas.
- She used her mother as a sounding board whenever she was stumped on which course of action to take.
- If you’re going to use me as a sounding board, could you at least be polite?
When we think of a “compassionate” person, we often think about someone who cares deeply for others or good causes. Cambridge Dictionary defines “compassionate” as feeling or showing sympathy and sadness for the suffering or bad luck of others, and wanting to help them.
Because of this, we often consider “compassionate” individuals to be incredibly good listeners, as they truly do care about whatever it is we are going through and also want to assist us in any way they can.
Here are various examples that we can look over, using this term in a sentence:
- She is a wonderful listener and a deeply compassionate woman – I would highly recommend speaking with her.
- The public’s response throughout the world to the atrocities in Ukraine has been quite compassionate.
- You need to learn to be more compassionate when it comes to her mental health issues. She could use the support of her family.
We often think of an “understanding” individual as someone who listens to our greatest problems and perhaps tries to help us through them or empathize with us. Cambridge Dictionary defines “understanding” as a person who has the ability to know how other people are feeling.
An “understanding” person can also easily forgive someone if they were to do something wrong.
Some examples that we can go over that use this term are:
- He was a very understanding teacher and always tried to give his students the benefit of the doubt.
- She expected her boyfriend to break up with her, but on the contrary, he was very understanding.
- The judge was not understanding and did not grant the bail hearing.
The last alternative that we will look over for this article is “caring”. Cambridge Dictionary defines a “caring” person as someone who is kind and gives emotional support to others. Because of this, being a “caring” individual often involves being a good active listener.
“Caring” people also have a tendency to listen to everyone’s problems or anyone in need – regardless of whether they are close personally or not.
Finally, we will go over our last few examples for this article:
- My Grandma is so caring; she is consistently checking in on the family and helping everyone with anything that they may need.
- To be a caring individual, you need to learn to put others’ needs before your own.
- I know that you thought that your actions were showcasing how caring you are, but they actually came across as overwhelming and slightly creepy.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.