I know I tend to make things about me even when they're not (*cough* codependent *cough*), and I try to catch myself when I'm doing that, but here's one that really does seem to bleed the line.
When someone's going through a tough time, I'm a terrible listener.
I listen, yes. I truly empathize. Then it gets to the part where I want to fix everything. And I want to say Just the Right Thing. Instead, I just sit there and stare at you because I'm mentally composing the Right Thing to say that will make it all better. And then I'm rejecting each half-formed composition because it's not right. My hands sweat. My throat closes up. And I blurt out something like, "That really sucks!"
Sometimes "That really sucks!" works passably well. (Not so much if you're distraught over your broken Hoover.) But it feels woefully inadequate, which makes me want to try even harder to find something better to say, and need I tell you what a vicious cycle that is?
Instead, here's what I'm proposing. I'll offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on for as long as you need it. Vent all your frustrations, whatever they may be. And then, rather than trying to fix the unfixable with words that never come out right, I'll match your problem to the perfect handknit item, which I will then knit it for you. Wouldn't a new pair of socks or a beer cozy go a long way toward improving anyone's outlook?
Please don't say no, because I'll have no response to that.