I gave a few examples of this in my post. But you want to know the worst one of all?
Seriously, that is some of the most sexist bullshit ever. Yes, it may be true for some women, some of the time. It's also true for some men, some of the time (please refer to my previous point about toxic masculinity). You might even be bold and say it's also true for all people some of the time. Because sometimes, all people get frustrated about a situation they have little control over, and they need to vent. Or they want to help you understand what they're going through. Or... they simply need their feelings to be validated. After all, validation is the very first thing you learn about in Mediation and Conflict Resolution.
For me, personally, I'm looking for pure sympathy/validation about... I dunno... 5% of the time? The other 95% of the time I, like most women, and like most people, am looking for solutions. For ways to improve myself or my situation.
But even then! OBVIOUSLY. The OBVIOUS FIRST STEP... is to LISTEN. Because in order to come up with a solution to a problem, you need to understand the problem. This is true in business and science as well as in your interpersonal relationships. Because otherwise, it's just kind of like:
Or, as Dwayne Spradlin, Buzz Points CEO and author of The Open Innovation Marketplace: Creating Value in the Challenge Driven Enterprise, wrote in the Harvard Business Review,
Indeed, when developing new products, processes, or even businesses, most companies aren’t sufficiently rigorous in defining the problems they’re attempting to solve and articulating why those issues are important. Without that rigor, organizations miss opportunities, waste resources, and end up pursuing innovation initiatives that aren’t aligned with their strategies.
[So often], someone in the bowels of the organization is assigned to fix a very specific, near-term problem. But because the firm doesn’t employ a rigorous process for understanding the dimensions of the problem, leaders miss an opportunity to address underlying strategic issues. The situation is exacerbated by what Stefan Thomke and Donald Reinertsen have identified as the fallacy of “The sooner the project is started, the sooner it will be finished.” (See “Six Myths of Product Development,” HBR May 2012.)
So put away this stupid, useless stereotype. It's offensive, sexist, and untrue. Instead, remember that sometimes, people of all genders are looking for input/advice. And sometimes, people of all genders are looking for validation/sympathy. If you're not sure which of these your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/co-worker/buddy/mother/brother wants, you know what's a really clever thing to do?
"It sounds like you're going through some pretty complicated stuff right now -- I'd be upset, too! [<-- Validation] Do you want to tell me more about it, or do you want to think about possible solutions? [<-- Clarification of their intentions]"
And don't forget: in business, and in life, if you don't fully understand the problem, you're probably going to come up with a stupid solution. Don't come up with stupid solutions. Take time to fully understand the problem, so you can come up with a smart solution.