The famed psychiatrist, Carl Rogers, talks about our human condition as being like a person who has fallen into a deep, dry well. We desperately try to climb out, but we aren't able. We shout, call out, knock on the side of the well - all this time hoping someone will hear and respond to us. If someone does hear us, we feel relief, even ecstasy.
Dr. Rogers says we feel somewhat like that when people listen to us, hear us, and understand us. We have an explosion of relief: "Someone finally knows where I am. Somebody finally knows what it's like to be me."
The most generous and self-less thing you can do for another person is to listen to them. It says to them, "I care. You are not alone. I am with you."