First I listen. Then I ask more questions to get them to think more deeply about the issue. If they're open to it, I brainstorm solutions (some funny, some serious). This method seems to cheer most people up.

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I listen and try to offer some solution or simply just be supportive. Sometimes people just want to vent.

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Listen and always to to help...

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if it's someone I really like, wife, good friend etc., I'll listen intently and offer advice selectively. if it's just someone that I know, like at work, I'm usually brain dead by the second sentence. I'll generally wait for them to answer their own question, nod in agreement and say something like, "nice chat"... and walk away.

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Offer solutions if I can.

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I listen and try to figure out what part of their dilemma I can identify with. I avoid offering solutions unless asked, and even then tread very carefully.

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Just listen

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Pretty much what I do.

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I find it easier that way

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