Ghandi said, "An eye for and eye makes the world go blind." or something like that...
True, however, if the concept of trade for trade is applied with building rather than breaking down, such as, "An ear for and ear will lead to some cheers!" (Insert cornball laugh).
The clinic appointment is made for problems to be solved and a space for the patient to voice their concerns. As I care for my patients, I always listen with the intent of figuring out "What are they trying convey to me." A patient's body language, tone, and patterns speaks just as loud as the words they are saying.
I recently had a patient tell me he didn't know what was wrong with him. Looking at him though, his rapid speech pattern, heavy breathing, and slumped shoulders conveyed to me something deeper. He told me his hypertension and diabetes were bad and that his mother had been helping him manage his conditions. However, in jail, we found that his blood pressure and blood sugar were within normal limits without any intervention.
When I told him he was doing so well that monitoring his blood pressure and sugars on a rigid schedule was no longer necessary, his aggression rose. He started yelling at me, "IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME IT'S ON YOU!! I HAVE SO MUCH ON MY MIND I CAN'T THINK OF THESE THINGS. IT'S ON YOU!"
Now, here's a 31-year-old man still dependent on his mother. I could have judged him with anger or I could have looked at him with the understanding. I understood that he was conveying to me fear and the lack of control over his life.
I held my hands up in surrender mode and spoke in a stern tone, "Hey! I'm on your side. You can blame and point the finger on me all you want. But this is for you. This is not for me and I'm not taking anything anyway from you. You know, I sense, you are somewhat afraid. Is that what you're feeling?" He backed off, and nodded his head "yes."