Sometimes you need someone to listen to you and give you advice. Sometimes you need someone to just listen to you, so you can process something. Don’t expect that your listener will automatically know what you need – tell them. If you start out a conversation with, “I just really need to talk this through so that I can get a handle on it. Thank you so much for just listening to me,” you might get a different result than you get with a conversation that starts out, “I could really use your input on this issue.” Be as clear as you can be about your needs, with yourself and others; you get better results that way.
And if someone needs to talk to you, and you are not clear on what they want – ask them. It is always better to know than to guess.