You might know the saying about the head ruling the heart, which is 'to do' something based on our emotions rather than our logic, and to act according to what you feel rather than what is sensible. What we also tend to do is respond in the same way when listening to others in need of guidance. Our head rules our heart in a way we may not be consciously aware of, in a way that leaves us responding from the neck up, and giving our hearts and our bodies no say in what's going on.
Our brains ensure our survival in the world, but the heart has it's own brain, a heart intelligence, which is the flow of awareness, understanding and intuition that comes when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart itself. We need to embrace the wisdom of our hearts in order to listen and respond from a deeper and more empathic place.
Next time someone is telling you something about themselves or their situation, you can practice and see how it feels to listen from the heart. Do not think about what you should be saying or doing, what your advice should or shouldn't be, instead, spend some time just listening, without responding in any way. Breathe into your heart and belly, and feel instead of think. If you can do this, you may find that you are connecting more with the your friends feelings, and you may find they open up to you even more because they 'feel' you are really hearing them. When you in turn feel a sense of warmth and compassion, you will know that you have been listening from the heart.
Stay safe and well. x