Each life is made of stories. A person’s life can be viewed as a long, often boring, novel, or an anthology of far more interesting short stories. Often the only thing these stories have in common is the main character (and often supporting characters).
Short stories are written to be the telling. Life stories exist just because life happens. Many go untold, perhaps even unreviewed by the collaborator. Some stories must be told but told only to the right person when they come along. Why? Because the stories simply need to be heard, acknowledged without comment, so that teller can free themselves of the burden of the story.
The listener just needs to listen. To comment if asked, but otherwise their role is to witness the telling. To add a thereness to the telling.