Someone once said to me:
“She doesn’t have it as bad as she makes out. A lot of people have it a lot worse.”
“A lot of people have it a lot worse.” is a crappy thing to say or think to anyone except yourself. Because everyone has a different level of strength and tolerance, different levels of ability to deal.
And when you’re in the middle of your own situation, your own overwhelm, it’s bad enough, whether others might be starving or beat up, or whatever…YOU are still in pain. Now.
And someone saying that to you… well, it’s shitty.
Saying it to yourself to put things in perspective, sure. That’s OK. As long as you don’t beat yourself up with it. It’s a perspective tool, not a specialized bat designed to knock the feels out of you.
And as they say:
“Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else may have it better.”
For example, I’m ASPD. For me, it’s MUCH more difficult than many to connect with people, because I was born without the usual capacity empathy. It’s something I had to learn, and I’ve had to cultivate compassion every day of my life.
My Pet, however, connects naturally. It comes effortlessly to him.
On the other hand, I am more intellectual than he is. And better with technology and willpower.
So, we could compare our challenges all day long, saying that I have it worse, or he does, or someone else. But that still leaves us with our own challenges that can seem overwhelming sometimes—even when we’ve been through worse ourselves.
So, perhaps better to help lift our friends when we can, give them the support and love we can, and not compare them with others.
Just a thought.
* Sure, I’m sure someone will have that anecdote about another person saying to them, “At least you’re not starving, chased by a rebel army, and shot in the gut like I was back in ’63,” and it waking them up to exactly how good they have it now that their wife left them with their truck and their dog died—all on their birthday. That’s statistically irrelevant for the purposes of this post.