I can’t stand when every time someone complains about something, people’s automatic first response is “don’t worry, there are people out there who have it worse.” How is this logic supposed to work to make us feel better? This statement is flawed in so many ways and here’s why.
What people fail to understand is that everything is relative and should be evaluated as such. Yes, I most definitely agree that things could be worse for someone else out there, but is that any reason to try and suppress someone’s unhappiness and make them feel as if their feelings aren’t valid or justified?
We need to understand that as humans, we don’t all have the capacity to think from multiple perspectives, and the only one we really know is our own. Expecting us to adjust our perspective every time we encounter struggles so that we right away place ourselves in the shoes of someone who’s less fortunate isn’t practical. All we know is all we experience in our own lives. And yes, this may be limited but it is being human and it’s an inevitable limitation.
Another reason why this idea is crap is because the same logic can then apply to someone’s happiness, which is not a very pleasant notion. That’s like whenever someone’s really happy about something saying, “Hey, I get that you’re happy and all but there are people out there who have it way better than you and they deserve to be happier.”
I don’t really think anyone’s ever said that and/or wants to hear that. If we’re allowed to be happy when someone has it better than us, we should in the same way be allowed to be sad even though someone has it worse than us. Because maybe for our lives at this time, this obstacle or challenge is big considering the circumstances.
Everything is relative. We all have our own stories and our own struggles and the point is not to compare them but to each take them as they are. A struggle to one might be a blessing to another, but it’s no one’s fault and so we shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for being upset about something that bothers us regardless of how big or small it may be. Relativity is important.
For example, Bill Gates losing thousands of dollars isn’t a big deal to him however if the same happened to an average, middle class family, it would be a pretty big deal. The same goes for high school break ups versus loss of a loved one. They both suck, and we can all agree that one is probably a lot worse than the other, but for a high school kid who has never experienced death, breaking up with her high school boyfriend is probably a really big deal and a sad loss for her. Same goes for the person experiencing death. Let’s say a guy lost a close family member. If he were to go through a break up after it probably wouldn’t be as painful because he’s experienced worth. That’s relativity. And it is a product of our past experiences that make us who we are.
Next time someone’s sad or hurt, don’t say something like this. Just make them feel as if you know their struggles and they have a right to be sad, because they do. And if someone uses that line on you, just recognize that they probably aren’t the best people to go to for advice because no one should make us feel like we shouldn’t be allowed to feel what we feel.