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Saturday, February 2, 2008

I Had It Worst!

Have you ever spoken to someone, maybe a family member, friend or colleague who always had things worst than you? What do I mean? Let me explain:

Me: I am having such a bad cold and I just hate being sick.

Friend: Yeah, so do I. You know, I was not only having cold 6 months ago but to add to that, I had bronchitis.

Me: Is it?

Friend: To top it, my 5 children fell ill all at the same time.

Me: Oh dear.

Friend: Then the maid had to return to Indonesia. I told her not to leave but she said she wanted to return to get married. blah..blah..blah

Conclusion:
If you think you had it bad, someone else always THINKS they had it WORST than you.

Why do people do that?

Why do we often downplay another's pain and sorrow by topping it with ours?

Why is it we don't really allow someone to feel their pain and sorrow but instead "to make them feel better" by telling stories about our Auntie, Grandmother and etc. who had it worst then them?

Does it mean that whatever they are feeling, just because its not as bad as SOMEONE ELSE, it means its NOT painful or difficult?

We think that just because we relate a story which is much worst, it will console them. In a matter of fact, it does not. It makes the other person feel ignored and not emphatized.

Its OK to feel sad, fearful, pain, sorrow and all the human emotions. We are made that way. Not only to have joy and laughter. Don't consider joy as normal and the rest as BAD emotions. No. Its WHERE you go with the negative emotions that counts. Don't beat someone else or yourself for having those emotions. Deal with it eventually.

Me: I just had a miscarriage.

Friend: Is it? Aiya, I had 3 miscarriages. And all in a period of 6 months.

Me: Oh my. (Thinking to myself: Wow! That makes me feel wonderful. Yippee, I only have one. You know, I should not feel bad. People will die anyway, some just before they are born :-/)

In summary, when someone relate her sad, painful or hurtful story. Just LISTEN. No need to TOP IT. Its not a competition.

7 comments:

JO-N said...

Words that people utter may mean something else to the listener. Think positive and make ourselves happy.

Eagles' Wings said...

You are right! And then learn to laugh at it.

Stacia said...

It's really a food for taught. I also shared this idea to my mom. I admit that I'd done this more than several times...and it did not make things better. Those who shared their sorrow still hurt and felt we didn't have ears for them. (umm even didn't have heart >_< )

Personally, I think it's better if we can encourage each other with God's promises..if we really don't know what to say...praying together is really helpful.

Eagles' Wings said...

Stacia,
Many of us do it without realising. Its what everybody do to 'comfort' others. Unfortunately, I have also done that! Ha Ha. Nowadays, I try to make an effort to really listen. Most people just need that anyway!

Eagles' Wings said...

Stacia,
You are right. God's promises are the best and praying together. You have it right, my friend!

Mommy said...

very well said indeed. also a lesson to learn for some who like to fish for sympathy by highlighting their side of the story when the topic surfaces.

happy CNY to you and your family!

-pek imm

Eagles' Wings said...

Pek Imm,
Maybe you are right. Not enough sympathy going around.