“My suffering is worse than yours”
Lacking a sense of compassion
SARAH BERGMAN. Staff Writer.
Trudging to class on a Monday morning after four hours of sleep takes every ounce of patience a student has. Coffee has not helped, and it hurts to blink or think. But when mentioning to friends that you didn’t sleep well, their response—well-I-only-get-two-or-three-hours-a-night—is a slap in the face. That clears up the message: your suffering is not significant to me.
For whatever reason, it is not enough to lose sleep or feel embarrassed anymore; you have to be the worst off to deserve any pity. While constant complaining can be annoying, dismissing someone’s anxieties is rude and inconsiderate. Pairing it off with a spotlight shift adds to the despair. Not everyone deals with hardships the same way. So why would anyone make someone feel bad for feeling bad?
No matter what, perspective is everything. The way someone sees the world will determine their response. Having only four hours of sleep, for instance, is still not healthy. But four hours of sleep doesn’t suddenly get better when there is someone who has gotten less.
The solution is simple: show compassion to your friends. Do not try to tell them what you deal with or how you feel worse. They are your friends; you should not make them feel bad to feel better. That’s manipulative, and if they’re looking to you for support, the last thing on your mind should be yourself. It’s one thing if you’re trying to relate to your friend; it’s another to belittle their experiences. They will support you, so you should support them. Otherwise, the constant one-ups become a mantra of useless contradiction.
And nobody wants to hang around somebody who doesn’t care about anyone else.by