people comparing their problems to yours

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people comparing their problems to yours

Post  Kate on Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:20 pm

Have you ever had people try and compare their problems(or others) to yours. Like somehow they think that yours are so trivial compared to theirs or that your "stuff" doesn`t count but their problems do matter. I`m not talking about problems that are trivial but what I`m saying is that how others see them as trivial when they are not.

Do you think that person who is comparing is being self-centered? They act like they are the only ones who have the worse problems in life or that others have this or that compared to you. And really, most of them don`t really know the depth of someones issues because they have never walked in those persons shoes.

I guess I`m baffled by this because I don`t do this. I don`t undermine or trivialize someones issues.

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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  Paradox on Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:37 pm

Maybe, in some weird way, they're trying to make us feel better by making it sound trivial? Naaahhhh, they're just being self-centered. Or in the case of my sister, just have no empathy.
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  survivor on Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:31 pm

Sometimes I think they are trying to empathize. Saying, "I understand your problem because I have this problem."

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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  AuntieBubbs on Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:03 am

I think that's right. I mean, there are alot of people who are just self-centered and egotistical, for sure. We all know them, we probably all have them in our families.
But in general, I think alot of people don't know how to respond, or how they are supposed to respond, so they respond by making comparisons. It's not maliciously meant. It seems insensitive to us, and in a way it is, because they don't go through what we do. But in their own way, they are trying to emphathize.
I do hate it when people do that though. I confess, my first thought is usually, "you don't know what I go through, what chronic migraines feel like, don't act like you do!" I have to grit my teeth to stop myself saying something.
It's human nature, I think. People try to understand pain by trying to relate to it. They just can't always.
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  Olee on Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:55 am

Some people do not understand our situation at all, but grasp at straws to relate. The most common statement I hear is , " Ahh I get headaches sometimes too." I once had someone tell me they totally understood what I was facing with my cancer surgery because they once had an upper GI endoscopy. I think some people are really trying to relate so they can show us they care, but in the end it comes off as ignorance.

Then there are the people I call "Toppers". They are the ones that just have to top everything to show their condition is worse or greater. if you tell them you went to the Bahamas for vacation they will interrupt and tell you about when they went to Fiji. The same goes for medical conditions. tell them you broke your arm once and they will tell you how they broke their femur, 4 broken ribs and a fractured skull. You tell them you have migraines and they will tell you how they have a neurological condition or brain tumor. They are incapable of just listening to you talk about your migraines, asking questions and showing concern. They are Toppers.
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  theresae on Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:28 am

Olee- 'Toppers' that a great name, yeah i think we all have come across them, and the worse part is they interupt what you are saying not even hearing you out.
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  AuntieBubbs on Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:22 pm

Olee, oh yeah, definitely, you've got that right. I live with a Topper, my BIL. He has - he claims - chronic back pain, and knows I have chronic migraines. The difference is I rarely say anything when I'm in pain - why, when it doesn't help the situation? And he whines with every little twinge his back feels. One day he didn't feel he was getting enough sympathy, so he started holding his head and saying, "oh, I have a migraine," so he would get more sympathy! He just had to "top" me and my condition by adding onto his own. He's never had a migraine a day in his life.

I tell myself that people like that are few and far between the people who care and are just trying to emphathize though.
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  Senna on Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:10 pm

Yes, this is very annoying. People often do that.
It is extremely irritating as they have no idea.
I think sometimes they trivialise your pain, or suffering and will insist that theirs is always, alwyas worse, just to make you feel bad, in order to attract attention by looking for sympathy and limelight.
However, sometimes they do it - a friend told me, when I challenged her - that she is trying to cheer me up!
When I asked how is this suppose to cheer me up, she said that if I think someone elses pain/suffering is really worse I will feel better about mine.
I did not know if to laugh,or to scream with frustration at such logic. I am nto sure I believed it either.
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  Paradox on Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:12 pm

so he started holding his head and saying, "oh, I have a migraine," so he would get more sympathy!

HA, Bubbs! My youngest son will do that. But he has an IQ of about 50 and usually tries it when he doesn't want to clean his room. He'll be running around laughing and smiling and then suddenly have a "migraine". Or more recently, his back will hurt. It saddens me to see him mimicking me. He's heard it WAY to often.
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  AuntieBubbs on Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:03 pm

LOL Charlotte, sometimes I think my BIL has an IQ of 50, too. But he doesn't, he's just a big whiner.
Kids do mimic what they see, though, don't they? Adults have NO excuse.
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Toppers

Post  crt on Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:11 pm

Toppers is a good name for them. If it's something bad, his/hers always much worse. If it something good, his/hers is always much better. I had a roommate like that once. If I were dating someone, she would flirt with him until he started going out with her. If I bought something for myself she'd have to buy one also. But hers would be better and more expensive. If I started a new activity or took a class she would have to do it too - but better.

What got me is that she wasn't particularly interested in who I was dating, what I bought, our what I was interested in. But if I did it she seemed to have to prove she could do it better. I thought we were friends. I don't like to compete, period and I especially don't like competing with friends. Actually, I wasn't competing with her but she seemed to be competing with me.

Finally I told her, "You are better looking, smarter, make more money, and do everything better than me. There's no contest. You're better than me. Now that we've settled that, will you please stop it?" Unfortunately, what I said didn't make a dent. Sigh.

Chris
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Re: people comparing their problems to yours

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:48 pm

Generally no, people do not try to "top" me. I think people do genuinely try to empathize, or even try and share their problems in a way that they may, perhaps, may understand your situation.

I do get "you look great" a lot. It's better than saying you sicker than a dog I guess.

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