Monday, March 27, 2017

The Suffering Competition

What's one of the worst things a friend can say to you when you're finding life hard?

"You're not the only one."

What? I hear you say.  Surely they're being empathetic, they're being....nice.

You see, it all depends on the tone.

They could mean, Don't feel alone.  I understand what you're going through, because I'm going through it, too.  That's being nice.

Then there's, You're not the only one with a hard life.  Mine is harder.  My husband works longer hours, my kids' behaviour is more challenging, I don't have supportive family, I'm in worse health, I have less friends.  So, don't you dare complain, because my life's WORSE.

I've had people do the latter to me and it really hurts.  I'm in no way implying that my life is the HARDEST there EVER is.  I'm saying that I'M finding life hard right now.  I'm struggling to cope with what's on my plate.

You see, when women make life into a kind of suffering competition it makes it more intimidating for other women to open up and be authentic.

Remember, your friend is is finding life is hard for THEM.

1 comment:

Iris Flavia said...

Sorry to hear someone went on you like that. You are right, it´s no "suffering-competition", people - Mums especially - should stick together and be supportive.
I somewhere read something similar like it´s not a competition, we do the journey together! - a much better approach.
I once had a "friend" who dropped me when after getting my diploma I was still looking for a job after six months. Met her a couple of years ago and she was applying for studying grafic-design. At age 40 she had not finished a single job! She started many and I reckon at that age it´s unlikely to get a place to study. Her "work" she applied with was nothing special, either.
Maybe that woman was just jealous cause you get the job done none the less. Still not fair, though.