Can you relate?

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Ok so yes, to some degree a person could relate to someone else if they have experienced similar situations.  To some degree… But I get a little hot under the collar when people tell you they can relate, and “know how you feel” if they have never even once  been in remotely the same situation.

It is like those non parents that “relate” to your late night struggle with a sick child, or a child that keeps waking you at all hours of the night due to nightmares, making sleep impossuble.  Yeah, your late night partying or boozing or whatever.. NOT the same!

Or when you go through financial constraints and they know how “tough” it is because they could only buy one or two new outfits and their disposable income just doesn’t cover their dining out budget.  Yeah.. Not the same “feeling”…  At all.

Or the person that “understands” your frustrations with certain things, but has not even experienced a second of those frustrations…  Ever!

It’s a pathetic attempt for cheap conversation. There is nothing wrong with not being able to relate to someone’s situation or to what they are feeling. But there is something wrong with dismal irrelevancies and fake shows of support.

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3 thoughts on “Can you relate?

  1. I like to say when people are experiencing something I’ve never been through, “I don’t know exactly how you feel, because I’ve never been there, but I can imagine, and my imagination says it must be really tough.” But, really, no one experiences anything in exactly the same way. The death of a parent, for instance, even if two people have been through it, can be very different for each of them because every parent is different, and so is every child.

  2. I think the most cruel incidences of this are in the aftermath of death and tragedy. Even though I’ve lost both of my parents, I don’t presume to know anything about how someone else’s loss feels; relationships are different, responses are different, etc. I’d much rather hear someone say, “I care and I’m sorry…”

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