Someone else always has it worse (But do they, really?)

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xephier102

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I've always been a bit jaded by this phrase.. I mean, is it really supposed to make people feel better? My mother used to smack the crap outta me, then when I was on the ground crying, bark at me about how much worse she had it..

For starters, it conveys a message that other people's problems, issues, or plights, have a deeper value than yours.

On top of that it tells the person that, as bad as whatever they're going through is, it could get worse at any point.. That's an uplifting message, to be sure..

And as well, it skirts the relativity of one's issues. Take for example, that at any given time, there's probably millions of people that hate the cold, living in an icy climate, or millions that despise the heat, living in a tropical, or desert climate. Both are going through their own sorted hells on a daily basis, and in theory, you could go up to someone bitching about the cold and use examples of people that hate the heat, having to live without an AC, as 'someone that has it worse'. But that's just ridiculous..

Moreover, would you ever tell a woman that had just been raped 'Ah well, someone always has it worse.. At least he didn't kill you, cut you up and stuff your parts in a trash bag.."? No..? Of course not, because that's insensitive. So how is it though of as sensitive to use it in any other scenario?
 

NoxApex(N/A)

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I don't have a flesh eating disease, I haven't suffered a loss of limbs or been viscously attacked by a wild animal, or suffered long-term major physical damages from working with machinery. I don't have any college debt, no child support to pay, and I've never had to suffer a divorce.

I'm just poor. It's frustrating, yes, but I'm also somewhat used to it because I was born into American low class. Really, it's depressing more than it is anything else. Like to the point of developing D.I.D. for some people.

I have in fact, met people who have suffered all of the above.

I make it a point to try not to ruminate in my feelings too much.
Instead, I sidestep it by ruminating in logical thoughts or creative concepts, or project ideas for the progression of my life. Instead of thinking about what I can't do, I try to think about what I *can* do instead. Granted, I'm only human, so of course that falters at time, but that's mostly just how I've adapted to being.
 

Sarah G

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There's probably not many situations that we should say that to others.
I sometimes keep myself going by imagining how much worse a situation could be, it's a gratitude exercise. On the other hand self-compassion is important and my feelings are valid (but wallowing isn't usually helpful to me, personally).
 

TheRealCallie

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Life isn't a competition to see who has it worse. That girl who was in a car accident and paralyzed might take it better than that girl who got broken up with and kicked out. It has nothing to do with which situation is worse, it's a matter of how you deal/cope with it. And that can't be a competition because no one copes the same way, no one has the same thoughts or perspective.


Moreover, would you ever tell a woman that had just been raped 'Ah well, someone always has it worse.. At least he didn't kill you,

I actually know a lot of people who say that to rape victims. I smack every one of them upside the head.
 

Colster

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There was a wonderful BBC Radio 4 programme, on only yesterday, which covered this subject. The conclusion was that the person offering the sympathy (there is always someone else), is actually trying to excuse themselves from the situation, as they cannot offer an alternative or solutions.

The presenter himself had received this very message several times, having had called various people to inform them that his son had unexpectedly died. But there is always someone worse ...

Any issue is real, if it's real to you.
 
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xephier102

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I don't have a flesh eating disease, I haven't suffered a loss of limbs or been viscously attacked by a wild animal, or suffered long-term major physical damages from working with machinery. I don't have any college debt, no child support to pay, and I've never had to suffer a divorce.

I'm just poor. It's frustrating, yes, but I'm also somewhat used to it because I was born into American low class. Really, it's depressing more than it is anything else. Like to the point of developing D.I.D. for some people.

I have in fact, met people who have suffered all of the above.

I make it a point to try not to ruminate in my feelings too much.
Instead, I sidestep it by ruminating in logical thoughts or creative concepts, or project ideas for the progression of my life. Instead of thinking about what I can't do, I try to think about what I *can* do instead. Granted, I'm only human, so of course that falters at time, but that's mostly just how I've adapted to being.
I use similar coping mechanisms but tbh, lately it only works for me if I'm on just the right high from my meds, and even then I've gotta give it a push..

It's like that uncontrollable sensation ya get when you're about to get smacked with a major disaster, but laced with a deep depression, and I get it every day.. and when I'm in that state, sometimes the meds don't even work, and I can't even push myself to do anything productive because I can't shake the deep sense of impending failure..

Also, I've never personally thought to myself "ah well, I could be walkin around with no limbs 🤷‍♂️". As other people's shortcomings don't make me feel better cuz I'm not a total sadist.

Other people have shitty lives, and I have a shitty life. It's not mutually exclusive..

There's probably not many situations that we should say that to others.
I sometimes keep myself going by imagining how much worse a situation could be, it's a gratitude exercise. On the other hand self-compassion is important and my feelings are valid (but wallowing isn't usually helpful to me, personally).
I don't see it as 'wallowing' so much as "desperately looking for answers where there are none".

Either way it may be a pointless act of desperation, but what's the alternative, learn to be content with a life of constant misery, spent alone?

Life isn't a competition to see who has it worse. That girl who was in a car accident and paralyzed might take it better than that girl who got broken up with and kicked out. It has nothing to do with which situation is worse, it's a matter of how you deal/cope with it. And that can't be a competition because no one copes the same way, no one has the same thoughts or perspective.




I actually know a lot of people who say that to rape victims. I smack every one of them upside the head.
Lol.. Good. Gotta use some tact..

There was a wonderful BBC Radio 4 programme, on only yesterday, which covered this subject. The conclusion was that the person offering the sympathy (there is always someone else), is actually trying to excuse themselves from the situation, as they cannot offer an alternative or solutions.

The presenter himself had received this very message several times, having had called various people to inform them that his son had unexpectedly died. But there is always someone worse ...

Any issue is real, if it's real to you.
His kid died but someone has it worse..? That's messed up.. it's always been said that no pain is worse than the loss of a child.

I personally feel that in many cases, people are unable to offer help because the issues are often societal, and many people refuse to acknowledge that, and the few that do refuse to attempt to make any change or to even speak out about it.. they just dismiss it then put the entire weight of it on the individual, as if they should have to just get over it, or just be miserable because that's the fate they were born to.. modern society sucks.. no more MLK's. Just a lot of 'woke' idiots all fighting for the wrong things, or the right things in the wrong ways..
 

Sarah G

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I don't see it as 'wallowing' so much as "desperately looking for answers where there are none".
Sorry, I wasn't saying that you're wallowing. What I meant was that unfortunately for me, self-compassion can lead me into wallowing in self-pity if I'm not careful. That's just the way I'm put together though.
 

TheSkaFish

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I'm just poor. It's frustrating, yes, but I'm also somewhat used to it because I was born into American low class. Really, it's depressing more than it is anything else.

That's how I feel. Feeling like I'm never going to be able to make money and therefore never escape a shitty life, and feeling like I don't have the potential to be good at anything, and feeling trapped in singledom, all combines to just make me not care about anything that much because, unless I get a miracle (or several), I feel like my life isn't going to improve enough to a life that I actually could like, because I just wasn't born with enough natural ability and/or luck.

I mean, I could be wrong. I hope I am cause it would mean there's a chance. But I don't know.

As a kid, I used to get so excited to learn everything I could about Star Wars. It took the edge off not being "cool", rich, good at anything, or being able to date, because it distracted me from those problems entirely. I was totally immersed in it - real life, like school, was just something I had to do, while waiting to soak up more Star Wars lore. So it didn't bother me that I couldn't play their game, because I wasn't really involved or invested in it anyway. I didn't pay much attention to real life, and did the bare minimum required to get through it. I never developed an interest in real life, because I didn't feel like I was born with any strong traits or talent to get anywhere in it. I thought I just wasn't born the right kind of person.

But as an adult, I find that it doesn't work anymore, it hasn't in a while, probably not since my teens. And ironically they are making more new stuff for the franchise than they have in a long time. It's not that I don't like it anymore, I still do. But it doesn't take me away like it used to, in fact I barely care. I'll take it, because it's there. But it's more of a "that's nice" now, as opposed to getting really excited about it, and it doesn't make up for my problems like it used to.

I sometimes keep myself going by imagining how much worse a situation could be, it's a gratitude exercise.

I used to do that when I was younger. I used to think, I don't think I was dealt a very good body, brain, mind, or background, but at least I wasn't born with no arms or something.

But I found that it only took you so far. It's like, OK, so I'm not born with something horrible - but now what? To what end and purpose? It's like sure I don't have worse problems, but that doesn't make the problems I do have, go away.



I don't know. Just my impression of things.
 
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Rodent

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While it's not an easier exercise, reminding ourselves and others of the things we do have going for ourselves sure seems to be the better alternative. Not in terms of looking for a silver lining in every situation of course. There's only so much "perspective" a person can take that suffered tragedy or malice in one form or another.
 

ewomack

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I've only used "it could be worse" as an obvious joke outside of serious discussions. I would never consider saying it to someone who is really suffering. It really invalidates feelings. One might as well say "what are you complaining about?!?" or "you have nothing to complain about!" It's never a good move.
 

U-122

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I used to do that when I was younger. I used to think, I don't think I was dealt a very good body, brain, mind, or background, but at least I wasn't born with no arms or something.

But I found that it only took you so far. It's like, OK, so I'm not born with something horrible - but now what? To what end and purpose? It's like sure I don't have worse problems, but that doesn't make the problems I do have, go away.



I don't know. Just my impression of things.

For you not having a good body, mind, background could be just as bad as for others not having limbs or any body parts. I have all limbs and everything else could be in better shape, but i have my own story, my own situation which makes my life hell. If i post my story here i won't make it half way through my story. I'll have to off myself. What i have going is MY worst. It's still not the worst of the worst. I have no expectations and condition myself to expect only the worst. For me things only get worse with time.
 
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I know I have it way better then many others in some areas and way worse in other areas. So, I've always tried to use my better areas. However, it doesn't make up for the areas that I'm lacking in.
 

xephier102

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Sorry, I wasn't saying that you're wallowing.
I did. I'm well aware of my flaws and shortcomings. The difficult part is finding a way around that doesn't involve ignoring the issues that got me here in the first place..

As a kid, I used to get so excited to learn everything I could about Star Wars. It took the edge off not being "cool", rich, good at anything, or being able to date, because it distracted me from those problems entirely. I was totally immersed in it - real life, like school, was just something I had to do, while waiting to soak up more Star Wars lore. So it didn't bother me that I couldn't play their game, because I wasn't really involved or invested in it anyway. I didn't pay much attention to real life, and did the bare minimum required to get through it. I never developed an interest in real life, because I didn't feel like I was born with any strong traits or talent to get anywhere in it. I thought I just wasn't born the right kind of person.
That was me through my 20's with Everquest 2. I played that game for seven years straight, every day. It was the only thing I wanted to spend money on, and any money I got outside of that was 'useless' to me. I've never been mainstream in my thinking, but especially not where money is concerned. I just don't find it all that important, as it would take more than I could foreseeably earn, in order to be happy.

So yea, escaping into that game did help for some time, but it's kinda spent, and the sequel flopped hard (was never officially released), and no mmorpg as good as been made since, especially since gaming companies these days are either too small, or too greedy to come close to creating anything as epic as EQ2 was..

It's like sure I don't have worse problems, but that doesn't make the problems I do have, go away.
Exactly.
 

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