The common quote ' there's always someone worse off than you '. Good advice or just an excuse to invalidate your feelings?

Yes, there are others out there experiencing something worse than you, but that doesn't mean your pain doesn't count. What's everyone's thoughts on this?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Telling someone they can't be sad because someone else has it worse is like telling someone they can't be happy because someone else has it better.

    I think everyone is entitled to their feelings, the only thing is I think you should only complain across or up, never complain down. By that I mean if you are middle class and healthy, you shouldn't complain about your problems to someone who is sick and poor. Complain to someone who is also middle class and healthy. Everyone has a right to feel sad or u satisfied with their lives I just think it's a bad idea to complain to people whos physical struggles are harder but that doesn't invalidate your emotional struggles.

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What Guys Said 12

  • I think it's a cop-out for the weak minded. There *always* someone who has it worse, but humans don't aspire to not be the worst, we aspire to be the best. To say that someone has it worse is like a criminal touting that even though he robbed a bank, he didn't kill anyone. BFD, you still robbed a bank, buddy.

    The reason so many people give these kinds of responses is that they possess neither the mental firepower nor the empathy to hear another person's problems and render useful advice. They're out of their depth, so they take the easy way and tell you to get over it.

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    • Exactly! That's what I thought. I always notice the difference between the people who allow family and friends to verbally express their pain after a traumatic event and the people who just say that quote. It leaves me feeling like I'm not allowed to talk about my pain. I know very well that others are in worse off states than I am, but it doesn't mean my pain is any less real.

  • Many of those people have been living worse forever. So in my opinion it's all relative.
    It's an excuse to invalidate one's feelings.

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  • It can be used either way. Someone DOES have it worse than you -- never forget that. But that doesn't mean your gripe isn't legitimate.

    You just have to use your knowledge of that person and the context to decide what is motivating that retort.

    And you should at least be asking yourself, "Is this something that's happening to me especially, or am I just griping about the same grind that everyone else has to deal with?" Whatever answer you come up with is for you, yourself. But you should at least be checking yourself. Especially consider the context of the gripe and who you're griping to. I feel like my job has long and difficult shifts, but I wouldn't complain about it in a bar full of oil-field workers.

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  • A little column a, a little column b.

    It's the truth, but it's not exactly helpful, or relevant. There's better advice than telling someone they're stupid for being affected by something if it isn't poverty/starvation/war.

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  • I don't see it as advice, I see it more as trying to tell the person to appreciate where they are in life and what they have.

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    • What if the person being told already knows and appreciates what they have? Isn't it pointless to then say to that person that there's someone worse off?

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    • 1 possible motive could be to try and make them feel bad for having it better than others, if they emphasized on how bad others have it. see I don't know the entire situation so im just shooting blanks here lol.

    • Lol. Good to know I'm not the only one puzzled.

  • I punched the last person who said that bullshit to me in the face and broke his nose.

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  • Are you being held captive somewhere being tortured to feel such extreme agony on a daily basis or are a person in a vegetative state and only live because of life support? If not then there are people better off than you.

    The point of that quote is to get you to move on because sitting around moping and feeling bad for yourself solves nothing and only makes things worse.

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  • There are a lot of people who are very successful in the eyes of others who are in pain. There is an old poem "Richard Cory" (Google it; Simon and Garfunkle did a song based on it) that gives an idea of how our perceptions of others don't always match up with their own.

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  • I think good advice - It is like saying suck it up you can get through this

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  • Because yhey probably reckon you lack coping skills

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  • I think it's to make you appreciate who you are/what you have

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  • I see it as a way of saying "I'm really not in the mood to listen to you complaining right now, Debbie Downer. Please change the subject."

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What Girls Said 7

  • I agree.
    Yes, there's always someone worse off than the next person. Although there's a starving, emaciated, uneducated child in one third world country, there's still another starving, emaciated, uneducated, DISEASED child in another country who may look like this...
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/496803402617810236/

    So child one should just ignore and deny all of their major pain and struggle because at least that's one less problem which doesn't effect them. -_- I disagree. Yes, there is a variation of struggle, but ALL STRUGGLE MEANS SOMETHING. All struggle is noteworthy. When you start invalidating struggle is basically tying a massive rock to it, hoping that it will stay sunken in the depths of your mind. Yet sooner or later, it will resurface.

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  • I usually tell this to myself whenever something bad happened or I feel low and it usually reminds me to feel more grateful for what I still have and by thinking about all the things I still have it kind of makes me feel a little better I think.
    However if someone else says it, it can easily appear deprecative..

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  • I don't like looking at stuff that way because it makes people feel better about someone else's misfortunes.

    I can see it being used to invalidate feelings, but it's not good advice in my opinion either.

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  • I think it can be interpreted in different ways. On one hand, it could be seen as a rude attempt to invalidate someone's feelings. On the other hand, it could just be an attempt to make a person think more about their situation and realize, "is this really the end of the world or is it just a minor setback that I can bounce back from?"

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  • It's meant to make you appreciate all the good in your life and it's true. We are so lucky compared to so many people. Focus on the positive, not negative

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    • It's tough , especially when the things that made you feel worthy in this world came crashing down.

    • Oh I know, believe me, I get that. Like all advice, it's easier said then done.

  • This quote doesn't make me happy but it gives me morale :)

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  • I see it as both. It's true and might make them feel better.

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    • In my experience, it makes me remember that I'm not as bad off, but it makes me feel pity for the person who is worse off. That isn't a good feeling.
      I'm also grateful for what I have in life, and I express that, so isn't it fruitless trying to tell me again what I should be grateful for when I already know?

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