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"I know the feeling..." No You Don't.
Ever told someone something really deep, and they just answered “I know how you feel.”?
Does it drive you crazy, because you know they have never felt the way you do right now.
Whether it was because your dad went MIA or your best friend died of cancer.
“I know the feeling.” just doesn’t cut it. It makes you angry, bitter, resentful. And you really want to respond
“No, you don’t. You have no idea what i’m feeling.”
Well then you’re going to hate this next line.
I know the feeling.
There I said it, the thing we hear almost everyday.
Let’s back up for a second though, and take it from their point of view.
Okay, so your best friend walks up to you after their first class of the day and hits you with some hard news.
“Can I tell you something?” They ask. You nod, thinking it’s just some dumb secret or piece of gossip. After all, that’s almost always what it is any other day.
“My dad got put into jail for something he didn’t do.” Woah, how do you respond to that?
“What did he get put in there for?” you wonder, curiosity getting the best of you.
“Drugs,” your friend tells you, wiping a tear from their eye. “But I swear he didn’t do it. He isn’t that kind of person.”
“I know how you feel, my uncle once got fined for dumping trash in a lot, but he didn’t actually dump anything. It was just a misunderstanding. I’m sure they’ll let your dad out after they realize he isn’t guilty.”
Your best friend just shakes their head and turns away, out of words to use. The bell rings, and you both get to class before your teacher hands out a tardy pass.
Now, what would you have done in that situation? Tried to console them, maybe even take your friend to the counsellor?
Those are good ideas, but what if they don’t want your sympathy, or hate talking to counsellors about personal topics?
I guess you couldn’t do much.
Maybe we should be a little more EMPATHETIC and a little less generic.
So back to the situation. Let’s go back to right before you told your friend about your uncle.
“Hey, it’s okay. I’ll help you get through this. My family will be there for you and your dad no matter what. We know him, and know he would never do something like that. Maybe we could write to the person accusing him,” you say.
There, maybe that makes you seem a much more serious about your friends problem, and hopefully, it could bring you together.
Next time you think about answering your friends question with “I know the feeling.” You’ll have some better responses. :)