Newsflash: You’re Not Special for Going Through a Bad Break-Up

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  1. Yes and no. Are you “special” (another bandied term)-no. Did you “survive” a traumatic situation? Possibly. Unless someone tells you, it’s not good form to make such pronounced comparisons. A friend of mine who died from cancer told me to never make comparisons of this magnitude. No, I have not “survived” from a physical trauma. I overcame a difficult time in my life. Some of these “survival” stories are overblown and need to be called out as bull. But invalidating an emotional/psychological trauma doesn’t need to be demeaned because its not the same as the examples mentioned. They are not the same and that’s obvious. Pain doesn’t have to be physical to be survived. Getting over it is one thing but belittling an experience to make yourself sound superior? That argument makes you look less empathetic and kind of a jack ass.

  2. While it would be nice if we had a range of words of varying magnitudes to describe someone who’s come through a difficult experience, context does capture the difference for us already. We can read “cancer survivor” and “divorce survivor” and immediately we can understand the difference of magnitude involved.

    And I can’t help but feel that this ‘my pain is bigger than yours’ argument is harmful to empathy. There’s a lot of people who can’t see past their own pain to understand the pain of others. It doesn’t seem to matter whether their problems are bigger or smaller than those around them, they just can’t see past their own problems. To some extent that’s understandable, even if it is quite unfortunate, but it is something we, collectively, need to do better.

    I don’t see how diminishing the pain of others because it’s less than your pain, helps us to do that.

  3. Agreed

  4. I vote for just being compassionate and hearing the story behind the words.

  5. You are wrong.

    I SURVIVED my breakup. I also survived the mental institution I was put in as a result. I EVEN SURVIVED THE PTSD.

    I survived the crippling panic attacks, the suicidal thoughts, the complete mental breakdown and everything else that happened as a direct result. How DARE you even ATTEMPT to say I am not a survivor.

    The timing of the breakup made all the difference. It made took something that was bad and made it a thousand times worse.
    Some people just GIVE UP after a breakup. Some people quit their jobs, begin drinking heavily, taking drugs, engaging in risky behavior and YES, EVEN KILL THEMSELVES.

    So go ahead, tell me I didn’t survive. The only thing you’re accomplishing is making us believe you didn’t really think this all the way through.

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