It took me a long time to realize that to each person their problems, no matter how small, seems really big. I’ve had a challenging life. Sure, things could be worse but life hasn’t exactly been easy. So from quite a young age I’ve learned how to cope. I’ve learned how to put on “that” face so the world never knew what I was going through. I do share my concerns and anger with my close friends but hardly every my sadness. So for me, when people would talk about a problem that seemed so trivial. I’d always say (or sometimes think to myself)… Suck it up!

I was never coddled and tough love was the theme in my life. But as I grow more mature (don’t want to say older!), I realize that tough love may not always be the answer. Especially when it comes to people confiding in me about their problems. People don’t always want advice and they definitely don’t want to be belittled. In fact, I’ve come to believe, it is and has been so wrong of me to be dismissive of people’s problems, just because in my frame of mind they didn’t quite meet my standards. Problems are problems… whether big or small. What might seem to me a non-issue, might be a big deal for someone else.

So I’ve learned over the years to empathize and even if I don’t readily understand, I try to think how I may feel if someone thought I was being silly about my problems. I’m glad I realized this.