Life throws us diverse challenges at different points, for some it could last for days and for some it could last for years no matter how long, no matter how small, pain is pain.

It’s only fair to put yourself in the shoes of someone going through pain, yes you might have gone through worse but what if it’s the worst that person has ever gone through?

We Nigerians are especially fond of belittling others as regards their emotions. We make jest of the problems of others and belittle it by saying ‘ko le to yen jare’ or ‘that one never reach to spoil your face na’ and so on. Don’t trivialise someone’s pain if you don’t understand it nor can relate to it

Just because you can still function with a headache the size of Olumo rock does not mean you should tell the next person with a throb on one side of his head to stop being hysterical .

It is sad that you lost both parents at the age of ten but if your colleague just lost his mum, don’t ask him why he is wailing at forty. He is also going through pain but on a different level.

The fact that I was in labour for two days before being induced to give birth does not mean my friend that had a cesarean did not go through any pain.

It takes courage to express emotions and if you are privileged to witness one don’t tell them to suck it up and get over it.
We have different levels of tolerance to pain and we have different coping mechanisms.

If I decide to mourn my dead cat, please console me and don’t tell me it’s just a cat, it might have been a better friend to me than you are.

L'queen writes lady in tears
L’queen writes lady in tears

When she is down because another month has gone by without the positive pregnancy test, encourage her, don’t tell her she is being dramatic since they have only been trying for a year and it took you ten whole years.
Don’t forget you were worried after that one year passed and your period was still as regular as day and night.


If someone had a miscarriage after 1 month don’t say it’s nothing because you had yours at 6 months…she is also in pain.
If your friend is lamenting about no promotion, don’t tell him to shut up and stop being ungrateful, rather give him reasons why he has to be grateful.

Your pain is not my pain and my pain is not yours.

Don’t undermine my pain because you have gone through worse.

Most times the purpose is not to talk or sound intelligent and all knowing, the purpose is to listen and be there for someone in need.

Let us make a conscious effort to show empathy and compassion. Let us learn to be human.

The world needs better listeners and it needs more caring people…. does this sound like you?

This post is by Feyisara Omonori. Feyi is a presenter, writer and a full time mom. She is an avid reader who loves to travel and she has passion for women related issues.
Follow her on Instagram @chocolatefeyi


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  1. Wow!!! Isn’t this a wonderful and insightful post! Totally relatable. And I agree totally. We shouldn’t trivialize others pains simply because we walked through ours easily.

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