The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Things That Are Impossible to Understand Unless You’ve Experienced Them

at 7:09 pm | By

You don't get it.

If you do nothing else in this life, you should try every day to practice empathy. Or if you can’t do that, at least practice sympathy.

We all know the phrases about walking in someone else’s shoes, trying to see things from another person’s point of view, or leaving our own opinions and assumptions behind when trying to understand a situation. And these are crucial pieces of advice. After all, it doesn’t always matter what we think or feel on a given subject, especially when it doesn’t directly affect us.

Yet today, we’re all too familiar with people holding their personal feelings above anyone else’s opinions, even on matters they really don’t know anything about. Speaking our mind is great, but listening can be much more effective.

And yet even as I preach about empathy, it needs to be said that there are some things we will never, ever understand, not even if we’re surrounded by them or if our closest friends and relatives experience them. But just because we’ll never understand them doesn’t mean we can’t help.

man on couch therapy psychologist

Credit: Elnor/Shutterstock

You will never understand these situations unless you've experienced them.