Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Know How You Feel

I've always felt that for someone to say "I know how you feel" is rather presumptuous.  No, I feel like saying, you definitely do NOT know how I feel.  How could you possibly know how I feel?  How could anyone (except me) know how I feel?  I can appreciate the generally good intentions that people have when saying this, but it still bothers me.  I think that people should find other ways to express empathy.

Once, when I was talking with a coworker in the hallway, I mentioned how much this phrase bothered me.  She said that, yes, it bothered her a lot, too.  Only then did I remember that she was a transgendered person -- a woman who was formerly a man.  Wow.   Here was a really great example of the point I was trying to make.  After all, how many people could possibly know how she felt?

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