1. “Everything will work out in the end.” Maybe things will be okay tomorrow — but that doesn’t change the fact they are suffering today. They can’t skip ahead to the part where they’re healed and everything is sunshine and rainbows. They have to go through the pain first. They have to deal with the now.
2. “Other people have it much worse.” Don’t tell someone suffering that it could be worse. Of course it could be worse. It could always be worse. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are upset. Pain isn’t a competition. They don’t need to go through something you deem unbearable in order to earn the right to cry. If they’re sad, they’re sad. Their feelings are valid. Don’t make them feel guilty on top of feeling upset.
3. “You need to stay positive.” When you tell someone this, it sounds like you’re telling them to shut up. It sounds like you’re saying you don’t want to hear about their problems. It sounds like you’re saying you don’t want to be bothered with their pain. Most people are already trying their hardest to stay positive, so if they’ve reached the point where they’re in distress, you shouldn’t try to force them to think differently.
4. “You’re going to laugh about this one day.” Pain usually isn’t a laughing matter. Think about it. Even though you might look back at the problems you had when you were younger and decide you were silly for caring so much, it doesn’t change the fact you were in pain. You were suffering. You might joke about it now, but it wasn’t funny at the time.
5. “You’re going to learn a lot from this.” Yes, someone might be able to learn a lesson about self-love or about cherishing every moment from the horrible things that have happened to them. But they could also learn that same lesson in a million other ways. They didn’t have to go through pain in order to make this discovery. The pain wasn’t necessary for their growth.
6. “Don’t worry about it.” They aren’t able to turn off their thoughts like a lightswitch. If something has been bothering them, then there’s no way to outrun it. They need to deal with it head-on. They need to try to solve whatever issues arrive. They can’t just push it to the back of their mind and pretend everything is fine to make you more comfortable.
7. “You’ve been through worse.” While it’s never a bad thing to remind someone how strong they are, you probably don’t want to bring up their bad memories when they’re already dealing with something bad in the present. You don’t need to pile on even more misery.
8. “Everything happens for a reason.” This isn’t as comforting as most people assume. Sometimes, it actually borders on insulting. This is the last thing someone wants to hear when they are suffering. Even if you’re right and something did happen for a reason, they aren’t going to care about the silver lining. All they are going to care about is that something horrible happened to them.