Whether or not you believe that human nature is inherently good or inherently evil, you have to agree that human beings are selfish creatures by nature, at least when pushed to the edge. For example, it’s hard to be concerned with starving people in India when you can’t feed your children in Chicago. However, I digress.

I am assuming this node was created to discuss emotional pain, not the physical variety. Diminishing the validity of another person’s pain is not something that any person has the right to do. Yes, there is probably most definitely someone else in the world who is suffering much more intensely than you are at this moment, perhaps more than you will ever suffer in your life (if you’re lucky), but at that moment you are concerned with your own pain. Selfish, perhaps, but also human.

You are the center of your own universe.

Yes, at one point in your life you feel as if your world is crashing down around you and in hindsight you think, that wasn’t so bad. At the moment the pain occurred, it shattered you, and someone else being in worse shape than you are doesn’t take away from the fact that you were shattered.

And I’m willing to bet that you both survived.

One type of emotional pain comes from the feeling of separatess, being different (in negative way, if there is such), being not a part of. All alone in this pain. If you find out there's someone else who's in so much pain, you've now found someone similar to you. In a way, you're part of group, and already the pain of loneliness has lessened.

More importantly, other sort of pain comes from failure. Failure is lack of success, and success can only be evaluated with comparison to other people. And in like any competition, you can win in two ways: improve your score, or lower competition's. And since your pain came from failure, if there's someone else who's in as much pain as you (or preferably more), it must mean he's as much of a failure (or more so). That, in turn, increases your relative success score slightly. You've won.

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