I know very well in trying to comfort people we need to relate to them and tell stories that are similar to what they were going through but it’s different when you try to shift the attention towards you with your own miserable story and it feels like a competition.
I tend to notice toxic people who do this a lot and I experienced this a lot as well. They try to make you feel that they understand you by telling their own problems but making it seem like what they were experiencing is way worst than yours which makes you feel pathetic by having that problem in the first place. Thinking about these types of people are the reason why most people are so conscious to talk about their problems. It’s one thing to disregard the problem on hand but to compete with it is way more irritating, like “should I be the one to comfort you instead when I’m the one who came to you with a problem? “
When your friend or family member comes to you with a problem, most of the time all they want is an ear unless they ask for advice. I know that sometimes we have nothing to say when someone comes to us with a problem and that’s okay just be there for them, you don’t need to reply. They just need to release their frustrations to someone, they don’t need for you to tell them that their problems are not real, they don’t need to hear your problems as well at the same time unless they ask for you to share it. We all need to learn to hear and just listen, and not to hear and reply.