Glen Hope, PA USA
Rainbow...sorry, I knew what you meant on that one. Yes, you are correct, we don't always know what the other person is going through. Everyones reactions are a factor of many things....two people can have very similar life experiences and react very differently to them...genetics, socio/economic, religion, support systems, past experience...all these things and more effect how we look at what happens to us. No, we don't understand what that person is going through, only they really know for sure. The best thing we can do, is as you said, be there for them. Perhaps..."I'm not exactly sure of everything your going through, but I am here for you and will help you in anyway possible and support you in any way I can" is the best words we can say to anyone.
In turn, as Suthern said and I agreed, people who have lived through similar things do have a better understanding and are in a better situation to help than those who haven't.
Wow...think I better quit here with that one before Ron makes me move this entire post to Philosophy 101