Reach out, without an assumption
We all go through different situations in life. Some can seem very similar and it's easy to fall into the mistake of assuming how difficult or stressful a situation actually is. Whether it's moving to a new city, accepting a new job, having your first baby, or battling a bad habit, everyone will always experience it very differently.
I remember catching myself many times looking at other people and judging how they are handling a situation because I went through the same thing and I knew what it was like. The truth is...I was very wrong...because I knew what it was like for me but I didn't know what it was like for them.
It's easy to look at something from an outside perspective because we can see a bigger picture, or we see the same picture in a different light having gone through something similar already. But it's easy to forget what it's like to look at something from the inside perspective.
I think of a maze. When we look at a maze from a top view we see everything and it seems so easy to figure out the correct way to get from one end to the other. But when we are inside the maze, our view different and it becomes much harder to get through it.
We should always strive to understand what someone is going through as best as we can, but we also need to accept the reality that we will never be able to fully know or understand what is going on inside of them. That doesn't mean that we don't reach out to help, but we should reach out without an assumption.
Two people can tell the same story...but the experience of that story will always be different.