When we're trying to relate to someone in their difficult time, our most common instinct is to compare it to our own situation ... when doing so, it may seem altruistic to help someone not feel alone. But in fact, comments such as "I know how you feel" or "That's so much like what happened to me" can close off opportunities to learn what the person in crisis is feeling. As one divorced person said: "My mother believed that my divorce would be just like hers. She didn't want to, or couldn't, see that my divorce was different, that I am different!" As someone who lost both parents said: "In general, I'm surprised by how folks are quick to start telling their own story but not really care about yours."
-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 190-191