Did hearing it ever make you feel angry or upset? Did you ever explode and say...."you have no clue what I'm going through or how I'm feeling".
Or maybe like the phrase says...you said...if you were me you'd know...but you're not, so don't think you do".
Now the next questions I have are...did you say it quietly to yourself or did you say it out loud? and why did you respond in that manner?
Don't you think it's possible that someone could possibly understand? Or that maybe they've been through something in their life that had them feeling the same feelings you are now? Okay so maybe that thing you both went through is different, but you both have felt similar feelings.
To say "I know how you feel" is not meant to minimize your feelings or to belittle them, it's to let you know you aren't alone. Isn't that what we all want? To know we aren't alone? Isn't that why you've said "I know how you feel" to someone else too when you comforted them?..."I know how that feels"...it's meant to be reassuring...strength in numbers...and to let you know that they survived and you will too.
We've all said it and we've all heard it...because we know! We know how much being human can hurt and leave us feeling very vulnerable...we know because we're human...and we have feelings that hurt. So the next time someone says "I know how you feel" understand that they do! it's not meant to demean or diminish your pain nor your hurt...but to let you know you aren't alone and when you hear those words..."I know how you feel"...they're sharing a piece of their hurt with you and they just may be able to help you through yours.
Please...the next time someone says "I know how you feel"...remember they're not diminishing your pain but sharing in it.
Take good care of you okay?