Do you ever get exasperated with everyone else's complaints? Do you ever find yourself rolling your eyes or muttering "get real" under your breath when you hear someone complain about what seems like a petty problem?
If you do, then it's time for a reality check for you, too. No matter the size of a problem, no matter the "reality" of the problem, if it feels like a problem to you, then it is.
Am I encouraging everyone to feel free to bitch and moan about every little thing that irks them? Not at all. What I'm saying is the weight of a problem is almost always relative to what else is happening in our life at the time.
If you find yourself in a period filled with illnesses, serious money problems, homelessness, etc, then it probably makes your blood boil to hear someone else complain about the "terrible" meal their spouse cooked last night. It makes you want to reach out and strangle the teenager who sulks about not getting a new CD. Yeah, sitting here right now, I can easily say how petty those last two complaints are. Still, just because you have big problems does not mean that someone with smaller problems isn't having trouble dealing with them.
One moral of the story: When you can, listen to someone else. Offer them some sympathy and some encouragement. You never know when you'll need the same.