Example: Say a person A has failed a subject and shares his sorrow with another friend B, who has already failed multiple subjects and is in his own grief. 'A' didn't know anything yet about 'B'.

Is there an idiom or an expression for this?

Edit: Ideally I would like it to be a polite idiom/expression which, for example, B himself may use to inform A.


I've got a heavier cross to bear.

a (heavy) cross to bear
an unpleasant or painful situation or person that you have to accept and deal with, although you find it very difficult


What about the blind leading the blind to cover the OP's scenario? This is an idiom that has its roots in writings by the Upanishads (800BCE-200BCE) and also in the Bible. Matthew 15:13-14 & Luke 6:39-40

  • Thanks, but is not it slightly different? -- here the two people are different, plus no one is actually trying to lead the other, rather just sharing his sorrow. – Loves Probability Sep 8 '16 at 8:25
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    To cover the OP's scenario it would be have to be the one-eyed complaining to the blind. – michael.hor257k Sep 8 '16 at 8:25
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    May I also suggest that B may inform A that they are "both in the same boat" as in Google's "to be in the same unfortunate circumstances as others". – Peter Point Sep 8 '16 at 8:25
  • @michael.hor257k Thanks, that suits very well. I was looking for something exactly like this. Polite and informative. – Loves Probability Sep 8 '16 at 8:28
  • @LovesProbability Ahem, note that I made that up; there is no such idiom (at least as far as I know). It's a takeoff on one-eyed leading the blind. – michael.hor257k Sep 8 '16 at 8:30

Consider, To bark up the wrong tree

Fig. to make the wrong choice; to ask the wrong person; to follow the wrong course. (Alludes to a dog in pursuit of an animal, where the animal is in one tree and the dog is barking at another tree.)

[The Free Dictionary]

In your scenario, A is barking up the wrong tree. Without knowing B themselves have failed multiple subjects, A is trying to share their sorrow to B, who is the wrong person.

Update as per OP's edit

In that case, Person B shares Person A's pain.

To share someone's pain

to understand and sympathize with someone's pain or emotional discomfort. (Said in order to sound sympathetic.)


You can use this with Peter Point's excellent suggestion - "to be in the same boat".

A: I have failed multiple subjects. I feel severely dejected.

B: It's alright. I share your pain. We happen to be in the same boat!

  • Great, but that looks less polite. Is there a more formal/polite way of saying the same? It is like B himself wants to respond to A with an idiom or so. – Loves Probability Sep 8 '16 at 8:17
  • @LovesProbability - Answer updated. – BiscuitBoy Sep 8 '16 at 8:35
  • @BiscuitBoy Yes, your own gloss on my additional comment works well in my opinion. – Peter Point Sep 8 '16 at 8:39
  • Thanks for that. The lines are perfectly fine, but I am afraid it is still not a single polite idiom/expression that describes "one sharing his problem to other with worse problems". For example, see this expression "one-eyed complaining to the blind" by @michael.hor257k. – Loves Probability Sep 8 '16 at 8:43

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