Describing a situation - There are three 3 people

A, B and C:

A - the most rich; successful

B - somewhat successful; ok

C - Dirt poor

Now A says to B, "you are poor because you didn't do the right things, make right decisions"

B, like most middle class, feels a bit envious and, at the same time, guilty, as he knows there are lot of people like who are poor, like C.

So B is trying to defend his life choices and giving example of C while stating that it's not easy to question another's life choices because you don't know what she/he went through.

One way I could put is "living in C's shoes or a third-party shoes" but is there any other synonym or phrase which will convey without using this overused cliche?

I did cycle through the phrases put oneself in another shoes or see through someone else's eyes or even walk a mile in other shoes or even You should trade places with X but each of them sound much more cliche and overused than the next. Also for people who aren't native english speakers many a times these terms lose their meaning.

I am looking for something which is more direct but at the same time more sensitive too, not being harsh.

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    "Walk a mile in the other person's shoes" is probably the most idiomatic version of the saying. But there are dozens of variations on this. Another common sentiment is "You should trade places with X". – Hot Licks Feb 2 '17 at 19:31
  • @hank I actually saw/searched through the phrases 'put oneself in another shoes' or 'see through someone else's eyes' or even 'walk a mile in other shoes' or even 'You should trade places with X' but each of them sound much more cliche and overused than the next. – shirish Feb 2 '17 at 19:39
  • @Hank edited my query and added as you asked. – shirish Feb 2 '17 at 19:48
  • Let's see -- you're asking for a cliche, but you don't want it to be cliched?? – Hot Licks Feb 2 '17 at 19:49
  • @HotLicks confusedly I am. The thing is it doesn't need to be cliche, it needs to be something which is more straighter. Wish I could express myself better. – shirish Feb 2 '17 at 19:54

I think you are looking for someone to feel empathy for the other person

Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner

Empathize: understand and share the feelings of another.

Via Merriam-Webster

You should empathize with person C, he's a regular person just like you and me! He's just having a tough time.

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  • I think that's the closest I would be able to get to it, thanx. – shirish Feb 2 '17 at 21:21

Something also like, "don't judge a book by its cover" gives the same meaning.

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    Can you expand upon why you t think this is the right answer? – David M Oct 27 '19 at 1:05

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