If there’s a reasonably smart person you know who is talking about how much they hurt – especially if it’s only to a few people – they aren’t attention whoring.
Because it doesn’t take much to find out there’s a backlash about feeling emotional pain. Too many people (like my first ex-wife) absolutely will use that as a bargaining chip, or as a way to manipulate others.
It absolutely does happen.
I’ve seen it happen. It’s been directed at me, personally.
So let me posit this: When you’ve got a reasonably smart person – one who knows that emotional pain gets used for manipulation, or maybe has even experienced it themselves – then assume it’s sincere.
Because it’s not hard at all to try to manipulate people.
And it wouldn’t be hard to avoid saying absolutely anything that would give away that you were feeling badly.
But it’s damn hard to be honest about your feelings when you’re afraid you’ll just be told you’re manipulating someone else.