I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as fake pain. Can surface problems be faked? Yes, they can and are. However, there is always something deeper hiding behind any mask.
I’m mostly discussing those who exaggerate, distort, or completely fabricate their own problems. They’re generally given no sympathy and regarded as shallow attention-seekers. I agree that they shouldn’t be placated with gushy words of kindness and acts of pity. It’s wrong to make things up in order to receive compassion, because it’s a form of manipulation. However, these “fakers” deserve our respect and acknowledgement. Attention-seeking and feigning behaviors are the results of deeper issues. Their pain is real; it just is not being portrayed accurately. Creating problems is a problem in and of itself. Do not minimize a faker and pass them off as being “just attention an attention whore.” Realize that they’re lying, and call them out on it if and when it’s appropriate, but also realize that there is a whole world of hurt behind those lies.
The next time you hear about the kid who’s stirring up drama or making scenes to get attention, stop to think that maybe there’s a heartbreaking and twisted motivation web of true, real pain beneath the all the distortion. As with all human beings, treat them with the kindness they deserve.