What would you do if a friend phoned to inform you that she was in terrible agony and was unable to walk because of the discomfort? Would you describe her as "weak" and advise her to "simply shrug her shoulders"? Alternatively, would you demand that she go to the hospital — and maybe even accompany her there on your own initiative? Most likely, you'll choose to take the latter course of action. But what if the tables were reversed, and you were the one who was suffering from the same excruciating discomfort? It is common for many of us to believe that we are powerful, if not indestructible. It is possible for us to persuade ourselves that we can manage any amount of bodily or mental suffering, either by suppressing it, ignoring it, or becoming preoccupied with other people's issues.