Does 痛み only refer to physical pain or can it also mean emotional pain? Could I use it to say something like

"What's wrong?"


"I failed the exam. I'm embarrassed and scared."


"I feel your pain."


  • Jisho shows 誠実さの痛みを和らげる - "Relieves the pains of being sincere", so I feel like it's possible, but it's true that the majority of the time it's about physical pain. Maybe another word is preferred, 苦しみ perhaps?
    – Simon
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 3:42
  • 1
    Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/61546/5010
    – naruto
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 3:44
  • This is not related to your doubt but your use of ん in the last sentence is not proper.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 4:04
  • Should it have been 分かったんです? @aguijonazo Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 4:20
  • @SpikedHelmet "あなたの痛み、分かります" or something like that. You don't need ん.
    – Skye-AT
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 4:32

1 Answer 1


Generally, yes, 痛み includes non-physical pain.

Typically 心が痛む (or 胸が痛い) means something like My conscience bothers me and not any kind of cardiac problems.

But, in the particular example you give, 痛み is unlikely to be used in the first place. Possible translations would be:

  • そのつらさ(は)わかります
  • お気持ち( or 心中)お察しします

(Note that these are overly polite when you are talking to friends)

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