only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches

only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches

proverb
1. Only someone directly afflicted by some source of pain or unhappiness can truly experience it. Everyone else is only able to sympathize. You have to tell us if the work is getting too strenuous for you, Mike. We're not mind readers—only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.
2. Only someone directly involved in something can identify the source of some trouble or stress associated with it. If you guys want to find out about any issues with the payroll process, you should go talk to the accounting department—after all, only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.
See also: know, pinch, shoe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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