What does one mean by suffering? If you are speaking of sickness, aches and pains, there is little choice in the matter.
If you are speaking to societal suffering, and people living in poverty, being unhappy in their relationships, feeling unwanted or underappreciated, then a lot of choice exists.
It is understanding this, like the old adage - serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
No one chooses to be in pain, to starve, or to be abused. Nobody asks for this to happen and then complains about it. Logically speaking, it would be comparable with juxtapositions. When two statements are directly contradictory and placed next to each other. Nobody says "I chose to be in an abusive relationship and it's so awful and terrible.". Masochism is suffering by choice.
While you can choose to suffer (e.G. Always being on the down and chosen pessimism) there are many instances in which suffering is forced upon you, for example minorities suffer due to an imperfect view towards racial relations, such as mistakes that can happen in the criminal justice system. Life is inherently different from person to person, based on both how a subject seems themselves or how the world sees a subject. Poverty is perhaps the most common form of suffering. Living in poverty hinders your ability to get a job to help yourself out. In poverty, you might live in a bad neighborhood, not own a car or phone or professional clothes. Often times public transport does not reach these areas. Higher education is unavailable due to steep tuition and the fact that many people drop out in high school in order to help their family pay the bills. Suffering can be a choice, but when its not, its a continuing circle that only brings more pain.
There are many forms of pain, and not all can be helped. For example, physical/mental disabilities brought upon by genetic disorders cannot be helped, but if you are referring to other kinds of suffering, like anxiety or depression, then it is possible to take steps to amend those issues. I'm still not sure if undergoing them is a choice however...
As long as we engage in conflicts, we have some control over our actions. If we ended up suffering as a result of our actions, yes we would rather choose to suffer over our own actions rather than someone doing it for you that is the meaning of responsibility.
Okay you may say that life is too painful that we don't have a choice. Yes we agree in many ways life's suffering is not a choice but that is environmental rather than circumstantial but if you decide to work with your own environment you can decide how you want to suffer.
It's all about control isn't it?
Without conflicts we wouldn't have any suffering at all, there is one problem though, we all live a very boring life if suffering wasn't a choice in general and we were conditioned to behave in a certain way, life would be very boring.
So why do we choose to suffer? In order to progress in life, one has to give in order to take. As the saying goes. No Pain = No Gain.
Well that statement is grossly exaggerated but however it's very effective.
If we had to make a choice where we choose to suffer by our own actions or not, we would rather choose to suffer by ourselves rather than someone else, that way you have full control over your own life, if someones actions causes you to suffer then you are not in control over your life.
Which would you prefer, you choose to suffer from your own actions or someone else makes you suffer? Well that decision is really upto you.
While you can choose not to be affected by simple crude comments, there is suffering that is forced upon you, as long as your human, most of you would probably grieve for a loved family member, or the emotional loss of a significant other. But that brings up the topic of "us it better to have loved and lost than never at all?"