It’s no big secret that people LOVE to share their opinion on anything and everything. They love to chime in on everything whether it directly impacts them or not. It is just amazing though at the things people will say. It’s crazy that they think they are being helpful when in reality it’s not helpful at all. I had never really paid to much attention to what people said to me until I started living with chronic pain and multiple chronic conditions six years ago. And I still try to brush it off. But in the last six years I have heard some of the craziest things. Everything from weird natural remedies and diet changes to hurtful comments about my weight and health practices. I clearly have no problem sharing my conditions with others. In fact I chose to share my life and Health with others In hopes of spreading awareness.
That being said some people really don’t know when to keep their opinions and suggestions to themselves. The following are some of the worst and most annoying things that people can say to someone who is living with a chronic condition.
“You are SICK AGAIN?!?!”
People will a chronic illness or those who live with an inadequate immune system are very aware of the fact that they are often sick. And in a lot of cases they feel bad about themselves due to these issues because they aren’t like others. Pointing it out might only make them feel worse about themselves because now not only are they having to change their plans and they are sick. They may feel that someone else is viewing them in a negative light.
“You’re to tired to catch a movie?!? Just a take a nap first!”
If a nap would cure the fatigue that people with chronic illnesses like Lupus, Fibro or CFS, just to name a couple, there would be a lot of naps being taken. Sadly, a nap does not help and in many cases it may actually make the person feel worse. It’s not the same kind of tired as staying up to late last night. The kind of tired we feel is an overwhelming and all encompassing kind of tired.
“You’re too young to have so many health problems. “
Most young people who are chronically ill are very aware of the things they are missing out of because of their health. They are also very aware of the fact that they are young and have the health of a 70 year old. And by saying things like this and point it out it may only make them more aware of how different they are from their peers. If they could change things and be able to be healthy they would do so in a heartbeat.
“You are too young to take all these medications.”
When you are chronically ill you usually have more than one issue going on. For instance when Lupus comes it doesn’t come alone. It brings heart issues or kidney issues or lung or brain issues along with it. And all those issues require more meds. None of us ENJOY taking enough meds to choke an elephant, but it’s the only way we can function. Taking 10 medications a day is not something we woke up one day and decided we wanted to do. So please don’t remind us.
“I knew someone with Lupus and they DIED.”
WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!?! Obviously we know that’s a possibility but it’s not something we want to think about. Death is something EVERYONE faces. But chronic illness brings it on so much faster in many cases. Chances are that we know someone who has died from the condition we have but we definitely don’t need you to remind us.
“You were okay yesterday”
Okay, so!?! Things change. That was yesterday and today is today! Health can change hour to hour or even minute to minute. Just because I felt okay yesterday and now I don’t feel good today doesn’t mean I’m lying. It simply means that my condition is flaring and I don’t feel good. I don’t like it but I can’t help it, so please don’t make me feel worse about it.
These are just a few of things that should you should not say to someone with a chronic illness. They may seem benign to you but may be far from that for a person living with a chronic illness. But they may be really hurtful to someone else. All I’m saying in the end is to think before you speak.
5 thoughts on “The Comment You Meant To Be Helpful May Have The Exact Opposite Impact”
Great post! I know that a lot of people mean well, but it’s definitely frustrating when they say things that they’d 100% find hurtful if it were said to them. Especially the ‘I knew someone who died’ comment, like who wants to hear that? It’s wild how often that kind of thing comes up.
Thank you so much!!! Lol that one always gets me!?!? Why would anyone think that is a good idea to say “I knew someone who died”. Sigh.
If they paid a dollar for all the times they told me those things, I wouldn’t need to work. I hate those coments.
Me either!!! If only it worked like that
Yes, people are so clueless sometimes! Especially with something they don’t understand, or don’t want to understand. It’s like telling someone to just choose to be happy when they have pain, clinical depression, or other illnesses. Or a combination of factors! Thanks, Amber, for fighting the good fight and for your advocacy!