Most people have the best of intentions when speaking to those who struggle with their health. That said, remarks by friends and family are often off the mark.
Here are 12 simple comments that would actually be music to the ears of those with chronic illness (which includes chronic pain).
How nice for someone to acknowledge that the word “decent” isn’t the best way to describe my days. If I’m lucky, the days are “relatively decent.”
Notice how a few of the comments that follow would be music to a healthy person’s ears. I include them because, in my experience, they’re less likely to be said to someone who is chronically ill, because the illness is always the elephant in the room.
Well, that gives me a lift.
Whew! Now I don’t have to get up.
Even if I don’t take the person up on it, what a nice offer!
I wouldn’t have suggested this, but I’m so glad someone else did.
Nothing feels so good as having someone understand how frustrating life can be at times for those of us who are sick and/or in pain.
Or this alternative:
These two comments tell me that this person still thinks about the fact that I struggle with my health every day, and I appreciate that greatly.
Or this alternative...
These two comments tell me that this person enjoys my company. That makes me happy.
At last, someone has actually put into the second person (“you”) what I say to myself every single day!
I hope you’ll share the kinds of comments you’d welcome from friends and family.
© 2017 Toni Bernhard. Thank you for reading my work.
I’m the author of three books: How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide (2015); How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow (2013); and How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers (2010). Visit www.tonibernhard.com for more. I'm active on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
You might also find these helpful: “5 Tough Choices You Face When Chronically Ill or in Pain” and “Pacing: The Chronically Ill Person’s Best Friend.”
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