5 Comments Not To Say
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Health Wellness

Please Stop Saying These 5 "Caring" Comments

The last thing we want is to make the people we care about feel worse.

Please Stop Saying These 5 "Caring" Comments

When someone is going through a difficult time we often struggle to know what to say. We want to think of the perfect comment, but find ourselves relying on common phrases we've heard in the past. While our intentions are good, the words we choose sometimes hold hidden meanings that are hurtful to those we are trying to support. The next time you are comforting a friend, consider what you are actually trying to say and don't commit these verbal faux pas.

"Everyone gets tired/sad/etc sometimes."


What it sounds like: "Stop whining and get over it. It's not that bad."

What you probably meant: "I want to relate to what you are going through and I don't want you to get stuck in a rut."

What you could say instead: "I am here for you and I know that we'll get through this."

While it's true that everyone gets tired or sad or some other unpleasant third thing sometimes, it's incredibly invalidating when our feelings are dismissed simply because they are not unique to us. It's even worse when our situation is described with a watered-down adjective like "tired", especially if we're battling something like chronic fatigue syndrome or depression. By letting them know you care enough to be there for them, you are helping your loved one feel much less alone than you would if you tried to convince them that everyone felt the way that they do.

"At least things aren't worse."


What it sounds like: "You aren't allowed to be upset about your situation."

What you probably meant: "I've always been told to focus on the positive."

What you could say instead: "What you're going through is really hard." Or a similar phrase that describes and validates their situation.

When we're feeling poor in life, it can be helpful to remind ourselves of the things for which we are grateful (and therefore the things keeping our lives from being "worse"). However, the moment someone starts telling me to be grateful for things, my rebellious nature comes out and I want to shove them out of my way and yell that I'm grateful they're out of my life. That's a bit dramatic, but the sentiment remains that sometimes we need validation instead of a lecture.

"I know how you feel."


What it sounds like: "I think our experiences are the same, even though they aren't. I'm not going to take the time to understand your situation."

What you probably meant: "I don't want you to feel alone and I want to connect with you."

What you could say instead: "I can only imagine what this may be like for you. Can you tell me more?"

Unless you have gone through the same situation as the person you are consoling, you don't know how they feel. Even if you have gone through the same thing, we each have unique reactions to our experiences. Instead of making assumptions, allow others to explain their feelings and take the time to truly listen.

"If you need anything, let me know."


What it sounds like: "I care about you, but I can't be bothered."

What you probably meant: "I care about you, but I'm not sure how to help."

What you could say: "I'm going to the grocery store. Is there anything that you need?"

The more specific the offer for help, the better. We have all been raised in a society that covets independence and condemns relying on others as a failure and that makes it difficult to ask for support. During a time when I was struggling to make myself proper dinners, a close friend made me a meal that followed my diet restrictions. To this day, it's one of nicest things anyone has ever done for me. If you want to help someone, be serious about it and consider what daily tasks you can take off their plate.

"God never gives us more than we can handle."


What it sounds like: "You should be able to handle this and you are just being weak/lazy if you can't."

What you probably meant: "I have faith that you will be able to get through this."

What you could say: "I cherish you, so I want you to keep fighting. I admire your strength." Or simply, "We will get through this together."

This is something that I pretty much never want to hear under any circumstances. It's dismissive, accusatory and makes assumptions about one's faith. When we're feeling overwhelmed, the last thing we need is to feel guilty for struggling.

If you've said these things you are a horrible person a human being and it's okay. Have compassion, validate each other's experiences and practice empathy when comforting those around you. Our loved ones will know we care about them, despite our occasional flaw in judgment.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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