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Harvard Health Blog
Yes, I’ve tried that too: When well-intentioned advice hurts
- By: Laura Kiesel,
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Thank you Laura for expressing so well what those of us who suffer in pain every day go through with our friends and relatives who are trying to “help.” At least every two weeks I hear from someone about some kind of a “miracle” they have heard about from someone or somewhere…
Thanks again for your blog post. It helps me not to feel so alone.
This is an excellent post. So excellent that I must resist the urge to send it to everyone I know (a slight exaggeration) and take the gentle advice instead. So many of us resist this “empathy” advice that I’m likely to think it is a sign of another malady.
Thank you for writing this. My experience exactly. So many people, suggesting so many things, as if I haven’t done any research myself or even tried the most basic things. And it seems in our culture that if you haven’t managed to ‘fix it’ that it is somehow your fault. Would love to know what you say to these people who suggest things, as it would be great to have a response that both thanks them, but lets them know that future suggestions are not particularly welcome!
Thank you for this post. I have experienced the same thing. A hug would be a better response!
A hug, very gently administered. My daughter has a connective tissue disease called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and even a hug or hand squeeze can lead to subluxations or dislocations. She hated passing of the peace at church because some people don’t understand their well wishes lead to pain.
I appreciate this concise post and the good advice, which is so easy to forget, whether it’s about chronic pain or any other trouble a friend is having. Of course, as the listener, we want to do whatever we can to alleviate our friend’s struggling and pain. It’s so helpful to hear how that comes across. I’m sorry you are suffering like this. Best wishes.
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