Friday, October 30, 2015

I could never go through what you’re going through

I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article



http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2015/09/28/stupid-phrases-for-people-in-crisis/
  
I really needed to analyze these.  Especially since I've used them.  Examining what we say to ourselves and others during crisis reflects on us too. 


I could never go through what you’re going through.

This one is supposed to be comforting some how elevating victims to some higher plane of strength....news flash....victims did not choose to be victims.  The statement implies because of some superiority on my part I chose to go through hell.  I wasn't given an option.  I didn't not get to pick and choose events because I felt strong enough to suffer...what utter hogwash.  If anything I believe such a statement is a foolish challenge to life to bring on the worst.  The one thing I did learn it is amazing what one can live through.  (Return of Jafar when one genie is making the other genie's life miserable.)  That one line really stuck with me.  I believe there are several negatives to this statement.  It implies that I chose what I suffered.  It feels patronizing like they know what I am going through.  Seems like I could stop at any moment.  I remember when I had cancer someone said they couldn't do what I was doing....my only thought was neither can I.  As far as comforting to someone in crisis, a complete miss.

Jenafer Bauerle said...
I actively hate this statement. Also "You must be so strong." Seriously?! Nope, I am a big fat coward. I think both these statements are examples of how poorly we are able to communicate empathy and concern for others. Easier said "I am so sorry you are going through this. Please know that we think of you and pray for you. I would like to ... let me know if that is not ok." So much easier. Filling space with words does not make the situation better. Simple is best. If you can't handle anything else "I love you" is a great place to start.






2 comments:

Jenafer Bauerle said...

I actively hate this statement. Also "You must be so strong." Seriously?! Nope, I am a big fat coward. I think both these statements are examples of how poorly we are able to communicate empathy and concern for others. Easier said "I am so sorry you are going through this. Please know that we think of you and pray for you. I would like to ... let me know if that is not ok." So much easier. Filling space with words does not make the situation better. Simple is best. If you can't handle anything else "I love you" is a great place to start.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jenafer.