Best response for bad news?
@rhongirl posted a discussion in breast cancer group after someone said "hope you make it" after learning about her diagnosis, see her post for more details.
That got me thinking of various responses I got when people found out about my cancer. Some helpful, some not. I heard "sorry" so often I learned to hate that word. Even though it was said with good intentions.
From that experience I hope I respond appropriately when someone shares bad news with me.
Please share what responses were most helpful / encouraging when you shared bad news about a medical diagnosis.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Just Want to Talk Support Group.
This is a thought-provoking response for me because I vividly remember some responses I received. Some “instinct” responses can be hurtful. Be kind.
Absolutely be kind. But we have all come across too many people that instinctively say hurtful things in any situation. That’s who they are.
I have known too many personalities like that and they don’t stop to think at all before they say something. When I know someone like that and the response is inappropriate or unkind I kind of dismiss it if it directed at me because I am not surprised. I might scold someone quietly depending on the circumstances.
Getting off the topic here …let your kindness shine through.
I clicked this topic out of interest and the source is not in my wheelhouse. That is, I do not have breast cancer. However, I found the kinds of responses to my heart issues and subsequent transplant fell into three categories. First of passive sorrow, the "I'm sorry", dominated the sample. I found them to be mostly hollow. Second of encouragement, the "You can do this" were better but lacking. I know I am tough and do not need to be reminded. The last was the best, least offered, and frankly hardest to handle. Those were summed in the phrase, "What can I do", and followed up with action.
Just my two cents.
I have a long-time friend. He lives several states away and his son is fighting a losing battle with a cancer. I've often wondered what to do/say on those days we chat on the phone and he is particularly down. I've asked frequently how I can help and always been told there's nothing. So this last time I decided to take Nike's advice and 'Just Do It' and sent them some cookies from my favorite bakery. As it happened they arrived the day they had just transferred their grandchild to live with them for a while. He sent me a picture of a very happy little girl and said they were a perfect pick-me-up on a very down day.
So sometimes, while we never know, just doing something from our heart works wonders.
Strength, Courage, & Peace
Yes, the right words are always difficult, I totally agree. Be kind, and yes what can I do for you, always be there for the person. Life is so difficult these days. Try and check on the person, let him or her know your always there. Margo Moody