When someone is hurting, the worst thing you can say is “At least…”. When that has *ever* helped someone I do not know, but someone is always in a race with sometime else to say it.
“At least you have *one* leg.”
“At least you have *some* hair left.”
“At least you *have* a car.”
It’s like people can’t handle the thought that you may be going through a tough spot. No tough spots allowed! Ever! You put that smile on your face and be thankful for that shit sandwich because AT LEAST you have something to eat!
Why are we so eager to be the one who gets the credit and the cookies for setting someone straight? It’s like we have verbal diarrhea and just can’t help ourselves. We have to say SOMETHING. And it has to be epic. So we say it and imagine everyone around us daintily applauding and mumbling “Here, here!” while adjusting their monocles. We want the praise for saying “No pity!” and the award for saying it first.
It’s not about you.
What’s so wrong with asking someone “How can I support you?” or “How can I help?” Because I’ll tell you that I have never needed pity, but I maybe have needed to hear real (not made up) good things about myself because I’ve temporarily forgotten. I’ve needed to hear realistic ways others have gotten through similar situations because, while it may not be a big deal to you, it’s s big deal to me. I’ve needed to hear “It’s ok to feel that way. I understand.”
Happy isn’t always the right answer, and talking about unhappiness isn’t all about pity.
Forcing people to smile is all about you. You don’t want to see sad or mad so you make everyone cover it up. But that’s neither real nor fair. Angry is just as valid as happy. So is helpless and tired. They exist. They happen. Deal.
Yes, weirdos sometimes like to attention-seek. But if you think that’s an issue, why are you even friends with that person? And think about this… How hurt or miserable would *you* have to be in order to start doing some attention-seeking type shit?
We all have our breaking point.
So without getting into mental health issues, I’d just like to encourage us all to be choosier with our words and less concerned with our own agenda when replying to a distressed fellow human.
Listen to understand, not to reply.
Sometimes “I don’t know what to say” is perfectly ok.
And… Don’t be a douche.