What to Know Before Telling An Ill Friend to Cheer Up!
Does anyone ever say, “Cheer up! It can’t be all that bad!” Or maybe someone has gently said, “I wish I could cheer up your day a little, but I don’t know where to start.” Cheering one up is no easy task.
And can those of us who live with chronic illness just confess that sometimes even we don’t know what we want to hear or what will makes feel better? If our circumstances cannot change, and the pain is relenting, someone jumping up and down beside us trying to make you laugh may just irritate you rather than help you cheer up.
Each of us have a distinct personality and that influences how we cope with up illness–and what will even help us cheer up. While a person with a melancholy personality may gain strength from quiet time alone, a person with a sanguine personality may be easier to cheer up.
For example one with a sanguine personality may enjoy going to a funny movie or playing a board game to get her mind off of things. She may even laugh so hard about her own hair falling out from medications you begin to feel uncomfortable!
She may prefer people around her a good deal of the time, even if it just to cry her eyes out, while a melancholy person may desperately need some time with the curtains drawn to feel replenished. She may have an inherent need to be alone so that she can gain the strength to go out there into the world and face all those people trying to cheer her up. (Speaker Georgia Shaffer will be talking about this during our virtual conference!)
If you are trying to cheer up a friend with a chronic illness, keep in mind that what refreshes and encourages her. What cheers her up may be the opposite of what will cheer you up.
For example, if you insist on taking her to lunch, but she says she’d really prefer not to go out, don’t make her defend her decision and bug her until she says yes. Don’t tell her she will feel a lot better if she just gets out of the house. Instead, bring lunch over, have a nice time to visit, and don’t stay very long.
If you see something, like some pretty flowers that you think would cheer her up, take them over to her and be aware of her response. Is she eager to have you in to talk awhile, or does she say “Thanks for the flowers, but now is not a good time”?
Either way, remember, the flowers are appreciated. Don’t hesitate to try to cheer up your friend. But try to think of what would truly cheer her up. . . Not what you would want if someone was trying to cheer up you!
TWEET THIS: Things TO SAY to an ill person #12 I saw these flowers & thought they’d cheer up your day #iiwk12
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