Ill Friends Know How To Listen, Not Just Say “Feel Better”
There is a time and a place for telling a friend you hope they feel better. But listening is even better!
Isn’t it awesome when a friend sincerely tells you that he or she hopes you feel better?
There is a saying among the chronically ill that Jenni over at chronicbabe uses a lot: “Be AWAP.” As Well As Possible. In other words, you may not “feel better” as in the full sense of the word, but there is hope that you can’t least feel as well as possible.
As someone who lives with illness you have likely heard all kinds of things that people have said, some of them comforting, some of them not so much. And there may be days the words “feel better!” are an encouragement and other days when someone flippantly says “feel better” you may want to kick something.
But whether you realize it or not, it is a skill to have an idea of what kinds of things are helpful and what are not. It is a gift that you know real encouragement goes way belong the words, “feel better.”
And so this makes you a very special kind of friend. We have talked a lot about how we would like our loves ones to have a better understanding f what we are going through. But for a moment, let us remember that with all we are learning (even if it is through our frustrations), we have a responsibility to be a better friend to those we care about.
Even if you have a friend who says all the wrong things, you may find her gong through her own struggle of a divorce or an aging parent. You can be a model listener to her about her struggles for a bit, avoiding giving advice.
I know, I know. When you are feeling miserable yourself it may be hard to listen to other’s problems, but if I can give you a gentle reminder. Remember, we all have our own struggles, our own challenges. Yours right now is illness and all that comes along with it, but to your friend, her problems may seem bigger because they are the problems under her roof. And she needs someone who can listen too, not one more person who just says, “Well, hope you feel better soon!” but really. . . Listens.
TWEET THIS: Things TO SAY to an ill person #18 U listen 2 me better than any other friend. Thanks for not trying to fix it. #iiwk12
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