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Dealing with Insensitive Comments
Insensitive comments come in a range of forms, from disapproval that you aren’t listening to the completely untested advice of Joe Bloggs on the street, to one ridiculous occasion when someone refused to believe I’d had cancer in the first place.
Let’s take a more harmless situation:
This conversation clearly wasn’t the end of the world. Had I been feeling confident and positive, my inside monster would have rolled its eyes and I’d have carried on with my day. But right then and there, it made me feel rubbish. Yes, I had legs, so did people think I was lazy?
Maybe in his own misguided way he was trying to encourage me back to exercise? Maybe he didn’t know what to say? Maybe the big bull of mortality was pawing at his shoulder scaring him silly? He probably didn’t want to raise the subject, so became flippant instead.
Yet regardless of good intentions, I still felt crap. Misunderstood. Isolated. And this makes you defensive, your shackles rise and you become to expect the world does not understand. Next time you leave the house, you’re a little more reluctant, a little more averse to meeting acquaintances and having social interactions.
But we don’t want that! So what would have helped? Should I have been more honest? Like this?
Yes, I do sound a little bitter, don’t I? Sounds a little like a tirade, no?
How far do you go? Should I explain the cancer, the diagnosis, the treatment, the prognosis, my mental state? This was a man who I wasn’t and had never been close to. How would he have responded to that?
It all leads to a dreadfully awkward situation.
So what tools do you have at your disposal to deal with silly comments and stop you feeling rubbish?
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