Communicating With People Who Aren't Sick
Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about and thinking a lot about communication, or lack thereof. It can be so hard for us as humans to talk to one another yet vitally important at the same time. It can be especially hard for someone who is or was chronically ill. As we all know, healthy people tend to just not “get it”.
Perspective is everything
I have found that it can be hard for others to come to me when there is an issue because they don’t want to hurt my feelings. Or they still see me as this person who still has cancer. This breakable person who is made out of glass.
This is ironic because all throughout my time being sick I was constantly told how strong I was - lol! I have learned that if I communicate to my loved ones that I am OK to be approached but they still don’t, then actions speak louder than words at that point.
I try to show that I am self-sufficient, or at gatherings that I am having fun and engaging with everyone. That seems to put more people at ease. No one wants to be the person who made the sick person cry.
How I try to communicate
I’m not saying that we should try to put forth all the effort, or change or pretend who we are or what we’re going through to make others comfortable enough just to talk to us. I hope this article isn’t coming off that way.
I do know, however, that sometimes we have to be the ones to initiate change with the people we care about. Sometimes a serious heart-to-heart conversation is needed. If your loved one can’t even do that for you, maybe it’s time to reevaluate their place in your life.
I’ve learned that those who care will listen, eventually or one way or another.
I hate confrontation so when I need to have an important talk, I will get anxious and not say everything that I need or want to because I’m afraid of upsetting the other person. Or I forget what I want to say until hours later.
Stick to the script
So I’ve found writing a script is very helpful and I force myself to stick to it word for word. I try to make sure both parties are calm and I say what I need to in a way that isn’t coming across as an attack.
Tone is everything, if someone feels like they are being attacked they probably won’t listen and close themselves off. I like to start with, “I love you and that won’t change but this has been happening and makes me feel this way because, etc etc etc.”
I had to learn to see things from both perspectives
Some people were not raised to communicate. So it’s such a foreign concept in everyday life let alone with someone who is sick. I had to learn to understand things from that perspective.
Sometimes it’s not that the person doesn’t care. They may just really not know how to talk or initiate one or think they need to at all.
Some people feel that people know them well enough to not have to say a word or need to word things in a specific way. I used to think the latter too, but people aren’t mind readers and we should be respectful and try to talk to one another more.
I hope this article makes sense. I don’t want to offend anyone, I know everyone has gone through their own experiences and might not agree with everything that I have written down. I just know what I’ve experienced and I have found what I have mentioned above to have helped my friendships and relationships.
Communicate in the comments and let me know what you think. lol.
Warm wishes, Katelynn
Do you worry about relapse?