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Perhaps no one has taught you the proper etiquette of how to deal with a friend or family member who is dealing with a very difficult situation, for example a brother with terminal cancer. Therefore i am going to give you some hints as to what NOT to do...

Step One: If someone calls you crying saying that they are "emotionally overwhelmed" and second-guessing their ability to handle a family crisis... you do NOT immediately interrupt them to discuss your itinerary for a vacation you are planning or randomly discuss the weather. If you are uncomfortable dealing with what they have to say, then tell them that. But under no circumstances do you interrupt their attempt to release some pent up emotions to discuss the minuet details of YOUR life that they obviously do not care about. Obviously they are not taking time away from their family crisis to hear about YOUR problems. Not only is it rude, it is quite insulting.

Step Two: I know how tempting it is when someone calls you up bitching about their problems to try to suggest ways or steps to improve the problem. BUT DO NOT DO IT. Particularly when it is clearly something you obviously know absolutely nothing about. For instance, if someone says to you that they are worried about their brother who is undergoing chemo because his blood sugar is too high, do not suggest that they should talk to a doctor. No shit sherlock. Don't insult their intelligence. Another example, when someone mentions that they are trying to think of constructive outlets for their family to deal with the anger and frustration of dealing with a husband/father/brother who has terminal cancer, do not suggest to tell their family that they should not be angry and should read a book on buddism on how to let go because shit happens. Um, excuse me? Unless you want to see some of that anger fist hand, don't even think about thinking something that stupid. And especially don't follow it up with a, "well, you can't truly help him until you detach yourself emotionally from the problem." Because, pardon my french, but i believe the response you will get is something along the lines of "FUCK YOU. You watch your brother/spouse/father struggling through a terminal illness and then you can lecture me on detaching your emotions you cold hearted bitch." Followed by a dead telephone line.

Step Three: If someone calls you and is upset, do not interrapt them to tell them you have to go because you want to watch a movie or have something better to do. For god's sake, lie and say that your freaking kitchen is burning down or your sick mama is on the other line. But the easiest way to make someone who already feels like shit to feel worse is to make them think that you can take time out your lazy ass schedule to talk to them for five minutes... even if it is true. Lie.

So to summarize: Step one... if you can't handle the fire, be honest and humbly remove yourself from the kitchen. But the rudest thing you can do is talk about your own pathetic problems. It just makes you look like a rude self-centered prick. Step two... when listening to people who have problems that are clearly out of your league, do not even think about making suggestions on how to "deal" with the problems and defintely don't suggest ways you think they can "fix" them... once again, it makes you look like a rude cold-hearted know it all. Step three... if you are a lazy, rude, self-centered, and/or cold-hearted prig that doesn't have the time to deal with your friends calling you in a time of need... then do yourself a favor and make up a whopper of a lie as to why you can't talk on the phone... that way both parties involved will feel much better about themselves in the long run.

When all else fails, you would be surprised how far a "hang in there kiddo" will go to make someone feel better. Or if you really want to make me feel good try saying something like "i don't know what to say right now because i really don't understand what you are going through. But please know that i love you and i am hear for you in whatever way i can be." that's it... its not rocket science... its just basic "crisis calls" etiquette.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sinedreams
Apr. 17th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
ah yes... now i see what you mean. i'll pass along the message to certain parties that inspired that entry :) i love you, i miss you, and you can call me whenever. i'll get you the playlist soon.

::huge colossal never-before-seen hugs:: give my regards to the visitor...
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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