What Not To Say To Someone Who Doesn’t Know What To Say.

I always come across ‘what not to say’ posts. 

What Not To Say


What Not To Say To Someone With Cancer.

What Not To Say To Someone PTSD

What Not To Say To Someone With Anxiety

What Not To Say To Someone With Depression.

Sadly I know people who are struggling with all of these things. As I read the articles I realise I have probably said some of the things that I was told not to say. I cringe at myself for accidentally saying things that may have been offensive. Then I started thinking “wait a second…. In my heart I am not a cruel or insensitive person” Anything I may have ever said was said with the love and the best of intentions.  I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. 

I also have a bit of social anxiety ( ok or sometimes a lot) and believe me, even reaching out and trying to figure out the right things to say is really sometimes hard for me. Sometimes because you are friend or family it is even harder. I want to be supportive.  Knowing that I may have actually unintentionally hurt my friends or family makes me feel really bad and makes me less likely to reach out in the future. 

Some of the posts I have read then go on to say ‘ your silence about it is most hurtful of all”.  Well damn my “plan B” may not work either. 

To everyone who is writing these posts….. please know that most people are doing their best to say the right things. Most of us are speaking with love from our hearts. And really if we are being intentionally mean….then you should totally kick our ass to the curb. You do not need those kinds of friends. BUT if a friend or family says something that is one of the ‘things not to say’ please consider who we are in our hearts, and the intention and context of how it was said. Chances are it is also hard for us, and we are doing our best too. 

I know your situation is really hard for you. The rest of us probably do not understand. But realise it is hard for us too, and please cut us a little bit of slack. We want to be there for you. We can’t really say or do much to make things better, but we certainly aren’t trying to make things worse. 

We love you and we care.  Even if we are sometimes idiots and can’t seem to formulate the right words. 

We are all in this together. 


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  1. From some one who has written one of those what not to say posts, you are right there, “I love you”,'”I am here for you” is all anyone really wants to hear. Succinct and to the point!

  2. I think every one of us has been there to say or do the wrong thing one or more times in our lives. What is bad, I think, is to do nothing because you are so paralyzed with fear that you will say or do the wrong thing. If you err, you have also tried, and that is what is important. And, incidentally, I am saying that as someone whose mother in law is in her last days as I type this, and I appreciate so anyone who makes any try at reaching out.

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