I am very bad at comforting people, I will readily admit that. Sometimes this lack of ability to bring a bit of comfort makes me feel like a bad friend. And I don’t mean for like little issues like having a bad hair day or catching a cold. I mean for the really important things like having a loved one pass away or something else to that effect. Okay even for the “medium” issues I suck.
What is constitutes a medium issue? A friend of mine recently developed some sort of eczema on her face. It was quite bad, she couldn’t go to work and needed steroids to treat the condition. When I met her, it was very apparent that she was pretty affected by the red patches on fer face and neck. I tried to make her feel better by saying that it doesn’t look that obvious, just like a couple of really bad mosquito bites. She gave me look of annoyed skepticism and said “Anita, please. Thanks for trying but I love like I got beaten up”. It wasn’t like I was lying or anything, I really thought it didn’t look too bad and felt compelled to tell her based on hoe lousy she felt. I failed though, I think what I said had the opposite effect of comfort.
I started thinking about this yesterday when one of my closest friends told me that her brother who was in remission, relapsed. The tumour he previously had removed from his skull and underwent chemotherapy for, was growing again. She was distraught. And I didn’t know what to do or say. All I did say was that things will get better. But that’s what I said 4 years ago, why should she believe me the second time round?
I think my inability to be comforting stems from my rationale that in terrible/sad situations, there really is nothing someone can say that will actually make you feel better. This is just my personal thought process and maybe I shouldn’t project my way of thinking on others. I still try to though, to provide a little bit of support when people around me are going through difficult times. I am not great at it but it’s better than nothing right?