Recently my dad had his second minor heart attack in a span of 6 months. He had to undergo angioplasty and stent placement again. Naturally as a family we all were worried.
Then started coming the phone calls and WhatsApp messages asking about his health. More than positive words 95% of the people had words which would make anyone worry even more. Why o why do people do this?? Don’t they realize that the family as such is under a lot of tension and the patient is mentally and physically weak?
So, more than what to say people should not know what not to say and most importantly where!
- When visiting or calling up a patient/patient’s family never ever ask about the minutest details. The family members are under a lot of stress and in no mood to discuss the details again and again and again. Just reassure them with few positive words and that’s it!
- When visiting a new mother, don’t start discussing her mode of delivering the baby (C-section in most cases), breastfeeding challenges, gender of the baby (mostly people are sick in their opinions when its a girl child), or what the doctor should have done (really?).
- When talking to the moms of children never ever compare the kids, specially if a mother is worried about her kid not achieving a milestone in a certain period. Never compare about how someone else kid is a fast learner, smarter, sharper, etc., etc. Try to motivate the mother and not demotivate her.
- When someone is depressed and confides in you never share his/her details with others. That’s breach of trust. That person in his/her moment of weakness must have confided in you. You cannot give out the details to others, that’s totally unacceptable!
- When visiting a patient, never, never tell him/her how frail or weak he/she has become. It causes so much of distress to the patient.
- Never tell a kid how thin, fat, dark, short he/she is. Even adults should not be told this. But kids, never. They are at an impressionable age and can get hurt very easily. It shakes their confidence.
- Never ask a girl who has just reached her 20s when she is getting married. If she is married, don’t bug her with when she is going to have a child! Certain things are very personal and totally a person’s choice.
- Never demean your family members on public platform in front of thousands of strangers whom you don’t know and who will make an opinion about your family members. Why should you do that?
There’s a very thin line of difference between being concerned, showing sympathy and being rude/inconsiderate. Choose your words wisely. Words have the power to heal and hurt both..