8 Things You Should Never Say to Someone With Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is no joke. However, most of us have made a lot of mistakes with friends and relatives suffering from chronic back pain. Although our motive is to encourage but our mouths fail to adhere to our desires.
So to save your relationship, never say the following to aid you in your relationships with your loved ones, here are 3 things you should never say to someone with chronic back pain:
1. Did you hear of the latest treatment?
It is no crime to start browsing the World Wide Web as soon as your friend told you about his/her chronic back pain. This will let you get a whole bunch of home remedies and medical treatments. Excited, you will call your friend the next day and break the news.
Good intentions Agreed! However, despite your good intentions, this is not helpful. Remember, your friend is more desperate to get rid of the problem and is definitely currently on all the latest available treatments.
Additionally, he/she is in close contact with back pain specialist. So the information will only remind of the pain and helplessness.What your friend needs from you is a listening ear (not more information). So instead of spending time searching for remedies, tips, and latest treatments, call them and ask how they are feeling. Try being with them on their special occasions or surprise them with dinner at their home. Talk less and listen more! It helps.
2. Why do you avoid hanging out with us?
A lot of people with friends or family members with severe chronic back pain may sometimes feel like they been avoided. This is because they decline social invitations. In case, you have already been refused to a night out, do not question, blame or react adversely. Remember, your loved one too wants to let his/her hair down and have a great time with you. However, depending on the severity of chronic pain that day / night, they may not be physically capable of accepting the invitation. Laying on a guilt trip will make them feel worse.
3. It is all in your head
Really? Most people who have not experienced the pain feel ‘It cant be that bad’. This makes them say – Maybe the pain is in your head. Remember that all pain is real. You may want your dear one to feel better and come out of the shell. But the fact is they are in pain! Empathize with your loved ones.
4. Really? You dont look sick
Well, your incredulity can be misread. They are not lying they are in pain. Don’t say it isnt true. Instead, try asking, How are you today?. This gives your loved one an opportunity to share what he/she is going through.
5. Can I help?
This is the first question most people tend to pop once they know about the pain their loved one has been going through. But simply asking how will not do. Even they don’t know what you can do for them. So try giving them some clear options such as can I take your kids to the bus stand, let me help you with laundry, I’ll take your dog for a walk once a week etc. Also keep calling or texting whenever you head to the shops / supermarkets. Ask them if they need anything.
6. Have you heard about this amazing cure?
When you say this, you are genuinely concerned. However, this is not what people in pain to think about you when they hear about these miraculous / overnight cures on a regular basis. Remember that almost every individual they meet has offered a cure. And most of these were helpful, miraculous, amazing and exorbitantly priced yet not substantiated by research. You can simply say that although you don’t know how to fix the pain, you can tell me what you’re going through. This will help your loved one a lot.
7. Are you in pain because……..
Now this is like playing the blame game. Remember, whenever you ask something like this, you are actually blaming your loved one for the condition he/she is in. Pointing it out won’t work! This is far from being supportive. Enquiring about the cause is like blaming and invading privacy.
8. Stop thinking about it and youll feel better!
Most clinical psychologists and pain specialists advise against suggesting patient that their condition is psychological. Also strictly avoid suggesting a visit to a psychologist. Those suffering from chronic pain are sensitive being weak minded or not being seen as genuine. The best strategy is to let them know about your own positive experiences with a psychologist. You may even ask if theyre feeling stressed. This is a neutral word and taken very positively.