We’ve all heard them, the clichés people say because They think we want to hear them, OR because they don’t know what to say OR because they think pitiful sympathy will help us…
Sometimes I feel like I end up comforting the other person because they feel inadequate
Sometimes I have to expend my precious energy educating the other person
Sometimes, i want to roll my eyes and walk away but I still say the polite ‘thank you’ first…
What are the most cliché of clichés
It must be so rewarding being a carer
You must be so patient
We’re all carers really aren’t we.
Oh you’re a carer - what do you do as a real job?
Thanks @Melly1, @Chris_22081 , I wasn’t sure if the post would resonate
I thought if I started it might turn out to be a personal rant post or soapbox post!..
these may not speak to everyone’s situation but these are really bugging me…for about the 100000th time!
‘you’re putting your life on hold and sacrificing so much…’ uhhh that’s your opinion, this is my life…and my personal choice and how I’ve chosen to live it…
‘you gave up a big job to look after your parents…’ and then they literally don’t say anything after that! Shows how my choice is so far out of their frame of reference
‘we’re so grateful that you’re looking after your Mum’ - to which I literally said, ’ I don’t do it for you, the family or anyone except myself, I need to …so thanks but its a choice I made for me’
…needed to get that out!
It must be fun taking the person on all those day trips… (I think they mean, GP surgery, hospital, and cr&p lilke that)
So what do you do in your spare time?
Don’t forget to make time for you…
Why don’t you get out more?
Why do you look so tired all the time - you need more exercise
We don’t see you in the pub/library/park/ social club any more - don’t you like going there now?
Where are you going on holiday this year? We’re off to the Caribbean for a couple of weeks. I know we went to Croatia a couple o f months ago but it seems ages now. It’s so important to get away from things, don’t you agree?
Anything I can do - just ask… Oh sorry I am busy on Friday…and Saturday…and Sunday…in fact every day you need help…
Oh a Carer - wow it must be great not having to work and get all those benefits…
See what you started @Victoria_1806 - you’ve opened the floodgates. Wait til others see this thread in the morning. I bet @Charlesh47 has quite a few he will add even though it will be Sunday+1
whisky tango foxtrot - Such a relief it’s not just me feeling the frustration of clichés, passing platitudes and disconnected, unempathetic statements!!!
Oh NO not just you - I so want to tell many people to Foxtrot Oscar, but they would just get the hump and think I was being rude - not realising what patronising b*stards they have been.
The friend who very generously and kindly took us away for a weekend break at the end of Feb told me he ONLY did it to prove we can go away… What he didn’t see was the state Graham was in by the time we got home after 3 days and the total exhaustion I suffered… But he only saw what he wanted - us enjoying a couple of days away and putting on brave faces so we didn’t offend him. So many don’t SEE because they don’t look or do not want to see!!! He came and ‘sat’ for G for two hours once when I went to the gym when G was having a bad week. All he did was talk constantly and I got home to find G a total utter wreck because he cannot cope with 2 hours solid talk…
puts soapbox in cupboard so everyone else can find it
Of course there is always the comment.
Well if you don’t like being a Carer get someone else to do it…It was your choice after all
perhaps the flipside of having less friends-supporting is that it’s exhausting having to explain our choices and caring and everything, so natural attrition on both sides slips in…
the ex-colleagues crowd are mostly can-doers so I used to get a lot of ‘have you tried xyz…and abcdefgh…’ - uhhhh explaining how i tried and tested each and every - thing just became too tiring…Everyone wants to be the savior hero …
there’s a saying (I forget the provenance) - some people listen to hear (carers) Others listen to reply…OR one-up OR prove they’re better…
stepping off the soapbox…and reaching for the camomille tea…
ohhh and let’s not forget the classic
‘I couldn’t do what you do’
thanks, @Andy_190712 struck a chord with you too?
I was lucky enough to avoid a lot of this once I started work at the carers centre. Before that, though, I did get the comments from my father in law about how being a carer “beats working for a living.” Bearing in mind that he was 15 years caring for his wife at the time and had only just “retired” from being on benefits as a carer.
There was the social services lead for carers in the late 1990s who spoke to an audience of mainly carers about there being no reason why they couldn’t apply for jobs in the care industry. Gill and a carer friend of hers pointed out that they were capable of much more than being “bum wipers”, which was very much the sort of thing he had meant (you had to be there). To be fair, he sat with them over lunch and listened to what they had to say. It didn’t really change anything in terms of the attitude of the authorities.
Fast forward two years: Gill became a carers’ advocacy worker. And was very good at it. Her friend started work a year later - as a carers worker in one of the Leicestershire districts. She did the job for 12 years before moving on to other work. So maybe that meeting made them that bit more determined?
Yes been ‘subjected’ to many of the comments above. Most amusing was ‘It must be so nice to be able to read books all day’. Sadly I think one has to be a Carer for several years to really ‘get it’. In my case, I literally have no choice if I want to keep my home and cats.
A general, Cliché that grinds and grates and makes me want to have a press-button recorded standard response
‘Oh…can’t you JUST…’
OR ‘Ohhh I know what you should do’
Recorded message (imagine monotone voice of the guy in Ferris Bueller’s day off): ‘Thank you, yes we’ve tried that, tried many various, numerous things. I won’t waste our time running you through them all. I appreciate your concern. We are doing our best for the situation right now and will have to continue to adapt as it will inevitably change again. Everyone’s situation/journey is unique.’ Drop Mic…walk away
Just remember ’ Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. Quote from Stephen R Covey
The one that always stuck in my craw was “God only chooses special parents…” There was some guff like that in the Child Development Centre. We didn’t need patronising, we needed help.
Second worst is “I don’t know how you manage…” Most of us don’t. We just get on with it.
When my great niece was due, the doctors warned my nephew that there was a high risk she may have some ‘problems’ and his step kids (then 11 and 7) both said ‘well if a baby has problems what better family than ours for her to come to’. A nice attitude for those so young and I wonder what they would have done had she had ‘issues’. Seeing how those kids have grown up I would put money on it that they would have been quite special siblings to her. However, Charles I know exactly what you mean - it IS patronising for someone to say that and people should just think what that says to the parents as the struggle.
Indeed parent Carers DO just get on with it. When I was a child my best friends Mum had a baby with (I think) Spina Bifida (this was in mid 1960’s) Vincent simple cried all day and most of the night and she sat up every night cradling him in her arms in the hope he would get to sleep. How that woman ever coped I do not know as she got so little help. Yes, she just accepted it and GOT ON WITH IT.
As for ‘he looks so well’ ARRGGHHHH!!! Oh @friendhip123 how I know what you mean!!! A friend says that about Graham when they occasionally visit and it drives me mad as G puts on a ‘brave face’ as he doesn’t want a fuss. They always overstay and he is drained when they leave and I have to deal with that. They never see what he is like when the door closes. Oh and then they say ‘you need to get out more - Graham will is fine…’
OK enough of moaning - I must just ‘get on with it’
Our lot is not as bad as a lot of people and I am grateful for that.
Hi Victoria, One of the comments I get all the time , usually text or email, is *you are an amazing man. Yeah right!! If I was that amazing I’d be a billionaire and have my own island.