Why people believe so readily...

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Sat May 01, 2010 3:22 pm

I sometimes wonder why people are so ready to believe when we say in a strangled voice "I am all right" in response to their "How are you" , when it is obvious that we are not.

I have one of these faces that changes little even when I am ill but at times it is obvious that I feel terrible: I am unable to smile, unresposive and distraced -all body language makes it clear that I am not feeling well. Still, friends will perfer to ignore the obvious - I am not well.
Later I might try to explain that I am not having a good day, so I get: " but you look very nice" or "go for a walk", that I should " have some fresh air" or something irritating like that.

When I was a child my brother often said:"why do you scrunch you face, it makes you look so angry"- but when I said that it was because my head hurts, and I scrunch my eyes becasue sun makes it worse, he did not believe me, and it hurt so much, so I learnt not to say too much.

Nowadays I just say " I am all right" becasue I do not want to spoil other people's good mood and I know nobody wants to know that you are in pain. Some people notice and are very kind, close family, close friends. But next time someone asks me "How are you" I will probably respond again "I am fine" even if times I want to scream: can you see that I am not feeling well. Please let me have my quiet time, let me be.
Mostly I keep saying "I am fine" - becasue this is what people want to hear.

Do other people feel like that, I wonder.

Senna

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  marion on Sat May 01, 2010 3:57 pm

There was a survey a while back in England I think about lying.
I don't (didn't) think I was a liar.
But yes I'm the same, "I'm fine, yep all good".
Liar, liar pants on fire.
avatar
marion

Posts : 313
Join date : 2010-01-15

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  pen on Sat May 01, 2010 6:12 pm

I think Marion, certainly in England, when someone asks how you are, they don't want you to tell them.
It is a pleasantry. You are supposed to say fine whether you are or not.
~So we lie...

pen

Posts : 2711
Join date : 2009-12-04
Location : London. UK

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Guest on Sat May 01, 2010 6:39 pm

senna,

i think you are responding in an eloquent if not dignified way.

i am asked very, very often the same things.

i reply, "just fine."

people i think, do want to show concern or empathy--and saying "you look great" is a way of one, trying to give you a compliment, and second giving the person a way to satisfy their curosity, since they fielded the question.

grumping at times is needed and should be done to the right people. complaining draws the usual comments.

-mgb

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Sun May 02, 2010 1:53 am

Marion, you really made me smile: liar, liar pants on fire...I know it is my own fault for not being truthful about how I feel. Bbut we are in No Win situation, no matter what we say and this is the Real Truth.

mgb, you are right, people do try to make me feel better by saying such things.

I challenged a good friend recently:
Why do you say I look nice? Look at me, I am deathly pale, my eyes are puffy
She said: you always look nice, you take great care how you look (which is true, I do take care, specially if I do not feel well).
She also added: Besides, I would not want you to get depressed.
I said: no need to worry, I am already depressed, since I cannot have much fun today.
Then we both laughed, and I did feel better.

I felt better not because she said I looked nice, but becasue we actually talked about it.
WE girls like to discuss our feelings, this is how we handle difficult situations - I know it is different with men. You need to be "brave and silent" so it must be even more difficult for you, in case you feel like discussing your health isueas - not for sympathy, but becasue we need to explain why on some days we are not able to join with everyone's fun.

I do not want symathy, I hate that - I just needs recognition and understanding that often it is difficult for me to do, what other people take for granted.
I also need to refuse many social invitations - I need understanding then, sometimes I get it, sometimes not.
Some things I can cope with, some not - this is when I will not say "I am fine" I say I am not feeling well.

Recently I had to miss a fantastic huge family outing, since much walking and noise was involved, I knew I could not cope. I felt terrible, terrible about it. But then I/ve arranged to met the b-day boy just with our immediate family, and made great fuss with a special cake and presents instead. He loved that, and we had special time.
Still I miss that big outing so much, but on the day I could not handle it.
Some people did not understand why, most did.
So, it goes.
Senna

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

why people believe so readily

Post  dizzyflower on Sun May 02, 2010 4:56 am

On the TES website somewhere it says that a face that isn't animated doesn't seem interested.It is talking about how to rehearse in the mirror ready for interviews and that we basicly have to act and be aware of what we look like. It mentions how we might be perfectly happy but the visual clues might not be there. I thought about this the other day when I walked into a room and had to stand next to someone and wait to talk to someone. I had my waiting face, but someone else looked at me and said, "You look like it's gonna be a long week" or something like it.

I have often thought that when I'm not feeling too well it is difficult to seem interested, and wonder if saying I feel OK is the right thing to do as they might think then that I'm being rude. When people ask if I'm OK. I feel torn between saying yes so they leave me alone but think I'm either rude, not interested, have had a late night and are hiding it, or lying but want to be left alone, or saying I don't feel so good which might attract unwanted attention. Either way I think they seem relieved that they have done their duty in asking and were grateful to be relieved of that duty. I know why I lie, I don't want the attention, but wonder if on their part it is because if I said there was something wrong they wouldn't actually know what to do.

Di

dizzyflower

Posts : 309
Join date : 2009-12-20
Age : 43
Location : Devon

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Sun May 02, 2010 9:02 am

You have a good point Dizzyflower, people probably think that - that maybe we want them to do something if we say we are not feeling well, or are in pain and this embarasses them.

But we know it is not like that - at least not during social occasions, but we want understanding, we want some considaration. I need to rest a lot of I have Fibro pain, and so I need a chairt near me, so I often need to excuse myself to sit elsewhewe whilst here in UK most parties are standing up affairs.

I try to be discreet about it, but I need to do it and I am sure people think at times I am ant isocial if I sit away. WE cannot control our faces, and frankly I do not think we want to - I want to be myself. The reason I do not tell the truth is that I do not be centre of attention, just as you said, I do not want fussing.

Funny, as I said no matter what we do it does not feel right. WE cannot win. WE all feel guilty about it as well. WE say too much at times out of frustration, or too little.
So, often I am told: why didn't you say you were not feeling well.
I say: I've tried, but you did not get the message.

Do you get this? I try to be tacful and hint that I might not stay too long, not a good day for me, or something like this, not too obvious.
But people do not get this.
Socialising is a real minefield for us

Senna

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Anna on Mon May 03, 2010 7:16 am

I think in the US it is also expected that we will say fine, fine to these kinds of questions. But things change only if we do. Perhaps we should say we are in pain (depending on the circumstances). Things change only if we do.

Anna
avatar
Anna

Posts : 68
Join date : 2009-12-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Mon May 03, 2010 9:05 am

Yes, you are absolutely right, Anna, we must try. Things will never chane unless we let people know.
It just gets too hard to find new words don't you find?
Senna

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  sailingmuffin on Mon May 03, 2010 1:43 pm

Hi All,

I first encountered this issue in boarding school- shortly after the migraines became chronic. When anyone asked how I was, I always responded "I'm fine. How are you.?" I was taught from an early age that "fine" is the "right" answer to this question unless you knew the person well. One teacher, when I replied that I was "fine" always said " No, Anne, I can tell you are not fine." I told him that I had just learned that "fine" is the right answer.

I have found that I generally give that answer both because it is easier to believe and because I do not want to push people away from me if I tell the truth. My closest friends can tell when things are bad. In fact, my current roommate saw through the whole ruse in a grand total of five seconds. "She now tells me "well what was there to believe- it was so obvious." This is probably why she is the only roomate who didn't back away when I had a really bad migraine and why she is still my roommate and best friend.

But to tell the truth, it is the expected answer. I will even say it after fainting- it is has become a habit. I do give very close friends a choice- "Do you want the truth or the lie?"

I think others want to believe that all is well, even if it clearly not.

Pain free days,
sailingm
avatar
sailingmuffin

Posts : 550
Join date : 2009-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Mon May 03, 2010 2:24 pm

This is an excellent answer SM "Do you want the truth or a lie" Excellent, thank you.

Funny after all these years I have not been able to work out what people want to hear.
If I tell a untruth -I am fine- the same friend might reproach me:why didn't yo tell me you were not well, and when I do say I am she will dismiss it and I feel hurt. I suppose we are all human, and sometimes we just have other things on our minds, so I do not make big thing of it, we are all use to it I suppose.

I am extremely sensitive to other people's body language, however, and if I see someone is unwell for whatever reason, I usually ask if they are all right (if I know them). I must say sometimes people get annoyed if you ask. So I do not know if to ask, or not.
I just we were all healthy and yes, I wish people could see beyond, the deliberate untruth and show more consideration
Senna.

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

the answer is

Post  crt on Mon May 03, 2010 2:39 pm

FINE is often the correct answer. But then many folks don't realize that FINE is an acronym for

Fu**ed up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional

Chris
avatar
crt

Posts : 533
Join date : 2009-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Mon May 03, 2010 2:59 pm

Does this apply to weather as well, Chris?
As in fine weather we are having today?
Senna

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Richard on Tue May 04, 2010 7:54 am

I am in a little different boat. I am never "fine" but if I am episoding, I am not out and about - not shopping, never working or volunteering, and never at a social function. If I am episoding, I am home and usually in a quiet, dark space.

I am in the habit of being rigorously honest. IF I am doing OK but with a slight headache and out and about ... if someone says, how are you?, I answer honestly. Something along the lines of "my migraine medicine is working right this minute so I am here and happy to be here" or "I have to get home real quick, my episodes are going to start soon." Or something else along those lines. I always follow up with a comment about the nice weather and/or inquiring about their health.

I feel almost compelled to mention my migraines when I am feeling poorly but well enough to be out (rare). With shop keepers and clerks, I see it as a teaching opportunity. With friends ... well ... why not be honest with friends?

I understand completely what Sailing Muffin is saying ... the right answer in the USA is "fine". But aren't the wrong answers more interesting in the long run! LOL

Yall's comments remind me of the vast differences in our mutual experience of migraine. I just cannot imagine being in a social gathering or even visiting with a friend if I am not well ... if my pain medications are not working that instance or if I am anywhere near an episode. Nope I don't get out much and I really miss that on occasion. But c'est la vie!
avatar
Richard

Posts : 497
Join date : 2009-12-03
Age : 65
Location : Cherokee, California

http://richardofravenhurst.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Almostangela on Tue May 04, 2010 8:14 am

I see it a little differently when people ask me how I am. I don't want them to know the full impact.

I do two things. I say good if I am, or I point to my head. They can deal with it as they may. Universal sign language without knowing sign language. Every Saturday Jim and I go to the local pub for a few and sometimes I will be asked why I'm drinking O'Douls and I just point to my head. No questions asked and fine by me. During the day, if family or coworkers haven't figured it out and asks, if I point to my head, they give me breaks. They've heard the story and I spare them the reruns.

I'm sick to death of the whole thing and want to draw as little attention to this screaming spoiled brat in my brains at all times.

Angela
avatar
Almostangela

Posts : 360
Join date : 2009-12-03
Age : 54
Location : Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  HeelerLady on Tue May 04, 2010 8:35 am

Hmm I wonder if this is a difference in men and women. You ask a man how he is and if it's not well you hear all about it. While if you ask a woman most of the time she'll say fine unless they are about to die or pass out.

Just something I've noticed and there are always exceptions to the rule. Most of the time, if I feel like sh*t and have to be in public for some reason, the answer is fine because my head will explode before I run down the whole history. Plus I hate the "oh poor you" looks and actions. I have a migraine, I'm not wheelchair bound knocking on deaths door.

Just an observation and my own thoughts.
avatar
HeelerLady

Posts : 1122
Join date : 2010-02-04
Age : 36
Location : Wisconsin

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Jewishmother on Tue May 04, 2010 8:58 am

Lately, I have been incognito in my community so when I do go out and people ask how things are going or why they haven't seen me lately my new current response is "I do what I can, when I can."
avatar
Jewishmother

Posts : 296
Join date : 2009-12-09
Location : United States

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Tue May 04, 2010 9:10 am

I really like your way of handling the issue Angela - sign language is great, I will certainly try to employ this one, in the future. Thanks.

The problem is that it is often not just my head, which is generally reasonably well controlled in terms of pain, it is my Fibro, which means my whole body is in pain and moving is such effort specially that at the same time often M tends to join in - so I will have to develop some new sing which involves the whole of me...Any ideas? I have a feeling it might look like some strange dance.

BTW once on the subject of dealing with pain:
This morning I had a long and funny chat with my s-i-l, we bothtried to comfort each other, as he was home not feeling well - he is amazing he has most terrible porblems with his spine and is awaiting a serious operation, and we have been chatting with him over the last few month about various aspects of pain control, I do some research for him at times on the net when he is working, so I know all about his treatement.

He handles all such conversation extremely well - unlike most men he does talk about it in quite a matter of fact, honest way, never complaining - and we are at ease about all aspects of it all. He is such special person a great husband and father interesting to talk to, and kind, and I am worried about him and feel helpless and yes, at times it is diffuclt to hear what he is saying.

He always was very active man, and his operation is risky. At the moment we all belive that he will get some relief, as he has one of the two best spine surgeons in this country but we really do not know the outcome. So, I know it is not easy to be at the receiving end of someone else's suffering, when you feel so helpless and you cannot do much. All I can offer him is my understanding, and support. I know that often this it is not enough.
I think, this might be how our families and friends feel at various stages of dealing with us.
Still it feel good to talk here about such issues.
Thank you, to evrybody, for their interesting feedback.
Senna

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Cathy on Tue May 04, 2010 9:24 am

I just did this on Sunday. Someone asked how I was and I said Okay and they said No you're not, I can hear it in your voice. We were on the phone. I was having a terrible weekend and really drugged up. I also have the fibro thing going and they just feed off each other. And the topper is I'm an insulin dependent diabetic.

I try and hide how I'm feeling, especially in at work. Once people know I'm in pain, they blame all mistakes and problems on the m. Yet, they make mistakes too. I get the same thing, the list of "you just need to do this." Isn't that the worst thing people can do to us? Like we're so stupid and they know what's best for us because they don't get headaches so we must be doing something wrong and they will enlighten us. So I'd rather they don't know.

Plus, I feel sort of embarrassed that I am so debilitated by a headache. I know I shouldn't, it's not my fault, but I feel so abnormal not being able to go anywhere or do anything. By the time I'm done work, I'm wiped out and need the weekend to recharge, do laundry, cleaning, etc.

My parents always acted like it was my fault I had a headache and would throw up so I'm sure that has something to do with why I don't want to admit I'm in terrible pain.

Cathy

Posts : 155
Join date : 2010-04-02
Age : 60
Location : Harrisburg, PA

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Senna on Tue May 04, 2010 10:26 am

Dear Noona, I am so sorry, you have so much to deal with. I can relate to most of your feelings, except that I am lucky in a way - I am retired, so at least I have no burden of daily job to worry about and no inculing injection which si a worry for you, I am sure. You have my admiration the way you cope - bu if we have to, we do, don't we?

My parents always acted like it was my fault I had a headache and would throw up so I'm sure that has something to do with why I don't want to admit I'm in terrible pain..

The above also applies to me a lot, not so much to my parents, but mainly my brother who was always making fun of me calling me a weakling, and a Princess on the Pea as everythng bothered me, sunlight, smells, noisies. I could not stand the incense in church either and felt faint and M followed.
HIm laughing at me hurt me so much, I learnt early to pretend that I am better that I am, in order to avoid such treatment. Maybe this is why I am now good at it, and it has become a second nature to pretend that I am fine - specially with some people. I am trying to be honest in most cases, but at times it is easier just to say, I am fine, once again.
IT is good to share theses feelings, it can be lonely dealing with so many issues when you are unwell.

How is your Fibro now?
I had a very bad Fibro winte,r as it was cold here in Europe this year, and spring is slow starting but I like longer days, so I hope things will get better soon.

I hope you are also getting better, Noona
Senna

Senna

Posts : 212
Join date : 2010-03-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Cathy on Tue May 04, 2010 11:11 am

Thanks, Senna. I've been going to a center that treats fms/cfs (chronic fatigue) and it's been helping some. I just had a really bad flareup that I blame on taking too many phone calls at work and holding the phone with my shoulder. So I got a headpiece from someone to use on the phone and hope that will help. I'm still waiting for the tightness and headache go away.

I know what you mean about not talking to people about the pain. I figure they're probably getting tired of hearing it so I just try and say I'm all right.

We had a terrible winter but I actually mind the heat more than the cold. I hope you're doing better now! It always helps me to get on here and remember others are going through what I am, that I'm not alone in this.

Cathy

Posts : 155
Join date : 2010-04-02
Age : 60
Location : Harrisburg, PA

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  theresae on Tue May 04, 2010 12:16 pm

Sometimes i just say fine, because if you tell them the truth most people will say something like, 'have you seen your gp', 'arent there any tablets you can take for it', 'my S-I-L takes some good stuff, but i cant remember the name of it' and my particular favourite is 'oh god how do you put up with getting them every week, i couldnt stand it'!!! etc etc etc and to be honest its too depressing to talk about it all the time, it just reminds me of how bad/frequent these M can be, and how that other people dont have them, so i limit the truth to hubby, mum, and close friends along with one or two work collegues,
avatar
theresae

Posts : 315
Join date : 2009-12-14
Age : 46
Location : Southwest of England

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Mishkyn on Fri May 07, 2010 10:15 pm

Oh Senna,
You are so right when you say that most people don't want to know you are in pain. All this casual baloney we have to put up with, and I see it every day on nearly every dramatic television show...

A woman has just lost her husband and another character comes up to her and asks, "Are you okay?" A person has to shoot someone in self defense and is asked, "Are you okay?" A soldier has just watched his best friend blown to bits by a grenade and a platoon mate wonders, "Are you okay?"

OF COURSE NONE OF THIS PEOPLE ARE OKAY. What moronic writer has penned these lines? And why didn't the director or producer or actor or anyone say, "Hey, this is NUTS. Anyone is this situation would be catatonic with fear or sorrow and certainly too distraught to answer, 'Yeah, I'm fine.'" But there it is, every day, over and over we hear these absurdities. Any wonder most people travel through their days with so little concern for others?

My father always said to me, "Never ask anyone if they need help. If you are asking that question, you already know he or she needs your help. If you know what needs to be done, just DO it, otherwise, try to figure it out, and if necessary, ask what they need. But don't do nothing.

Only those of us who are walking around with blinding pain hate the throwaway line: "Hi! How are ya?!" Because we also know that the speaker is saying, "Don't you dare tell me anything but 'fine'."

During the first 16 months of my now 38 year pain, when I was desperately searching for help, begging drs to try anything, I ran into one of the drs treating me while I was in the hospital for a test. He threw out the, "Hi, how are you?" line, and when I began to tell him, he cut me off and said, "I don't really want to know how you are. I was just using it as a greeting." And then, I swear, he smiled and chuckled at me as if it was a grand joke. Then he patted me on the shoulder and charged past me.

I was stunned at his callousness, but luckily gathered myself enough to yell after him, "Well at least now I know why you've never helped me. Don't worry, I won't EVER tell you how I am again." Though he did not turn around, he waved his hand at me and from his body language, he was laughing as if we were sharing some kind of joke.

Just to make sure he got it...no, that is silly, a man....a doctor...who could say that, would never get it, but I returned his latest bill and scrawled across it, "Since your treatment of me has been an uncaring formality, if you want to be paid, bill me for THAT." I don't know how I had the nerve to do it since I was still in the "good girl" phase because so many drs were accusing me of being crazy and guilty of causing all my own pain, I was just glad I did it.

People who know us well can tell when we are hurting, and that is when it is painful to hear the "how are you" thrown at us. You can always tell when they will accept nothing but, "I'm fine."

Or, even worst, is what someone else mentioned about getting advice like, "Have you tried Excedrin? It ALWAYS helps me?"

I don't like to burden people about it, but I do appreciate the ones who say,'You're in pain, aren't you?" Like Angela, I think it was, I often use sign language, I smile at them and give a little shrug and my expression says, "Thanks for noticing, but there's nothing to be done about it so I'll just hang on as best I can." And that's when just a pat on the back or an arm squeeze can mean so much. If the people who don't want to hear how we are knew how little it takes to make us feel noticed and cared about, perhaps they would not be so terrified of being trapped into hearing our woes.

That is why this forum has meant so much to me and to all of us.
Mishkyn

Mishkyn

Posts : 32
Join date : 2010-04-07

Back to top Go down

how do we reply

Post  dawn.binks on Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:56 am

ive now learnt to get the guts to say how my pain really is and actually it really shows who your friends are as to whether thyre interested or not! try it. but if we say were fine and were not how can we get frustrated with the person who didnt see our pain. if we want them to know it, tell them. were just the same with our husbands because generally we want them to know without us having to say. i did read some advice from a husband to a wife and it said if you say theres nothing wrong i will act as though theres nothing wrong!!!! the same goes with everyone else, they will act as tho were not in pain if we dont tell them, so dont blame them tell them and see what happens.!!
avatar
dawn.binks

Posts : 405
Join date : 2010-05-27

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  estre004 on Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:31 am

To people I do not know well or strangers I just say "fine". If it comes from friends, I might tell them I feel like crap but will say it on the light side and then proceed to talk about something else or not talk at all. There is nothing worse than listening to someone go on and on about their health problems. I avoid these people so wouldn't want to burden someone with mine. Life is too short to dwell on unpleasant things. My only exception is when talking to a fellow migraineur. I know they understand and want to hear what you have to say. Same would apply if I just gave birth. Nobody wants to hear about your labor except someone who has been through it also.

To sum it up, I think it is polite to say "fine" even if you aren't.

estre004

Posts : 932
Join date : 2009-12-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Why people believe so readily...

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum