Tereza Okava wrote:I'm following in hopes of learning something.
I have a friend who's had cancer for the last couple of years. Sometimes he's better and sometimes he's worse. I don't ask about it unless he invites asking, we talk about our dogs, our plants, our clients, etc (just had lunch with him last Friday, and in his words we are a bunch of malevolent gossipers). I don't want to make him feel bad ("how am I? I still have cancer!") but I also feel almost as bad avoiding the topic. I mean, this is a big part of his life, it's obviously important, and the last thing I want to do is make him feel bad about talking about it.
Some seem to only want to hear "oh, I'm awesome!" and get disappointed with me if I tell them "not great" or that things aren't improving much, and some seem to want entertainment from the trainwreck of "I feel terrible", and pressure me to say how "I really feel" when I say it's been good lately.
Kyle Neath wrote:I feel you here. For seven years now my father has been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease. Degenerative meaning it gets worse over time. Despite explaining this to many people (including much of my close family) people get upset at me when they ask me “how’s your dad doing?” and hear it isn’t getting better and there’s no fix on the horizon. Most people’s brains aren’t wired to understand an illness that doesn’t have a curable path and their brains melt down when they hear that sometimes things just don’t get better. So like others have said already, I just lie to them and say he’s doing fine.
As to alternatives to how are you feeling? I think the best way is to re-focus the subject of what you’re saying back on to yourself. What are you prepared to do? Asking someone how they’re feeling puts all the onus on them. Something like I’m here to listen if you need to talk switches the subject around. Another thing I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older is that vague, negative-leaning questions like “how are you feeling?” end up in boring conversations that neither person really enjoys. Questions like What are you most excited about right now? offer far better conversation paths.