What do you say to ignorant people?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JoFMS, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member

    Hi All,

    Having this illness has made me appreciate the smaller things in life and has also made me realise how people are always complaining about the most pettiest of things when there are people like us who don't even have the energy for moaning.

    I'm trying to think of some good things to say in response to these people when i hear them being so negative about everything in life without sounding sorry for myself.

    Any one got any good phrases or things they use to explain to people about our illness or just to shut them up in general when they moan about silly things?
  2. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    Even if you do have a response...it rarely is going to change any minds. I know some folks have handed information sheets about FMS to critics...I sort of like that...then they can read it or not.but I don't have to get sucked into a conversation that I really don't have the energy to have!
  3. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    I have a brother-in-law who would critize me for all my "health endeavors" and yet I was still ill. It was years before I was finally diagnosed with CFS. I decided to be silence about his remarks.

    Now he has Lupus, per his wife...once he admits it to me, I'm going to extend my kindness.

    I probably should have rebuked him, but brain fog doesn't help me think straight or fast.
  4. happycanuk

    happycanuk New Member

    For starters, I don't believe they are "ignorant". Perhaps insensitive. People complain about what they know, not thinking about your illness at all. Thank goodness most people don't have chronic pain! The expression "You learn what you live" is very true.

    I am sorry that this upsets you, but before I actually HAD chronic pain, I just didn't understand it. The key is to understanding.

    I remember when I was young and my back was so sore, I could hardly move. My oldest brother told me that the reason WHY it was that way, was because I didn't exercise!! This was from a brother who spent his life not playing sports or doing much physical anything lol, until he was 21. Anyway, I ended up having back surgery and still it was this exercise thing he was always preaching. Well, now that he is 64, and has had a MINOR back problem for the past few years, he finally understands. So, I guess I am hoping that most people will never fully understand what we live with everyday!
  5. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Tell them they are thinking of changing the name to Mutiple Metabolic System Failure. They won't know the difference and it doesn't matter. It's an apt term.

    And then when they looked stunned, ask them about which of your metabolic systems that failed would you like to explain first: the heart not beating properly and giving you palpitations, the liver not processing nutrients properly and making you weak all the time, the brain not functioning properly and giving you brain fog, the mitochondria not working right and not providing energy, your intestines not functioning and making you able to absorb nutrients properly . . . and whatever else is wrong with you.

    And remind them that mankind is not exactly gifted with intelligence until it's learned. It wasn't all that long ago that people were dropping virgins into volcanos so they wouldn't erupt.

    Better yet, tell them to spend an hour on this board!


  6. caroleye

    caroleye New Member

    Ditto........take that you non-compassionate species!!!
    (heh! but saying it in a loving way....you know how I am) Took that from a Cher's concert!!

  7. suzyQ44

    suzyQ44 New Member

    I am new to this site and when I am able to be on here I have enjoyed reading all the info but I have'nt enjoyed knowing there are so many people here suffering the way I suffer. Getting to your post. Just last night my son was over with his family I was telling them about this new site I found (This One) and people on there know what you are feeling . He said I don't understand how know ones ever heard of this before(kinda had that tone ). I told him your right I had never heard of Fibromyalgia either until the Dr told me that is what I had and I still don't understand it and I still have all kind's of questions. his reply was but mom you look so healthy. Really well I said , do you see me walking slow and hanging on to the wall's ? do you see me with a heat pad on some part of my body,? and cold cloth across my eyes most of the time from headaches i have almost eveyday, did you see me out side this summer on my hands and knees in my flower bed the way I used to do NO does this look healthy to you Is this the Mom who raised you . He kinda of hung his head . I don't know if he got the message, but I left him with something to think about. Because All my life I have been active the kind of person that could'nt stay still alway's up and doing something I would go, go, go happy go lucky and now that has all changed . The people around us should look at what we were and what we are now look really hard and then they could see what fibro is. Sincerly , SuzyQ44
  8. KelB

    KelB New Member

    What do I say to people when they're being ignorant about my CFS? Nothing - I'm walking away from them! If they don't want to hear me, then I don't want to hear them.

    As for shutting people up when they moan about silly things - well, "silly" is a matter of perspective. What might seem silly to me, may be ruining their day/job/life. I try to be compassionate, even if their issue seems a bit trivial to me.
  9. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    As little as possible.

    Negative people don't want to change; it's a habit. I try to stay away from them.

  10. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Your reply is a definite winner. "Multiple Metabolic System Failure," huh? I haven't heard that one before, but then--I've been absent from the board for a long time.
  11. monamea

    monamea New Member

    Hi jofms

    I don't know what to say either and a lot of times I too walk away, but what do you say to your own family when they don't understand or don't want to read anything about it. My whole family think that I'm lazy and want attention. I am in pain all the time, I don't sit around, my day begins at 2:30a.m. when the pain wakes me up and I go all day. We live on a dairy farm so every waking day is spent getting stuff done. If I'm not busy inside than I am busy outside, very seldom am I able to sit down or lay down and put my feet and legs up. Not having a family who believes in your medical problems is extra hard on me and my body. I can't even enjoy my Grandkids because I'm so tired and stiff with fibro. What good am I??
  12. tandy

    tandy New Member

    You don't wanna know :)

    its not pretty

  13. caroleye

    caroleye New Member

    I had to walk from my family; just like the other non-compassionate people who judge your illness as being "lazy".

    Friends or family........to me, it's about avoiding the stress from either.

    Know that's a difficult one for many, but for me, it's a choice of suffering more, or less.

    HEALING LIGHT***********carole
  14. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    Ignorant people get IGNORED! lol. I already do not have enough patience to deal with all that I am going through and then extend my patience to them? Oh no way. I gotta save it for working on being patient with all of my health issues, so far I have been doing good.

    I have cut a lot of people out of my life that just did not understand or were willing to just okay I might not go through the same thing but have an ounce of compassion ya know.

    I am not even dating anyone now either, I just do not have the time to deal with the possible insensitive people that would not understand. LOL

    If they persist with me then I will just say something really smart or give them the look to "lay off me or else".
  15. DorothyVivian

    DorothyVivian New Member

    I've dealt with moderate to severe pain for most of my life, and I am STILL shocked by the ignorant and sometimes downright mean comments made about folks with disabilities, including me. I'm stunned silent for a few minutes until I finally get it that they've actually said such heartless and cruel things!!

    I'm not talking about the remarks made which show the person doesn't understand--but rather the comments made which are 'putdowns'--unkind to the point of being sadistic. (Even my two grown sons have made such comments until I realized it was time to confront them head-on!) Two years ago, during holiday dinners, I left my eldest son's place twice after he made such demeaning remarks.

    I left, and before I left, I told him I treat others with respect and insist upon being treated with respect by everyone--and then I left.

    Now, he treats me with kindness and courtesy.

    I also gave both sons a list of "Basic Rights in a Relationship" which is to be found in a marvelous book by Patricia Evans, titled "The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to Respond". (I used to work in a treatment center and I used this book as bibliotherapy with nearly every client I worked with individually.)

    Also, I've typed out the list of "Basic Rights in a Relationship" and made several copies which I've encased in plastic and given a copy to each of my sons. I've had a copy on my refrigerator door for about ten years I noticed a definite improvement towards greater courtesy, kindness and civility in my home.

    It seems to me, probably most people in our culture are experiencing a general decline and deterioration in human relations--including family relationships. I am not speaking of casualness in relationships. I enjoy less formality and more casual relationships--but at the same time, I believe it is necessary to BEWARE of treating others with crude and hurtful disregard. We need to be especially heedful in close relationships, where we may unwittingly become careless and brutalize the feelings of other persons we have taken for granted.

    I use to believe the worst of the 'verbal abuse' offenders simply didn't understand about this illness and for a long while, I tried to inform them about CFIDS and FM. After all this time, however, I know now that there are some people who do not know about the conditions others have, and DO NOT CARE--they 'get off' at putting others down and by trying to discredit others. (These are the people who will often use being drunk or high from drugs as an excuse for their rudeness and cruelty.) The way I see it today, whatever the 'excuse' or 'reasons' for unkindness, I need protect myself--if that means leaving, I leave. I do not need to put up with adding the pain of cruel remarks to the pain I already suffer! I leave--whatever the "reason" for the careless behavior.

    There are some people who were careless towards me that I no longer see or hear from--but, I do not miss them because I figure they were not true friends, anyway.

    All of this struggle makes us appreciate those rare souls who are genuinely caring.

    Thanks for offering a thought-provoking topic! And thanks to all those who've contributed such interesting and helpful contributions!

    With love, Dorothy
  16. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member

    for these comments.

    When I said ignorant, I didn't mean those people that don't know about our illness so much, but was referring to those people who we have informed and who still call us lazy and say rude comments and nasty things about us.

    I think this illness has made me think more about how people behave in general. For example, if someone gets cross for someone being slow to cross the road I say 'hang on a minute you don't even know the person and they could have an illness that causes them to be like that'

    So I suppose that is one thing I am grateful for but it's made me realise that there are a lot of cruel people in this world and we ourselves were probably not as thoughtful about people before we got sick.

    At home, if I see anyone bad mouthing someone I always try to change the subject now and say I don't want to listen to this, lets talk about something more positive or I walk out of the room - it's not good for us to hear such negativity every day, I know it upsets me and must do to others. I'm also very conscious of what I say now and how it could upset someone, although for the ones that deserve it - that's just another story!

    Thanks for all your replies and stay positive xxx
  17. tandy

    tandy New Member

    One comment that has stuck for yrs with me.(this is just one)
    My sister telling me that ,....
    I'm LUCKY,... at least I don't hafta work.

    I really don't think she was being mean. ???
    I just think people should really think about what they're gonna say to someone who's lost alot due to illness.
    I'd acually LOVE to be able to work!
    and be able to do many things taken for granted by most.

    * the same sister also said she hoped my illness was'nt contagious.
    in case it is,.... ??
    I stay in alot of contact with her :)
    (out of love)

  18. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    jofms last post made me think of something else. One of my friends who I had known for 30 years kept telling me to exercise with cfs. I kept telling her that I couldn't even feed or bathe myself and exercise would put me in the hospital or kill me. She didn't understand at all. And she would always say "well, what did the doctor say?"

    I think many people think a doctor is to a body like a mechanic is to a car: they know everything about the body and can fix it. So if you've been going to the doctor and not getting better, it must be because you aren't "following doctor's orders" or you're not even going. Even if you're going to the best "body mechanic" in town, it still may take him a long time or be impossible for him to run down all the causes of your symptoms and fix them. People don't get this.

    The doctor is supposed to be the most knowledgeable person about health. But I think most of us have found out that just isn't true. Their knowledge is limited to using tests, drugs and surgery. These work in such a majority of cases and have worked for us all our lives until we got a weirdo chronic disease that just isn't covered by these things; only certain symptoms are.

    I remember a long time ago when another friend told me she thought she had "chronic fatigue". I had never heard of it and thought it sounded strange. I really didn't say anything because I didn't know anything about it but I remember thinking "why doesn't she just get her doctor to help her with it?"

    I don't think she has it full-fledged, still, and I've since told her about me really having it and what to do but she is now unconcerned with it and doesn't want to change her lifestyle. So I guess when it hits her she'll call me.

    So I guess I was ignorant, too, until it happened to me. (shamed, I know)

  19. suzannekart

    suzannekart New Member

    Mostly I just ignore them. If they continue to be in my face I give them what my daughter calls the look. This look has been perfected over many years and has been known to reduce grown men to feel faint. Now if they really are just plain not choosing to understand these two silent "answers" I go to the "I just have read they think that what I have is contagious. I am sure YOU won't get it being so CLOSE to me. But if, God forbid you do at least you will really have something to complain about. and by the way I hope they are just as understanding as you have been to me." Now I want you to know I have not given this third answer to very many people. The thing that was good about it was they get so afraid they go home crank up the computer and do a search on Fibro. This leads them to learn just loads of stuff they would have never beleived if they had listened to me. They also learn it is most likely NOT contagious. But they will always wonder and have an ear tuned to hear any news on the subject.
  20. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member

    Your last paragraph was spot on how I feel. Just recently, I have heard people saying how lazy someone else is and say they're just saying they're sick for attention because they're not 'dying in bed'. I turned round and said to them well I'm not either but there's still a lot of things I can't do even though I can walk about.

    At that point they turned round and said yes but you dont go out drinking every night and I replied 'no thats because I can't but I might be able to do some things that the other girl can't so stop judging everyone and just concentrate on your own problems.'

    I wish I had as much energy as them to pass comments when they have nothing better to do!

    I also get the same thing when it comes to diet and people think I'm fussy - I just say 'I wish I could eat all those yummy things that you can because I love them, I'm not being fussy, but it makes me sick'.

    Thanks all x

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