How to Be Friends with Someone Who Has Chronic Pain
Hanging Out With Your Friend
Be flexible, knowing that they are in pain. When inviting someone with chronic pain to hang out you should assure him or her that the invitation is non-binding.Tell them that if they have to cancel—even at the last minute—you will understand.
- An invitation without obligation is one that a person with chronic pain may feel more comfortable accepting.
Try not to take it personally.When a person is ill, we want to visit, to cheer them up, amuse them or just keep them company. For people with chronic pain, this is different. The unpredictability of their pain makes it difficult to plan and engage with visitors. If your friend repeatedly turns down your invitations to go out or to drop by, keep asking.
- Always ask if you can visit, never arrive unexpectedly.
- Don’t take the “rejection” personally. Saying “no” to your visit isn’t a reflection of your friend’s affection for you. Rather, it’s an indication of how they are feeling on any given day.
Learn when it's okay to touch without asking.When you do meet up with or visit your friend, always ask if it’s OK to hug or touch them. It may cause them extra pain.
- People with diseases that cause nerve pain have an increased sensitivity to touch.
Knowing What Not To Do
Try not to criticise.Chronic pain requires more than pulling up your boot straps and digging in. It’s easy to stand outside a situation and see what you think needs to be done to relieve pain, but you probably don’t have the whole story, therefore don't criticise.
- Remember that the person offering that bit of advice isn’t living in her shoes.
- Keep in mind that people in pain need encouragement to become their own best advocate and to stand up for themselves.
Try to offer help.It’s important to know what you’re comfortable doing and what’s simply not in your nature. If you’re someone who can’t handle hospitals or doctors, don’t offer to accompany a friend to a medical appointment. Don't ask open-ended questions like, “What can I do to help?".Instead:
- Offer to do something that suits your skills and personality: run errands, make meals, shop for groceries, do laundry, etc. If you’re a fantastic organizer or a wiz at straightening out medical insurance, offer those skills.
- Be specific so you friend doesn’t worry that they’re asking you to do something you really don’t want to do.
- Consider that it’s easier and more comfortable for the person with chronic pain to accept your offer if it’s presented in the context of something you’re already doing.
Knowing What Not To Say
Avoid saying "the pain is all in your head".Saying this to a chronic pain sufferer can hurt their feelings. Their pain is real.
- You don't experience their pain, so you don't know how they feel.
- You need to be supportive, so always appreciate their pain.
Learn not to say "You don’t look like you’re in pain." A chronic pain sufferer is probably trying to hide the fact they are in pain to make it seem like they're okay.
- People tend to hide their pain so that they don't get comments about it.
- Chronic pain sufferers don’t like to show others how much pain they are really in.
Try not to say "Have you tried......" Don't play doctor. The person has probably tried your methods, and it may seem as though you don't believe in their pain.
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- Chronic pain isolates sufferers both physically and psychologically making it difficult for those with pain to interact with the world and their friends, try and include them.
- Do activities that your friend can do so that they feel included.
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Date: 03.12.2018, 04:49 / Views: 95284