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Is it shallow to want understanding?

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66Mustang
66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,983 Disability Gamechanger

I don’t think it’s a desire for sympathy, more just simple empathy and understanding. I think there’s a difference - I don’t want people to worry about me, unless there was something they could do to help. However I would want them to understand what things are like as I try to do for them

I have a family member who seems to enjoy playing what I perhaps crudely refer to as a game of “disability top trumps”. By this I mean that whenever someone tries to have a chat about health, she always makes an attempt to “trump” their heath problems with her own, and explain why she is worse off

I think it’s important to try to understand, as best as you can without lived experience, everyone’s individual situation. Particularly, I think that, a lot of the time, trying to compare or compete with others is actually not a helpful thing to do

I have several problems that are not rare but the combination of these problems, and the way this manifests, means my situation has not been come across by the majority of people. I get upset because often people don’t understand what it’s like to not be able to do, or not have done, the things that they take for granted

Is this shallow of me? I don’t think I am wanting peoples sympathy but rather just the same understanding that I try to do for them?

What do people think and can anyone share any of their own experiences, as I'd be interested to read them? :blush:

Thanks!

Comments

  • rubin16
    rubin16 Community member, Scope Member Posts: 794 Disability Gamechanger
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    You are not alone in this, My nan who brought me up after my mum abandoned me (long story) is very very old school and has never once understood my mental health conditions and autism, and the limitations they have. She never understands or is sympathic towards why I can't do things sometimes and will always compare me with other people with the condition. (oh Chris Packham acts like this, or does that why can't you? etc). 

    My Dad also doesn't really understand it much either, so I don't get much understanding at home. The only time I get understanding really from people is on forums like this, and my autism groups I attend online.




    I have Autism, ADHD, Schizophrenia, Gilberts Syndrome and Crohn's Disease and have knowledge in these areas.


  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 633 Pioneering
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    66Mustang said:

    I don’t think it’s a desire for sympathy, more just simple empathy and understanding. I think there’s a difference - I don’t want people to worry about me, unless there was something they could do to help. However I would want them to understand what things are like as I try to do for them

    I have a family member who seems to enjoy playing what I perhaps crudely refer to as a game of “disability top trumps”. By this I mean that whenever someone tries to have a chat about health, she always makes an attempt to “trump” their heath problems with her own, and explain why she is worse off

    I think it’s important to try to understand, as best as you can without lived experience, everyone’s individual situation. Particularly, I think that, a lot of the time, trying to compare or compete with others is actually not a helpful thing to do

    I have several problems that are not rare but the combination of these problems, and the way this manifests, means my situation has not been come across by the majority of people. I get upset because often people don’t understand what it’s like to not be able to do, or not have done, the things that they take for granted

    Is this shallow of me? I don’t think I am wanting peoples sympathy but rather just the same understanding that I try to do for them?

    What do people think and can anyone share any of their own experiences, as I'd be interested to read them? :blush:

    Thanks!

    Your feelings are far from shallow. It's entirely natural and reasonable to seek empathy and understanding from those around you, especially when dealing with complex health issues. You're not asking for others to feel sorry for you, you're asking for a basic level of recognition and understanding of your situation, which is a fundamental human need.
    The behaviour you describe in your family member, where she consistently tries to "trump" others health issues, is unfortunately not uncommon. This can be deeply frustrating and can make genuine understanding and support harder to find. It often stems from a person's need to feel seen and heard about their own struggles, but it can inadvertently dismiss or minimise other's experiences. 
    I've had to toughen up and continuously educate others about my disability. It's tiring, but it's valuable for increasing awareness and fostering understanding.
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 633 Pioneering
    edited May 12
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    @Ada

    Your self-awareness truly stands out, and your experiences, wisdom, and empathy make a significant impact on the community. You may occasionally second-guess how others perceive you, but know that your openness is valued and teaches us so much. Continue to express yourself honestly, as those who genuinely care for you recognise the depth of your character beyond any perceived communication mishaps.
    We all grapple with the balance between staying true to ourselves while also considering how we come across to others. The fact that you reflect deeply on this speaks volumes about your thoughtful nature. Keep being your authentic self. Keep sharing your experiences to foster understanding and connection. Trust that the wise, wonderful woman you are will continue to radiate, even in moments when you fear you may have fallen short temporarily. We're all works-in-progress, keep shining your unique light Ada, us old ladies still have a lot to say!
  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 633 Pioneering
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    Ada said:
    Bless your warm soul @MW123 and thank you for your lovely words xx
    Ada, I owe you a big thank you. A few months ago, when everyone was fretting about the government checking bank accounts, your response, though I can't recall the exact words, went something like: "If they check mine, they'll be surprised by how well I manage on so little." It still cracks me up. Ada, you are unique. Don't ever change; we love you just the way you are.
  • JJinPA
    JJinPA Community member Posts: 34 Courageous
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    Understanding is paramount in a relationship.  First I want to say, there is no such thing as normal.  Everyone deals with some issue that others find no issue with.  We each have our strengths and weaknesses.  So, understanding might go both ways.  But yes, it is disheartening and discouraging when those around you don't try to understand.  With me everyone close to me thought if I just decided not to be sick that I'd be fine.  It took me 20 years to discover the the cause(s) of my illness.  By then the relationships were damaged beyond repair.

    If they can't be open to what you go through then tell them the subject is not theirs to involve themselves in.  They can and will believe what they believe privately.  There is little to do about it, but don't let their ignorance get to you.

    It isn't a contest.  Do as well as you can.  If they can't help how you need help then they can't help you at all.  Ultimately you decide what you allow to upset you.
  • onedayatatime
    onedayatatime Community member Posts: 132 Pioneering
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    Is it shallow to want understanding?
    Absolutely not!
    For me personally, I just need a certain couple of people in my life to 'get it'.
    I'm not after pity or sympathy , but just a little understanding that I can't do certain things and with reason. If they 'got it', then perhaps they wouldn't make me feel so inadequate at times!
    I don't know if you can tell, but I get a bit wound up about this 😂
    I've a couple of people who are quite dismissive and downplay my health and frequently tell me about 'that time they had a bad back'. It drives me nuts! The other one is 'ain't you better yet?' Funny enough, I don't seem to be 😂.
    I'm learning to let it just flow over my head, but it's still work in progress. In the meantime I continue to receive their 'advice' of what jobs need doing around my home and all the 'haven't you done that yet' comments and slowly bubble inside.👍
    A little bit of understanding goes a long way. It might actually lead to a bit more helping each other and making everyone's life just that tiny bit more enjoyable.

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