I have a question for you. How do you respond when someone asks you about your loved one? Seems like a simple enough question to the person asking it, but for you it’s way more complicated than that.
You may not want to share with the person. You may be a bit hesitant to tell them because they may not believe what you say. You may not want to take the time to tell them because they won’t do anything to help. You might be struggling to know how much you can say while still honoring your loved one’s dignity and privacy. OR, this question might bring up a bunch of difficult emotions for you because for the last year people have been asking you about your loved one yet none of them have asked you about you and how you’re doing.
In today’s post I want to share with you some ways you can respond when someone asks, "How’s your loved one?"
If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here.
Before I give you exact sentences you can use, I first want to say that you can respond HOWEVER YOU WANT. I know that seems obvious but so many of us I think respond because we feel like we need to be polite or offer some type of explanation. We don’t actually respond how we want, we respond how we think we should or respond in a way we think is good enough to answer their question. There is no rule book to follow here. Give yourself permission to answer or disclose as much or as little information as you want. It’s totally okay.
Now I want to give you some specific ways you can respond. Obviously, not all of these will be a good fit for your situation. You get to choose what is best for you AND you get to create your own. After all, you know what feels best for you. After listening to the responses below, I want to know which one you plan to start using based on this list or one you created yourself.
“Thanks for caring. This is something I don’t feel like talking about right now.”
“I appreciate you asking, but I’d like to focus on other topics today.”
“I don’t want to talk about this today, let’s focus on something else. What’s new in your life?”
“I need a break from dementia talk. How’s life going with you?”
“I don’t want to talk about this. Thanks for understanding.”
Careblazer, I know these statements might be awkward or feel uncomfortable. Especially if you’re not used to setting boundaries and doing what feels best for you. But I’m guessing sharing information with people who don’t understand, aren’t helpful, or who don’t really care isn't comfortable either.
If you’re going to be uncomfortable, choose the option that benefits you.
I hope these statements give you an idea of how you can respond to the question about how your loved one is doing in a respectful and honest way. And remember, just because someone asks a question, it doesn’t mean you have to answer it the way they want. It’s important on this journey you honor and respect yourself and that often means other people might not think you’re doing it “right” and that’s okay.
Let me know in the comments below how you plan to respond to people who ask about your loved one. And just in case I wasn’t clear earlier, it’s totally okay to share and get detailed if you want to do that too.
And one more important thing I don’t want to forget- the way you respond to this question can change based on the day, the hour, or the minute. There may be some days you want to share details with people and other days you don’t. It’s all okay.
That’s what I have for you today Carebalzer. Remember to download your Careblazer survival guide at the link here. It's totally free to do!
See you next week.