T is for Tactful

{My A to Z Challenge for 2013 has the cool theme of being chronically ill. It’s going to be fun, so stick around!}

T is for Tactful 

There are times when I’m at a lose (is that the way to spell it?) about what I should do. Am I supposed to go ahead and take the delicious looking piece of homemade cake our sweet grandmotherly friend just served to me, or am I supposed to politely decline? Should I excuse myself from the conversation because I’m feeling so miserable I just want to lay down, or am I supposed to push through? When my legs hurt so badly and I just need to put them up, is it okay to do it? When do I tell people about Lyme disease, and when do I just keep it quiet?
Sometimes it’s hard to know what the correct thing to do is. Most of my friends understand why I sometimes need to lay down and often offer me a bedroom if I need it. I really appreciate that, but what do I do when I don’t have a knowing and understanding friend? That’s hard to figure out. Sleep in the car? Curl up on an out-of-the-way couch?  
It’s difficult to decide some of the time, and I know I don’t always make the right choices, but I’m learning and I’m trying and I’m doing better than I used to. 
In what ways would it make you feel more comfortable around someone who doesn’t feel well? What things do you wish you knew about how they’re feeling? Do you roll your eyes thinking “not again” when they start taking ’bout how they feel so horrible all the time? (I know I do! That’s why I try not to bring up the subject very much.) Please, if you have any questions I might be able to answer, I’d love to try! Remember, I’m trying to get practice for writing a book. So, don’t worry about being tactful (don’t be downright mean), but please, really do let me know! 

4 thoughts on “T is for Tactful

  1. Anonymous says:

    I can see how that would be difficult. I think it would be easier to know what is wrong if a person doesn't, so they can better understand.
    It's “loss” but that's OK. 🙂



  2. Ashley says:

    I can definitely relate to this post because this last fall I was diagnosed with a lifelong disease. Nothing too serious, just a little inconvenient. Anyway, it basically means that I have to drink more water than usual and I can't eat some things because they make me sick. Oh. And I have to choke down 3 huge pills every day. As with you, most of my friends understand what's up, but I have been asked, “Why are you always buying stuff?” (Bottled water) and one day the little container I carry a dose of my medicine in fell out of my backpack and everyone wanted to know what those “huge pills are for.” Honestly, I just quit trying to be tactful. If they want to know, I'll tell them, “I was recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. That makes me have ulcers if I don't take my meds, I have stay hydrated, and some foods make me sick.” If they want to know more, I politely tell them to go look it up because symptoms are awkward. Lol. Okay… I have indulged a pre-med student ONCE and only because they understand the technical language. I can do technical-talk. You can't scare them off, though.
    I've come to realize that most things are only as awkward as you make them. If you make it lighthearted, people tend to respond better. Weird as it is, tactfulness can often make things more awkward than they are because people get the idea that you have this awful, unspeakable problem and THAT makes them uncomfortable. Lol. 🙂
    Sorry this was so long!!! :/


  3. Sarah Rudolph says:

    If I'm around some who isn't feeling well I like them to feel free to asks me for something they want or need, like “Sarah, I'm not feeling well, could you…” What I like when I'm not feeling well could be totally different than what someone else likes, so if I offer to do something, I'm happy if they feel free to say “No thanks”



  4. Hilary Melton-Butcher says:

    Hi Aidyl .. it's not always easy to be tactful – but is definitely something we need to understand and be aware of .. I guess if someone you're visiting is forewarned about the need to retire for a little .. it may help and then you can slink away quietly .. a difficult one.

    Good luck with the writing and coping .. Hilary


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