Sometimes cartoons get the point across better than words. Related to this blog
I’ve recently cut ties off with a ‘friend’ who seemed to be using me as her pet social project – it got quite tiresome dealing with her “helpful advice” that was anything but helpful.
Before you give someone with a disability any advice, especially “helpful” advice to a person with an invisible disability, consider:
- is it accurate, or did you just read it on the internet somewhere?
- correlation is not causation, and anecdotes are not substitutes for clinical trials. Just because X thing worked well for a person you know, doesn’t mean it’s some wonder cure for all people with that ailment.
- is it something that a person living with this condition is likely to be aware of themselves, or is it new research that is cutting edge and not well known?
- are you saying something that is actually helpful or are you just talking for the sake of hearing your own voice?
- have you tried to empathise with the person you are about to bombard with “helpful advice” – not just sympathise but empathise?
Empathy is not sympathy, and to be frank, sympathy without empathy is really annoying – it’s patronising, it’s all “I know all the things, let me tell you all the things without stopping for a moment to consider whether you might already know all these things or have other barriers in the way to prevent you from doing these things.”