This was partially inspired by a reddit thread and a few actual events. I think the world needs kind people with sweet, sensitive souls. Life is hard and ugly and sometimes we need a reminder of its sweeter side. I especially respect these people if life has been hard on them and they are still this way. It’s remarkable.
That said, I have a hard time taking life advice from people to whom life has been kind. If nothing major has ever gone wrong for you or nobody has died on you, keep your life advice to yourself.
Both of your parents are alive, well, and happily married. Mazel tov.
We spent the Christmas I was 13 trying to figure out my father’s funeral.
Your grandparents are alive? That’s beautiful to have so many generations around to spread love and celebrate. One of them has hints of dementia? That’s terrible.
I spent most of my twenties helping my mother deal with my grandfather’s immobility, dementia, nursing homes that stole his cookies, his total disconnect with reality, and failing health. I got a lovely preview of coming attraction for when it eventually happens to her. Did you know people with dementia can be very ugly and spiteful? I do!
I’m really glad your extended family can come together, stays in touch, and just straight up loves each other.
My mom’s sister was 12 sorts of useless when it came to caring for my grandfather. She didn’t speak to my mother for several years while we got to deal with the fun times. Did you know my grandfather’s wife slowly stole money from him and wrote all his grandchildren out of his will? Or that the son she stole said money for didn’t do a goddamn thing when his mother was dying? That fell to my mom. And by golly was he horrible to my mom.
Your secure career with excellent pay and benefits is stressful. Please tell me more.
I’ve never had one of those so I don’t know what it’s like. It’s actually quite fun to guess if you’re going to have enough money for bills when they come due. Who doesn’t love going on interviews and not hearing back? How about that delightful moment when you realize how much cheaper your life would be if you had benefits like transit subsidy, healthcare, and the extra income you’re not making as a temp?
Of course I want to hear about the problems in your romantic life. I’m very single so I get to live vicariously through you.
We all want to find someone to love us but it’s really fucking hard, for some of us. Hey, it’s not like I’m the ugly friend and most guys only acknowledge me to get to you. Oh, wait… It’s really reassuring to hear you tell me I’m pretty. No one else seems to think so but I’ll keep being in denial about popular opinion and hope that doesn’t eventually seep in and destroy my confidence.
You think depression is like being sad and don’t want to deal with the negativity? That’s cute.
I’m going to be in the corner hoping my crippling despair subsides enough for me to do laundry. Hey, who doesn’t enjoy routinely contemplating the pointlessness of their existence? I would love to ‘choose happiness’ but my brain will not allow that to happen. It’s really great when nobody around you understands and doesn’t particularly want to know you’ve got these problems. Maybe I can make it through the weekend without acting on the urge to kill myself. We’ll find out.
Now I’m not in the ugly depressed place right now but that has been my reality before and may very well be my reality again. I’m also not single anymore but if I was out with my friends, I was the grenade the guy had to jump on to get to the hot chick. Forever alone folks, your pain is not alien to me.
When life has been a bitch to you, getting life advice from someone who hasn’t been there but thinks they know what they’re talking about is remarkably condescending. People with kids don’t want to hear advice to someone without them. Dog people don’t want to hear suggestions from people who have never owned dogs. Tourists don’t give directions.
I don’t want to offend the softies out there but I’m not the only one thinking this. If you want to be supportive, by all means do it. People in hard situations need all the support we can get. Just keep your audience in mind before you talk and respect that you don’t know their experience.