If I was sent here from another planet to study humans, I would be very confused by something that seems to be very common.
Even the nicest people who are close friends or family, and really care, will add a negative twist to their show of gratitude or support in a difficult time.
I have many examples of this but let me present just two.
A woman just had a hysterectomy done by keyhole surgery. She was feeling fine even hours after the operation. Four days after the operation, now at home, she was feeling even better, no pain to speak of and moving around fine. A friend of hers who had the same procedure done 15 years ago called to see how she was doing.
When told that she was doing very well and there was no pain or trouble at all, the response was; “I am very glad to hear that but just wait, you’re going to feel it very badly and take six months to recover.”
Why was this necessary? Even if it is true, it was not necessary to tell her this very painful outlook. The friend did not consider any of the obvious facts as well, such as being cut open versus keyhole surgery, not to mention how technology has improved in 15 years.
It was totally unnecessary to inflict fear and emotional pain of anticipation of a six month recovery instead of the two to six weeks the doctor expected. Why not just say that she is sure you will recover fine and that is great that you have no pain, and hope that you never feel any pain.
Another example, less personal, is a friend of mine who replied to an email I sent him with a funny video clip; “Thank you. It is really funny, but I already watched it some time ago. Internet has an ability to recycle stories over and over again.”
Why not just say thank you, that was really funny. Why add to that the extra comments of saying that he already saw it so it is nothing new. Why rob me of the joy of sharing a good joke and making my friend happy for a moment.
If I may suggest that adding the extra comments which turn thanks or support into a negative experience, just learn to say thank you and let the giver feel they have brightened your day. If someone is in pain, sick or scared, don’t offer them things to fear, comparing your experiences which were bad and so you want everyone else to have the same trouble you had.
Watch what you say, choose your words more carefully to bring joy to people, but above all, do not send a dark cloud, even with the best intentions.