Why do people say stupid things - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Why do people say stupid things


Moring everyone.

I went to my friend across the road tuesday evening for a chat and my next door neighbour came as well, I wouldn't say we're friends but she's lived there 20 years.

She asked about my illness and how I had Pnuemonia last summer, so I explained how I was off sick 3 months and I had really have fought to try and get well again.

Then she asked when did I first become ill, so again I explained how I ended up in casuality twice, then was transferred to Acute Medical Assessment ( otherwise known as Bronte ward)

Oh she said so you were nearly gone then. Then she followed that with well you havn't put on that much weight, to which my friend replied yes you have Kim your 100% better.

After being so ill for months, really doing everything I can to get and stay well one person managed to depress me in an instant. Now I keep thinking are they just humouring me telling me to exercise and do this and do that and it will help slow progression, or am I fooling myself.

Sorry to waffle.

Kim xx

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20 Replies

No your not kidding yourself. I get it all the time, i,m 56 on a good day I look like 96, on a bad day, i look like death warmed up but i still get your looking well today you 've got a bit of colour in your cheeks for once. They don't realise it's because if just been to the shop and I'm knackered, just because I've got a smile on my face doesn't mean I'm happy.


DONT WORRY ABOUT ANYONE ELSE,,,,,Some people leave there brains in the maternity unit when they are born,,,, me being very polite there...You are not fooling yourself,,just you keep doing what you been doing..Exercise,,health diet,,are very important to you,,more than a normal person who does not have a lung disease... Recomend you give the BLF helpline a wee ph,, if you have any doubts..x :)

Quite simply, they don't have any idea what you've gone through and it's natural to say you look better or to hope you'll get better soon. It is humouring you, but what else can they say?

I get it from family, my mother in law is the world's biggest hypochondriac but always manages to comment on things like how rosey my cheeks are and that must be a good sign. I think she's just disappointed that she does not have a chronic illness herself... She's asked about looking for jobs, and seems to gloss over the fact that even if I did get an interview, I would need a car to get there.

If a friend shows a real interest in how you are then you would try and explain your situation, but many don't seem to have the time to take it in. Sad, but that's life. :(

in reply to Gordon57

Very true,,when the going gets tough it is surprising how many people in your life just dissapear..Human nature i suppose,, might be contagious...

Kimmy59 People don't mean to be cruel they just speak before their brains are in gear. It happens all the time. Try not to worry about it too much. On the fitness thing the fitter you are the better you will feel. Have you tried a Pulmonary Rehabilitation course? They are good for meeting people in the same boat as you and they understand how you feel. Bob xx

Its the same as giving up the cigarettes only when you really want to do maintenance exercise the willpower arrives that can keep from dropping back into old habits of stopping when a little breathless and tired days that we make excuses to ourselves (do more tomorrow, make up for today) only when ready in your own mind can anything be sustained for a lifetime. Doing a little exercise regularly can convince the mind of the positive results, feeling better breathing well changes how exercise id taken as, shirk work / pleasure leisure.


Few robust answers sort wrong one out :)

A think .... All the best :)

in reply to Hidden

Agreed,, :)


I think that positivity in life can make things appear better. We are having family health problems which are made to look better by a positive approach to them. Negative remarks were made to me the other day which were a real downer. Just walked away from the person.

people who know i have thisCOPD always say how well i look and i think that if they have not seen me for a while there expecting to see me frail and weak , but you can look good but they dont know how you sometimes feel because they cant see inside you has your lungs

i have never been into excercise and i cant believe how good and better you feel after i have done a bit even just walking on a treadmill

so anyone new to this exercise really helps thats after giving up the fags and i know how hard that was

Oh Kim it goes with the territory I'm afraid. I've had this all my life, along with many others. My Mum used to tell me when I was a baby and had been red in the face from coughing folks would say 'look at those rosy cheeks, there's nothing wrong with her is there?' My Mum said she had so much to do if she didn't know them she would just say no.

In my teens if I was coming down with an infection I had crass comments from folks taking 2 steps at a time saying 'you need to give up the fags', I didn't even smoke! I used to get upset but now I never let them get away with it and I lay in on thick so they think before they speak next time and don't upset someone else. I now walk away not feeling upset at all.

It is very difficult for folks to understand chronic conditions, especially when they fluctuate and it doesn't really show as with a broken leg. if they have never come across it before. They expect you to be well. That's a classic 'you do look well'. I don't think that is meant in a bad way - they just don't know what they don't know.

Please don't allow these comments to get to you hun.

Keep up that possitivity which you had - it's good for you.

Love cx

Dear Kimmy

I'm sure that your neighbour didn't mean to upset you (I hope not).

I'm one of those people who say stupid things (not intentionally though). I'm sure that we have all said silly things in our lifetime.

When my Doctor told me that I had cancer, I said 'Thank you' - how stupid was that!!!

I think that most of us hope to make people feel better by saying what we think is the correct thing to say.

My father suffered from COPD and I (not understanding fully what it meant) said some really stupid things. I know that they were really stupid things to say because I now have the same disease (although still waiting for a determination on exactly what it is).

It's best just to smile at people who say silly things.

Good health and best wishes.




Smile and feel superior - not everyone is an idiot. :)


I hope your neighbor did not mean to upset you. My best friend of 35 years, who is like a sister to me, would not want to hurt a fly, but has said the most stupid things to me since I was diagnosed. But I love her and have not told her that she has made me cry, because I knew she did not mean it. With a neighbor you just can't really tell, I reckon get your own back by asking her to run to the shops for you as she was right and you are not up to going.

She won't be so quick to say anything bad in the future. lol :)


People are just damn thoughtless ! Don't give up you are not fooling yourself - the only way forward with COPD is to fight it and be positive! We had a holiday with my husbands sister last year and after asking him if he knew he made a noise when he was breathing!!! Then asked me later in the evening if he did it to annoy her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND that's family! Take a deep breath and know you are doing a great job! Long may you stay well. With love TAD xx

My sister who I love dearly keeps telling that if I go back swimming I'll get better. She has also told me it will take 4 years for the hairs to grow back in my lungs?????? that's how long it took her after she stopped smoking. On Tuesday I went swimming just to keep her quiet I couldn't obviously keep up so she told me it was all right she was like that too when she started. I'm 10 years younger than her never smoked as much or for as long as she did yet she never got copd. She doesn't understand it. My other sister who is also years older than me told me she had a bit of that cod thing but she's better now????? she has never smoked but got a very bad chest infection about 2 years ago. I 55 so I'm putting everything they say down to them being old. Hehehehe You just gotta love im!

Hello Everyone

Sorry for the delay in replying I've been to work.

Thank you so much for all your encouragement, I know I should ignore it I'm very lucky have a wonderful husband and huge supportive family, I was just being silly.

My husband said I should be proud of myself I gave up smoking 15 months ago gained weight, done a PR course, and fingers crossed have managed to keep it up each day.

I should have mentioned my neighbour has just started working as an auxillary at the hospital, so obviously she's now an expert.

Kim xx

''You're looking goodl'' they say.....................''am I?'' I reply ''I didn't no I was looking bad!''


Keep smiling

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Hi Kim people often say stupid things. Either they are not paying attention or they are trying to say the right thing. Me and my oldest sister (who is a hypochondriac) were at my mothers bedside the other day and I had a coughing fit. My sister also had one a bit later and claimed her cough was worse than mine! I said worse than mine? With my cold, asthma, COPD and smoking? There must be something really wrong with you and you should get it checked out then. I get treatment for mine do you?

Another sister is convinced she gets worse colds than anyone else! Though she never has to have antibiotics like I do - but hers is worse!

My youngest sister is sympathetic to my lung problems but always then goes on about smoking! But if I try and talk about depression with her she always says she is depressed too. Thats despite me taking anti-depressants and she doesn't! Doh....

On my gravestone I am going to have inscribed - I told you I was iller than you! :)

Bev xx

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