Monday, June 9, 2008

Why you gotta be like that?

Why is it that some people, when confronted with ominous news, feel the insatiable need to make the person feel worse?

"I'm getting an MRI in a month. My doctor says I might have a tumor on my auditory nerve"
"Really? My uncle had a tumor on his auditory nerve and they had to cut out his brain and then he died"

"Something is wrong with my dog. He won't eat and sleeps all day"
"Really? That happened to my dog once. He slowly died on the way to the vet. It was very painful to watch"

"My jaw has been really bothering me but the doctor says it's probably just a benign cyst"
"Really? My friend had the same thing but, even though it was benign, he sill had to get half his face cut off and then he slowly died on his way to the vet. It was very painful to watch"

Why do people do that? I don't get it. Likely the people who are giving the news are upset and quite possibly scared. Wouldn't some words of encouragement be appropriate? Or even a funny tale to lighten the mood? Or, I don't know, a story of a similar situation that ended positively?

Maybe it's just me.


tee said...

It's the "one-up disease", it's like you're not allowed to have a story that's more interesting than theirs. Or maybe they're just super morbid...either way, this happens way more oftener and worser to me than you....

Rachael said...

My theory is that most human beings will find any opportunity to talk about themselves or their experiences, no matter what the context. OY! Although I am considering Tee's theory as well.

notquiteawake said...

Well Tee, you definitely are better at making up words.

Schmutzie said...

The same crap happened to me when I had cervical cancer. All manner of awfulness was possible, according to some people. Don't let them get to you.

may-b said...

People are infinitely stupid. That is all I have ever really learned.

notquiteawake said...

I can't believe someone would try to one-up Cancer. I'm embarrassed for human kind.
May-be: Agreed.