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Findingout
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2010

The man in my life is an engineer and thus certainly a 'fix it' person. He was coming by (we broke up after 10 years last Sept!!) after my diagnosis but it was uncomfortable, he'd rush in and out and I'd be left feeling worse than if he hadn't come. So I emailed him to just not come by because it seemed like he didn't really want to be here, and he replied that he had a "limited set of tools" to help me and he felt frustrated.
What an eye opener!!! Here I just thought he didn't really care...

I found this brochure online (can't find it now) about how to be a friend to someone with cancer. I wrote him this message, copied from my Sent mail, below, and since then it's DEFINITELY been better, he hugs me, he asks what's going on, how am I. BTW I didn't talk to him about it because I didn't want to sound blame-y, and I didn't want him to "turn off," that's just how I did it. Next time he came by he walked right in and hugged me.

"I read an online brochure for friends of people w/ cancer. It said how friends and mates can feel frustrated about how to help and I remembered your email about that. I know you're a fix-it person so I see how that could be frustrating.
It said friends can ask the person what they'd like or how they feel, and listen to them, and don't get sidetracked about finding ways to 'fix" it, sometimes it can't be fixed, but just ask them and listen to them and that in itself is helpful. Friendship is a tremendously healing thing itself. The friend doesn't have to fix anything, just ask how the person is today, or give them a hug, listen.
But I know you, and when you hear me talk about pain or something like that, you get a little anxious that you can't fix it and you are not sure what to do or say. You can just say that (that you're frustrated). I'm not expecting you to fix everything (although you do come up with some good fixes!!).
I'm only writing this because the brochure reminded me of you and the frustratiion or awkwardness that commonly arises in these situations and so that our communication can be open and comfortable and you don't feel frustrated, or think you have a 'limited" set of tools. When you told me that, it was so helpful, I think I got it."

sea60's picture
sea60
Posts: 2601
Joined: May 2010

in an honest communicated way helped. I'll bet he's glad you cleared that up for him.

Good for you!!

(Very helpful information for family & friends by the way)

Hugs,

Sylvia

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5285
Joined: Oct 2010

LIMITED set of tools...I like that...

my hubby puts head in sand...maybe this is why!

Thanks for input....

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5285
Joined: Oct 2010

http://www.psychologyhelp.com/gend133.htm

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