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What is your pet peeve when someone is trying to support you?

MikeMike Community Manager Posts: 4,099 Community Veteran
Really curious about this. I think all of us probably have those moments where someone is trying to be helpful or supportive, but they say or do something that we just don't find helpful for whatever reason.

Keep in mind that these will be different for everyone. For example, some people prefer to hear a lot of solutions when they feel upset about something, when others prefer a hug or to be left alone. :)
Taking a break 🌈
spoonLucy307kaii

Comments

  • spoonspoon EarthPosts: 214 Trailblazer
    edited June 13
    I do want to start off with saying that I am grateful for people that do try to help and be supportive and these things don't necessarily ruin the support given. Here are a couple pet peeves:

    - Pressuring me into saying what's wrong. I don't mind if I'm asked what's wrong but please don't attempt to make me say it or tell me I will feel better once I talk about it. Don't get me wrong, I 100% agree that talking about your problems is a good thing that can be helpful, however I would rather talk about it on my own terms. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to talk about it. Sometimes I'm already talking to someone else about it and I don't need other people to know. Sometimes I genuinely don't know what my problem is, in which case it would be better give me time to process it. Sometimes I just get a bit overwhelmed and there's not much else to talk about and that I just need a bit of space.

    - Telling me how I'm feeling or what you think the reason is for my emotions. I guess my biggest example was that three years ago, my biological father who I never met died and some people assumed that I was hiding my emotions and that I'm sad deep down (though not always said to my face. My best friend told me her mum thought that for example). Were my feelings complex? Yeah, especially as the years went by (it was more simplistic back then because it was easier for it to keep it black and white). Was I sad? No, I didn't know him; if anything I felt relieved. I'm still not sad about it. That same week he died, I had a break down about school and my lack of religious beliefs, got a talk about how blood doesn't equal family later on when I wasn't upset because of that. I do like advice and solutions, but only if you know exactly what's going on, in which case, they didn't.

    - I wouldn't call this one a big one and it applied to me a bit more a couple years back, but unless my behaviours are actually harmful, don't try to stop me from doing those behaviours. Possible TW
    I used to have a habit of scratching myself when I got upset or nervous. If I am scratching myself, it's okay to move my hands away. But watch what I'm doing before you do that because I have alternative behaviours like squeezing my arm (which is comforting to me and rarely done hard enough to hurt) or scratching my sleeve instead.

    The best supportive thing someone can do is to just be there for me.



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    daisyella12kaiiMikeLucy307
  • LorryTruckLorryTruck Definition of a mental mess and a certified lost cause :) EnglandCommunity Champion Posts: 2,449 Boards Champion
    I hate how someone asks am I OK when I've been crying, or it's obvious I'm not OK.

    Also how some people try and find reasons for why you are not OK instead of asking you yourself. Jumping to conclusions as well.

    When someone says I feel like this because I'm on my period. NO.

    I've had someone trying to support me say it's a phase, and start talking about their own mindfulness techniques, when I clearly said these dont work.

    I do appreciate people who try and support me though <3
    It's much easier to say "My tooth is aching" 
    than to say "My heart is broken"
    MikeLucy307kaiispoon
  • kaiikaii somewhere on earthPosts: 140 The Mix Convert
    I agree with what everyone has said on here ^^ I'm grateful to have been given a lot of great support so it was kind of difficult for me to think of some pet peeves when someone's trying to support me. There could be more, but these are the ones that stick out to me from my experience.

    - when someone gives possible solutions that could work to the problem/situation I have, and then they say "see, the problem/solution wasn't so bad after all"

    I know that they're probably saying this to prove the point that there is always a solution to each problem, and that thinking on the bright side helps. But I didn't open up about my feelings/problems for them to be invalidated. I know that no one has a 100% understanding of another's feelings, but I hope that people learn to understand that every single person feels pain at different thresholds. There's no such thing as "overreacting" when it comes to experiencing pain. I think it would be best to just understand that I'm experiencing a problem without comparing it's how bad it is to other problems they might have experienced. Even though they may have helped me with dealing with this situation/problem, saying that the problem wasn't so bad doesn't help for me.

    - when someone gives me support/advice while I'm still explaining a situation/problem

    This doesn't bother me too much mainly because people can zone out sometimes when listening or they could just be exhausted trying to understand after reading a huge paragraph. But from what I've experienced, this still happens even when I try to make it easier for the listener. I make sure that I write/explain my situation into small chunks so that I don't lose their attention. It would be great if they waited until I'm done explaining, and then they can ask questions if they still don't understand.

    Ultimately, I don't think anyone can give perfect support - even if we're all equipped with a great ability to listen or a really high amount of empathy, we all seek different kinds of support. Trying your best to support someone, being there for someone, and the thought of wanting to help someone is what really matters <3
    MikeLorryTruckspoon
  • LorryTruckLorryTruck Definition of a mental mess and a certified lost cause :) EnglandCommunity Champion Posts: 2,449 Boards Champion
    edited June 15
    Also, when someone is dismissive, like you are making a big deal out of something, basically totally invalidating your feelings and experiences.

    I understand that there are people in this world who have been through worse and are going through far worse things than I will ever go through, but it doesn't give the right for someone who is supposed to support you to invalidate those issues.

    Also, when someone says "It's OK" when it's not OK . Also, saying it's going to get better. Yeah one day it'll get better, but in the moment it feels like it will never get better, so this statement it very unhelpful.

    I feel like everybody is different, so there never can be the right way to approach someone when trying to support them.
    It's much easier to say "My tooth is aching" 
    than to say "My heart is broken"
    Mikespoonkaii
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 969 Part of The Mix Family
    I love how big the range is with everyone's experiences of pet peeves!! And I feel the same about many of them (I reckon we could all benefit from getting some kind of communication lessons in school/the workplace so we can avoid some of the classic 'Don'ts' of supporting someone who is in pain).

    For me, and this is a contentious one, I quite dislike being told "it's normal/common" and very specifically that wording, I think it's nice to hear "It makes sense to feel that way" and stuff like that which is almost the same as the first phrase. However, for me, hearing "it's normal" reads as: "don't worry things aren't that bad, other people do X and other people feel X" and of course this is true, but often when your in the depths of pain, it feels like no one can truly understand it 100% even if they've experienced very similar situations. And I think it feeds into a wider point about when your mental health is being supported you don't want to feel like you're just another number. <3
    I'm a community moderator. I represent The Mix on the discussion boards and I'm here to help guide discussions, make sure everything is within guidelines, and take care of the housekeeping. I can't send or receive private messages, but you can message @TheMix or email [email protected] with any questions or concerns and the team will get back to you.

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    LorryTruckspoonkaiiMike
  • LorryTruckLorryTruck Definition of a mental mess and a certified lost cause :) EnglandCommunity Champion Posts: 2,449 Boards Champion
    I hate clichés too.

    Like:

    There's a light at the end of the tunnel
    It's always darkest before dawn
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
    Not all those who wander are lost

    And I could go on forever. There's nothing wrong by saying these things when trying to support someone, but most the time I've heard all these before, and it's kind of annoying.
    It's much easier to say "My tooth is aching" 
    than to say "My heart is broken"
    kaiiMikeAislingDM
  • CobralilyCobralily AlaskaPosts: 5 Confirmed not a robot
    -“You’re overreacting”

    -Comparing other experiences to mine in a way that belittles my experience(or just generally trying to belittle my experience)

    -Comparing their experience to mine in a way that makes theirs seem more important

    -Getting emotional in their comforts towards me and/or being made the center of attention

    I appreciate the support but……I am highly sensitive to other people’s emotions, which can be very triggering for me(particularly anger).

    -Advice that I specifically said does not work
    Example: Me: “…he doesn’t listen! I can’t discuss anything with him! He talks over me! He just twists my words into whatever he wants them to be! Trying to discuss anything with him is impossible! Believe me, I tried!”Them: “This sounds pretty serious. Have you tried talking to him?”. No, I tried whistling to him🙄I appreciate advice, but I also appreciate being listened to.

    Summing it up, I am an introverted HSP(Highly Sensitive Person) with an extremely high level of empathy, PTSD, and anxiety. Certain things are simply triggering to me and the fault nobody else’s but my abusers’. I spent all of my life fighting and killing most of my emotions and trying to seem perfect. I can’t trust. I can’t be vulnerable. I don’t have any close friends. I have so much love to give and no one to give it to. It hurts. When I try to say these things, I get all of the above and earn the title “Attention Seeker”(which is hilarious since I can’t stand being the center of attention, it’s too pressuring).

    People tend not to under something until it happens to them or someone they love. Few people have that level of empathy.
    LorryTruck
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruModerator Posts: 407 Listening Ear
    Invalidating/dismssing my emotions. Whether that's being told to move on/get over it, or that it's just not as bad as I'm making it out to be. I do understand that my emotions seem to be more intense than others but that's still no reason to invalidate my feelings. This also happens with positive emotions too- being told I get too excited, obsessed or attached.

    People assuming/guessing how I feel. A friend once told me that someone we knew had passed away. They then told me "don't be too upset, someone had to tell you". The thing was though...I didn't feel upset because I barely knew them. It was sad to hear but I wasn't upset or crying or anything. Then I felt guilty like I SHOULD be feeling upset.

    Related to that, after someone guesses how I feel, they might act on those assumptions. A friend thought I was lonely (I didn't have many friends) and so they took it upon themselves to find me a friend. They didn't know that I was burnt out, didn't want to talk to more people and felt slightly offended because I wanted a friend I could talk to about what was on my mind, not wanting to chat with some random person online.

    That above problem was actually caused by the fact that my friend was often quite busy so when I would talk to them (I send long messages, but that's just how I communicate) it often felt like they didn't understand me, like they weren't 'listening' to me properly. Which then made me feel like a burden on them, so I pretty much stopped talking to people about what's on my mind because I assumed that I was a burden and that others would also feel this way about me.

    I get that people try to help, but sometimes it can be more of a help just slowing down, listening (properly) and asking questions, rather than than assuming and taking action.
    I'm a community moderator. I represent The Mix on the discussion boards and I'm here to help guide discussions, make sure everything is within guidelines, and take care of the housekeeping. I can't send or receive private messages, but you can message @TheMix or email [email protected] with any questions or concerns and the team will get back to you.

    Community Guidelines | How to use the boards | How to report a post | How to report spam
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  • SiobhanSiobhan Posts: 14,442 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    edited June 24
    It is interesting though cause sometimes, probably depending on loads of things, “everything will be okay” can be kinda really reassuring to me. And sometimes just annoying.

    I think it can depend on the situation for me. So I’m just saying how I’m always sad and that’s my flat constant mood and someone says that to me, I’d find that annoying & invalidating considering it feels like it’s never going to be okay. But if im in a panic or really suddenly distressed or triggered I really like being told that. Kinda puts me at ease like sometimes I actually think In my head -‘someone just tell me it will all be okay’. And what can seem invalidating for someone else might be really helpful. (I know we all know that, I just find it interesting)
    “ i think that deep down you still think life is worth living. It’s no where near over for you. You’re in pain. The thing you lost, Is the same thing that can stop that pain”
    LorryTruck
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