Do comments like this annoy you? AIBU?

(67 Posts)
PenguinBear Sat 02-Nov-13 15:20:35

Does it annoy you when someone likes to tell you how you feel/are?
E.g. No you don't have a headache. I have a headache or no of course it isn't a sickness bug, you're fine while you're being sick.

They always have to be the worst and if they are ever questioned you are accused 'bullying' them and not caring.

How would you handle this type of bastard behaviour?

Tee2072 Sat 02-Nov-13 15:22:08

"Are you me? Are you inside my body? No? Then shut up."

Euphemia Sat 02-Nov-13 15:23:03

I work with someone like this. I can never mention anything about my health without she's had it worse. I tried to tell her about my dad's cancer recently and she interrupted me to tell me she lost a brother to cancer.

RandomMess Sat 02-Nov-13 15:23:38

No idea how you deal with it, I have a colleague who has an opinion on everything and is always right and always tries to tell me what I ought to do confused

Drives me crazy and I end being rude back because I can only bight my tongue so much...

It's a running joke in our house.

Me: "I have a migraine"
DH: "weird, I have a headache too" <blah blah about his aches>
Me: "Of course you do"
DH: blush

'Tis common.
Not sure whether it's a cackhanded attempt at empathy or self-centredness.


Euphemia Sat 02-Nov-13 15:29:30

This woman's the same - tells me how to live my life.

"You should go part-time."
"You should put your DD to private school."
"You should get x, y and z."

You should just fuck right off.

RandomMess Sat 02-Nov-13 15:33:28

Euphemia grin

Last comment:

"why have you come in today it's beautiful you should have stayed at home"

"and do what?"

"well anything say in the garden (I don't have one) or well anything but come in here"

arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - I was so rude and she still didn't shut up!

Maybe they are trying to be empathetic.

"I have a nasty D&V bug"

"Oh yes I had that last week"

To me means "Oh I know what you're going through" not "you malingerer"

Just a bit clumsy confused

harticus Sat 02-Nov-13 18:04:59

It is top trumps health that drives me mad....

- I have a pain in my leg
- Oh dear. But I actually broke my leg
- Really? Well my leg shrivelled up and fell off etc etc

My ex did that to me once. I had period pains, so I played it down with "I'm feeling under the weather, I have stomach cramps and backache".
The next day he told me he had caught my bug. With me insisting he couldn't have what I had the day before, him insisting it was. I had to come clean about my period. (Infront of friends).
Shocked silence then laughter, with him mumbling about "it must be flu then..."

NynaevesSister Sat 02-Nov-13 18:57:10

Hubs does this he thinks he is being sympathetic by letting you know that they've been there etc. I had to be blunt because it can be really innapropriate. You are NOT letting someone know that you understand what they are going through because your cousin in South Africa that you see once every five years has had encephalitis that put him in a coma for a week which is exactly like the six week coma and months of physio they underwent just to walk again after a blood clot.

I read an interview once with a guy who lost his arm in which he said that actually one of the worst things about losing his arm was the huge number of boring stories he had to politely sit through. Why did complete strangers think he would be riveted by the story of how great uncle George lost his foot through diabetes?

The "what about me" brigade annoy me as well.

A - what happened at the doctors
B - well, after a discussion we came to the conclusion I may be suffering from depression due to the fact I'm losing my ability to walk.
A - well what about ME then? I get depression. And some days it's difficult for ME to walk.

(Not my conversation, but a family member)

waceystills Sat 02-Nov-13 19:13:28

I was feeling dodgy at work with morning sickness and a horrible tiredness - you know the kind, 11 weeks pregnant and I could just about keep my eyes open.

Colleague (bit of a hypochondriac) who didn't know I was pregnant and overheard me describe my symptoms, he said "oh yes I have what you have, I feel exactly the same, I may have to go home"

I took great pleasure in telling him that " I hope not as I'm pregnant'

Shut him up smile

RevelsRoulette Sat 02-Nov-13 19:17:26

Hang on - telling you that YOU don't have a headache?

Well, my reply would be "How have you come to the conclusion that I do not have a headache when the only person that can feel the pain of a headache is the person having it?"

Well, I'd go further, into enthusing about their magical powers and the benefits to humanity and their duty to share their gift with the world, but I'm a bit of a cow grin

FriendlyElephant Sat 02-Nov-13 19:32:16

I agree, I hate it.

Ditto those "Do you think you're the only person to ever have a cold/ be pregnant/ be depressed/ have migraines etc." Of course not, but it doesn't make any difference really does it?

Me 'Gosh, I've got a horrible headache'
'Friend' 'No, you don't, you don't get headaches'

'Tis true, I rarely get headaches but that day I had one. Except apparently I didn't... hmm

Stuckunderababy Sat 02-Nov-13 19:45:51

When someone I was very close to died , my step sister, on my telling her, 'empathised' by telling me how upset she was that one of her cats had died. shock angry

Some people are just mindless idiots.

lljkk Sat 02-Nov-13 19:56:28

My 12yo does this & it's funny if tiresome. She didn't used to be so myopic; I'm assuming it's the age.

claig Sat 02-Nov-13 20:01:58

I think it is because some people don't know what to say when they hear bad news, so they try to deflect empathising by mentioning something similar they may have had.

I don't think they mean to be unreasonable, they just don't know how to handle it.

tracypenisbeaker Sat 02-Nov-13 20:05:21

Depression is a really awkward thing for people to try and empathise with, because it feels like they aren't listening and are trying to compete.

claig Sat 02-Nov-13 20:06:50

It's a bit like teh question "How are you?"
People don't want to hear any bad news, they are just saying it to be polite.

LaGuardia Sat 02-Nov-13 20:11:22

As a nurse, I listen to patients trying to outdo each other. There will always be one on the ward who has more stiches, greater pain and less appetite (according to them). We have had patients discharge themselves in a huff because the person opposite had surgery and they wanted the same (but didn't require it}. People are very funny.

claig Sat 02-Nov-13 20:17:05

"There will always be one on the ward who has more stiches, greater pain and less appetite (according to them)."

Sounds like the Only Fools and Horses Uncle Albert war stories. The ones with the greatest pain and most stitches are survivors who have been through the wringer and come out the other side and they want recognition of that in a Walter Mitty style way.

bumpandkind Sat 02-Nov-13 20:24:48

Me and DH have competitive tiredness. Him working, me with young baby.
Who wins?

Simsim1 Sat 02-Nov-13 21:00:53

We once had dh's cousin staying over moaning about her period pains and that she didn't fancy any dinner, whilst I was in the early stages of labour.

gemmal88 Sat 02-Nov-13 21:57:15

I had a conversation with my aunt today telling her about my jaunt to hospital due to hypermesis this week and had a moan about feeling rubbish. This was countered with her hangover and how hypermesis wouldn't be a patch on that.

I made my excuses and got off the phone. hmm

I knew a person who got very upset and annoyed when various HCPs started appearing at their house in regular intervals and it was not about them, but their spouse who was dying of a brain tumour.
Nobody knew how to deal with this person who of course deserved sympathy and support during the time their spouse was dying, but it was hard to stay sympathetic at the increasingly absurd attempts at trying to 'trump' every symptom the dying person had.

Nought as queer as folk.

Not quite health related but similar; my hubby does it with the temperature. Last night me shivering as I took off my dressing gown to get into bed and he says you're not cold, it's not not cold. Me hmm actually I am cold, you're not me, you can't know whether I'm cold!

Pollydon Sat 02-Nov-13 23:07:11

I call it competitive illness syndrome.

wamabama Sun 03-Nov-13 07:16:02

It depends how it's done. If it's done in an almost competitive way like "What about me? I'm suffering far more than you are." sorta thing then of course that's obnoxious.

However I think often it's people trying to empathise and also let you know you're not alone with it. I think it can be helpful to hear other peoples experiences sometimes just to know you're not the only one. Also when people say "Oh I had that bug last week, bloody awful isn't it" I just view that as normal conversation. It isn't self centered imo, it's just making conversation...

sashh Sun 03-Nov-13 07:20:59

My mother does this, but not just about health

"you just have to think........." no I don't have to think that at all.

TidyDancer Sun 03-Nov-13 07:22:31

Bumpandkind - neither of you?

I work with someone who has always had something worse happen to her or feels more ill than you or has slept less than you. It gets to the point where people dread having conversations around her!

PenguinBear Sun 03-Nov-13 08:26:01

Thanks all. I don't think in the situation described in my op that he is trying to sympathise, he just doesn't want to acknowledge that anyone could be feeling under the weather apart from him.
Yes he has diabetes but he uses it on a daily basis to not do things he doesn't want to do hmm. Dont you know I am diabetic is one of his favourite lines.
Funnily enough it never stops him doing anything he wants to do!!

Well, you could point out to him that Sir Steven Redgrave is also an insulin dependent diabetic and he seems to have been able to exert himself considerably from time to time... wink

SamHamwidge Sun 03-Nov-13 09:00:23

My mother.does competitive illness.

Drives me mad when all you want is a bit of sympathy .

I'd go into a big lecture about the subjectiveness of pain grin

I have no patience with certain people DH moaning they have something minor wrong though (or competitive tiredness), when they know how I feel. The only answer he gets is, if its that bad, go see the doctor.

ithaka Sun 03-Nov-13 09:13:19

I would be careful with the Steve Redgrave comment - Steve Redgrave is a T2 diabetic and nothing gives T1 diabetics the rage more than T2 diabetics attempting to empathise with them as if they have the same condition. It is, in fact, a prime example of what is being complained about on this thread.

My MIL is a competitive illness person, so I decide not to play the game with her and I am competitively healthy instead -'poor you, you are always ill. I am so healthy, I never get ill, I must have a fantastic immune system, I think my family must have great genes, I'm so lucky etc' It is worth it to see her twitch.

Thewalkingdeadkr Sun 03-Nov-13 09:16:34

I posted about this last year.
I had full on flu, really bad. I could hardly move but dh had to work a d it was in my interests to get kids to school/nursery.
Involved lots of pain killers and dd1 helping much.
I'd painfully load them into the car and drop them looking like death itself.
But apparently I didn't have flu or I'd have been unable to get out of bed!

DownstairsMixUp Sun 03-Nov-13 09:18:15

Yes very annoying. My DP doesn't talk to his uncle anymore but when he did his partner was so annoying. Literally no one could tell her a story without her doing something better say "I went on a carribean cruise, it was lovely" her = "I went on a hot air balloon all over the world with richard branson and my own butler" it was very tiresome.

waikikamookau Sun 03-Nov-13 09:19:29

my bil does this to dh. he is always iller we joke about it, dont tell him how ill you are - youwill only get how Ill he is..

ithaka, I take your point, I was responding to the OP's husband not being able to do stuff 'because he is diabetic'. And Redgrave is insulin dependent, isn't he?

I like your approach to your MiL... grin

BooCanary Sun 03-Nov-13 09:23:17

I get more annoyed with people who won't allow you to whinge about being ill, unless youve fully confirmed that you have taken all and every relevant medicinal remedy:

Me- Oh I feel really crap, bad head and stomach ache.
Dh - Well have you taken some rennies?
Me - no, its not really a rennies-type stomach ache.
Dh - well how do you know until you take some? How about paracetamol?
Me - well I might just go and lie down and take some paracetamol in a minute.
Dh - try nurofen, and maybe a hot drink. Or have a bath?
Me - arrrghhhh!

PloddingDaily Sun 03-Nov-13 09:24:37

I'd be very wary of the whole issue of how badly one person's medical condition affects them vs another person with the same condition (& as said already, T1 & T2 are very different beasts esp re exercise)...just like non diabetics, it's not fair to say to someone "well
X runs marathons so you must be being a wimp" as we're all different...& then I also know from bitter personal experience that diabetes is a) bloody hard to control b) makes you feel lousy when your levels are wrong - physically & mentally & c) nothing is more poisonous in a relationship than your oh assuming you're swinging the lead just because your medical condition is not always visible in it's effects. Oh, & a hypo / exercise / slightly wrong carb counting can have effects that last hours /days in extreme cases.

I'm not saying your DH doesn't have a case of '2shits' (as it's called in this house! grin), just trying to put the other side of diabetes across - I often get fatigue & other symptoms if th

MidniteScribbler Sun 03-Nov-13 09:24:41

My aunt does this. Drives me mental. She's allowed to be sick and have a sore back and stay in bed all day (while I run around after her making cups of tea and doing all the housework and washing) but when I have the flu, she just wants to remind me how she had it a few weeks earlier and 'we women just have to soldier on".

Boo, those are the 'fixers': unable to listen and give sympathy, but feel the need to 'do something'.
V annoying. 'Tis often men, but my mum is also pretty bad for it....

PloddingDaily Sun 03-Nov-13 09:26:00

Argh, phone!!! Was trying to say i often get other symptoms if things are out of kilter but I'd be mortified if people assumed I was engaged in swinging the lead / one upmanship... sad

BerstieSpotts Sun 03-Nov-13 09:27:11

It's not your DH/DP is it? Huge red flag for emotional abuse, if so. They just can't stand anyone being centre of attention more than themselves...

BerstieSpotts Sun 03-Nov-13 09:28:07

In fact this particular trait was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I LTB.

PenguinBear Sun 03-Nov-13 09:29:10

I may use the Steve Redgrave thing, thanks! It's gets very tiresome...

Can you bath the younger dc, can you help cook dinner, can you collect dd1 from her friend's house, can you do anything. His answer is always 'no, don't you know I'm a diabetic' he then proceeds to tell me how selfish I am, don't get his illness and don't care about it. He goes into his study and just plays on his computer.
Though when he wanted something for his computer he made the hour long trip to Peterborough to get it without issues! Funny that!

vladthedisorganised Sun 03-Nov-13 09:30:29

When in labour in hospital I told one of the HCAs that I was in a lot of pain.
"No you aren't"
"Er, yes, this is really quite severe"
"No it isn't. This your first baby? You're not in pain"
???? Having had assorted injuries of varying severity up to then, I thought I would know the difference between 'almost unbearable' and 'ow, I banged my elbow on the doorframe'

ithaka Sun 03-Nov-13 09:37:04

OP - is your partner T1 or T2 diabetic? As has already been stated, they are 2 very different conditions, so I would only use the Steve Redgrave example if he is T2.

FiveExclamations Sun 03-Nov-13 09:38:40

Ha! An in law has huge form for this, I think it's a self defense mechanism as in "On no! Five is ill! She might expect me to help, like she did when I was ill. I'll tell her I'm sick too, or have been and managed on my own, then she can't expect me to help and I can maintain my image of being a decent person while being completely selfish. Hurrah!"

Lots of people do it sadly, I have a couple of mates who are soldier on, help others out people and sometimes you can just see it in their face as some one is maundering on about their aches and pains while they are babysitting someone else's kids, cooking all an elderly relatives meals and feeling guilty because they've had to say no to someone all while fighting off a stinking cold.

Mrspebble Sun 03-Nov-13 09:45:17

I have a friend like this. Her job is tougher than anyone's, her pregnancy worse than anyone's.

I wouldn't mind and let her ramble on but when I recently had an emcs and infection and asked for a few days to get on my feet for visitors she rang constantly saying.. Oh we are all a bit sore!!!

A bit sore!!!!!! A day after a full labour then section...


everythinghippie29 Sun 03-Nov-13 09:47:30

I love one of my good friends dearly but she is very much like this.

She had been struggling with depression and I knew she had been to the Drs about it. I asked how it was all going as I have had issues with depression and severe anxiety myself which she is aware if but has never really spoken to me about.

She said it was going great she was off her meds and treatment, but then went on to say that she had been on more medication than me ( I don't know what she was basing this on or that it was top trumps) and that as the only CBT I had been offered was telephone based (the only type my Drs offer across the board), that my issues must have been nowhere near as bad as hers and the Drs couldn't have considered it that serious.

I was shock. I would NEVER compare an illness like depression across people as it is so personal and variable. I was shocked that someone who had experienced this could be so dismissive of it!

It's honestly a subject I will have to avoid with her in the future as although i am currently feeling quite good about my life, I felt genuinely upset by this conversation and it made me question myself and my course of treatment!

Meow75 Sun 03-Nov-13 09:47:55

When my DH broke his ankle in 09, the RAF ambulance medic that picked him up from the gym and took him the 2/3 mile to the med centre said to him,
"It's not broken. You're not in enough pain."
Dr at the med centre glanced at my DH as he was wheeled through reception and said "Get him to hospital, right now!"

Yeah, it was broken!

Straitjacket Sun 03-Nov-13 09:54:52

I have a certain relative who appears to have everything I do. For example, I got diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, she then claimed she did but has had no splints, or steroid injections for it. I got diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia, she claime she already had the year before but was far too busy to go and get the b12 injections hmm. And then when I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, so was they, the following day but yet has no pain relief in place and is forever asking me to send her mine instead hmm.

I haven't even bothered mentioning other things I have been diagnosed with, because I am fed up of all the crap that comes with it.

PloddingDaily Sun 03-Nov-13 11:23:03


From what you've said it is possible that he's being a lazy lump (as I guess all people can be from time to time) DH would/will quite cheerfully disappear into IT/xbox for hours on end & he's not the interests of fairness & not jumping to the assumption that his 'diabetic line' isn't just an excuse I'm wondering how his diabetic control is? Poor control affects mood...affects motivation...affects mental health...& it can all feel too hard & easier to escape into another world rather than deal with reality & get a grip on levels which in turn will make everything else easier to deal with (my pet head in the sand thing is books blush). Even a mild cold can play merry hell with sugar levels & set off this kind of spiral.

There is a clear link between diabetes & depression, do you think this could be an issue? What might come across as 'poor me, poor me' might be a symptom of diabetic burn out (we all get it from time to time) or something preying on his mind like retinopathy etc... Would it be worth having a chat with him to see? I can appreciate being a partner to a diabetic must mean a lot of tightrope walking, it's a fine line between nagging, showing concern, being supportive & seeming uncaring (my DH veers across all those from time to time! grin) & I imagine it might feel like being on egg shells a lot of the time.

flowers ...Sorry, I do realise this is right off topic, I'm just trying to help by offering an 'insider's persepctive' - has he been diabetic long, or is it all still relatively new to you both?

whogrewoutoftheterribletwos Sun 03-Nov-13 11:36:52

My sister is terrible for this. The worst was perhaps when dd had colic. Then we constantly got 'oh poor you dd, aunty's suffered terribly from colic all her life' (yes, speaking in the 3rd person). Really? THEN WHY IS THIS THE FIRST TIME I'VE HEARD OF IT? And you must have been the only colicky baby ever to not have cried about it (dsis was apparently a perfect baby by all accounts).

Though isn't what we do by responding on these threads with our own stories just a version of competitive illness too? grin

jammypuddingmonkey Sun 03-Nov-13 13:10:19

Not being allowed to be ill pisses me off. Everything, from a migraine, to a sore throat, to chronic conditions etc. Not allowed, didn't get permission or something hmm

But they're always allowed to be ill, of course.

HelloBoys Sun 03-Nov-13 13:18:55

Oh yes one woman up manship at work.

If I've been sick she's had it worse etc. headache period pains (my wombs falling out -her) her period blood ON the toilet seat!

She couldn't compare when I had norovirus as was sick in work toilet.

She now works upstairs.

She's worse re deaths and terminal illness omg. Competitive nature or what.

HelloBoys Sun 03-Nov-13 13:19:57

My colleague crawls in with most ailments regardless of whether the entire office wants her vomiting bug.

Alexandrite Sun 03-Nov-13 14:15:26

I used to get really bad period pains in my teens and twenties. My mum didn't believe in them because she had never had them. angry

ZingWantsCake Sun 03-Nov-13 14:19:06

it's all in your head - is my favourite.

very appropriate when I have a migraine though!grin

PenguinBear Sun 03-Nov-13 14:56:45

Its Type 2 for those that asked, he's had it around 20 years. Thanks for the insider perspective plodding. smile

His dad also has it and I think he is now seeing in his dad, things that could happen to him in the future like issues with his eyes, ulcers on his legs etc.

Plus at the moment we have no kitchen so are surviving on crappy microwave meals.

PloddingDaily Sun 03-Nov-13 17:01:47

Ah...if the lethargy is unusual it could be the micro dinners then?...thinking unless you're being far more virtuous than I would be grin & the meals are the curry / pasta type, they could well have far more carbs than he's used to, if he's diet controlled? Plus seeing his dad's condition probably is quite scary...might be worth a gentle prod nudge to get him to see the nurse to check how he's doing & whether anything needs tweaking?

Best of luck, it can't be fun... flowers

expatinscotland Sun 03-Nov-13 17:05:13

Tell such people to fck off.

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