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with the person who told me to 'get some perspective because HER friend is dying of cancer?'

(48 Posts)
Collision Sun 17-Jul-11 11:41:22

Something really upset me this week and I was very down about it.

Not life threatening. No threat to my family or DH.

But it affected me.

This person came up to me while I was making a coffee at work and said COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BLUE 'my friend has 3-5 years to live. YOU need to get some perspective.'

Now, don't get me wrong. It is terribly sad that her friend has cancer and I know how awful this is but it doesn't take away from how am feeling about things and how this has upset me. She has known for a while about her friend so wasn't told recently. I do not know her friend and am aware that my situation is not as tragic as this but it does not negate what is happening in my life.


<<disclaimer - 1st time posting in AIBU so be kind!!>>

hairylights Sun 17-Jul-11 11:42:43

What is it that has upset you? And how much of a fuss did you make about it at work?

LessonsinL Sun 17-Jul-11 11:44:56

Your friend needs to get some perspective, not you smile When someone tells you to "see the bigger picture" or "get some perspective", it usually indicates that they are unable to see your point of view.

Ignore her. YANBU.

FreudianSlipper Sun 17-Jul-11 11:46:03

so that is how she is feeling at the moment, like you she is entitled to feel the way she does and own her own feelings

i think you are creating more of a drama out of it yes

Tortington Sun 17-Jul-11 11:46:14

no yanbu, her friend dying of cancer is nothing compared to the mothers who are watching all their children slowly die one by one of starvation in africa.

we can all point out something worse happening somewhere, this doesn't give one an excuse not to be a little empathetic/sypathetic, thnk of others a little bit

DoMeDon Sun 17-Jul-11 11:48:20

Yes and No.

Do you need to get some perspective?

People dying doesn't stop others from being upset. My friend moaned to me about a really (self-proclaimed) trivial thing once, then apologised when she found out I was going through a cancer scare. I told her not to be daft. I was coping, I knew I could talk to my friends if I wanted to. She was upset about her trivial problem and me having a bigger one didn't negate her feelings AT ALL.

Having said that it would help lots of people to remove their head from arse and remember some stuff REALLY doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

On balance your colleague was intusive and insensitive but not unreasonable.

Highlander Sun 17-Jul-11 11:48:42

OTOH, her comment suggests that she is struggling to come to terms with her friend and maybe needs a shoulder to cry on?

MY SIL is dying and your initial reaction is to tell everyone to get some perspective. It did take me a long time to realise that that is a rude, crass thing to say; peoples' problems are huge and very personal to them and it's not nice to dismiss them.

fastweb Sun 17-Jul-11 11:50:08

Somebody else having a broken back does not make a stubbed toe painless.

But when you are facing the loss of somebody dealing with very serious health issues it makes it really hard not to draw comparisons and can make it hard to hear stubbed toe pain.

I'd give her some space cos she is probably dealing with a lot of pain, and find somebody else to get stuff off your chest with. And yes wanting to get non life threatening stuff off your chest is a perfectly normal thing to want to do.

Don't think either of you are being unreasonable, just at the moment it is a bad match for you two doing the sympathetic friend helping another with not life threatening problems thing.

BluddyMoFo Sun 17-Jul-11 11:51:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ApocalypseCheeseToastie Sun 17-Jul-11 11:51:58

I can sort of see where she's coming from, I get ratty when people moan about minor issues with their dc's which could probably be solved with decent parenting (we have 4 in the family with asd) and tempted tho I am to snap 'pull your fecking socks up, you haven't got a clue what hard work is' at them. I never would, because their issues are just as valid and just because my life's difficult, it isn't there problem.

Sounds like your friend's stressed out over what's happening to her friend and she's taking it out on others, life is very unfair at times.

Yanbu for feeling hurt, but you have to understand why she's feeling the way she is.

Collision Sun 17-Jul-11 11:52:13

oooh AIBU is scary!! grin

I think what annoyed me the most was that I was cross and upset but got over it and was quiet on Thursday but not dramatic or loud about it. I was just making coffee and she said what she did.

Surely if I ABU then every time someone has a problem or is cross about something you could just say, 'Well get some perspective, people are dying in Africa, dying in an earthquake, 9/11 blah blah.'

I think empathy should always be used before saying 'get some perspective.'

activate Sun 17-Jul-11 11:52:57

I personally can at times get incredibly pissed off at people who complain about something that I believe is minor - but that has more to do with me and my personal situation

so the fact that you are upset also does not negate her feelings

so it's swings and roundabouts

I can be empathetic at times, at others I can't - depends on my mood and how close I am to a neuro visit / mri scan / other test - doesn't negate others' upset but does trivialise it to me

swings and roundabouts

buzzsore Sun 17-Jul-11 11:53:12

I think your colleague is probably struggling with her friend's diagnosis. She was wrong to tell you off for being upset, but I'd give her a pass on it.

buzzsore Sun 17-Jul-11 11:53:40

prognosis, not diagnosis.

2shoes Sun 17-Jul-11 11:55:46

it is called top trumping

Collision Sun 17-Jul-11 11:57:57

Haha! 2shoes that is very funny!

Top trumping! Who has the worst problem? She does.

Very good analysis. grin

FoofusScrimgeour Sun 17-Jul-11 12:08:03

2shoes - was just about to say top trumping.

Unfortunately, not knowing what your personal issue makes it hard for anyone on MN to give a proper answer.
If she came up to you out of nowhere and said this it sounds to me like she had been champing at the bit to use this to cut you down to size.
However, if she is upset about her friend she may have been irritated at what she deemed a minor problem on your side.

Let it go. Don't upset yourself over what she said. Providing she leaves it at that just let it go. It sounds like you probably have bigger personal things to be concerned about.

joric Sun 17-Jul-11 12:08:50

I think that using her friend as an example was crass but at the same time- people DON'T often have perspective and need to get some. She is probably sick of people going on about this and that as if it's some big trauma - being upset over things that arn't worth worrying about in the greater scheme of things. Are you a moaner or drama queen ? If so, she's trying to tell you in a way to pull yourself together , if you are neither of these things then just take it that she has stuff on her mind and is a bit intolerant at the moment and show Her a bit if empathy.

DoMeDon Sun 17-Jul-11 12:09:40

OP - maybe you should empathise with the people who have no empathy grin

TidyDancer Sun 17-Jul-11 12:10:24

Whether YABU or not comes down to what your problem is and how much of a big deal it was at work. It seems utterly bizarre that she would seek you out to say that though. Did it follow a conversation earlier?

joric Sun 17-Jul-11 12:15:57

DoMeDon- I actually think you should!

Collision Sun 17-Jul-11 12:16:26

No it didnt follow a conversation.

TBH my issue is irrelevant as she has 'top trumped' me! but she is senior management and RENOWNED for calling meetings over trivialities which makes her comments all the more annoying.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sun 17-Jul-11 12:20:10

I was going to say she is struggling with her friends illness as well. When my dad was ill there were quite a few times I wanted to tell people to get a grip and be grateful.

Collision Sun 17-Jul-11 12:22:04

And I really do get that Namechange.

I was really supportive of her when she told me about her friend.

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Sun 17-Jul-11 12:24:28

YANBU - as a cancer survivor I would never have expected others not to tell me their troubles whilst I was going through my operation and treatment even though they sometimes held back - I WANTED to hear about normal life things (even if it was their difficulties) as I felt so bloody abnormal it was a way of getting myself back into the real and normal world! As others have said maybe she just have stuff on her mind and wanted to berate someone - it didn't matter who

don't let it bother you OP

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