How to Be a Friend When Your Friend Is Chronically Ill…

In Friendship on November 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm


Ways to be a friend to someone who is chronically ill…

1. At least, occasionally say, “How are you doing?”  Don’t ignore the person’s illness just because it’s not going anywhere.  I have a “friend” who hardly ever asks how I’m doing, and it does not go unnoticed. 

2. Don’t get frustrated or become judgemental when the sick person responds to “How are you doing?” with the same answer each time you ask how they’re doing.  Telling the truth is not complaining.  If their back constantly hurts, then their back constantly hurts.  The ill person shouldn’t have to lie about or omit  how they feel in order to make you more comfortable. 

3. Listen.  Sometimes a sick person just wants to vent or get it out.  It’s not being ungrateful; it’s therapeutic. 

4. Don’t act as if you blame your friend for being sick; no one deserves illness or asks to get sick.

5. Don’t make a person feel guilty for not being able to be as active as they were in the past.  There is no room for comments like, “I would’ve invited you, but you never show up, anyway.”

6. Try not to make dumb comments.  Think before you speak. 

7. Be supportive.

8.  Show compassion.  It’s just the human thing to do.  And, just think…If you show compassion to others, someone might just show compassion to you when you need it.

9.  If you care, learn about your friend’s illness.  Listen when your friend explains treatments and medications to you, do your own research, ask questions, etc.


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