How do you feel when some new learns you have you have MS says, "but you look so good"?
Obviously they have no clue what the person with MS is going through..."looking sick" is an observer's way of understanding the person is really ill.
I would say thank you.
and then, probably follow up with a mild sentence or two about the disease, depending on how close they are to you. They don't mean to be unkind I'm sure, it's just that they are ignorant of your challenges.
My mother heard "You don't look blind" all the time...and she just decided it was a compliment and simply replied..."Thank you." sometimes, depending on how sassy she was feeling, she would retort "You don't either."
just forgive them and look for the funny, it's salvation for despair.
I would assume that, because most people have a pretty good idea of how serious MS is, that kind of remark might come from as an almost automatic response, as a result of being taken aback and surprised (to hear that someone who looks well has such a serious condition).
We have a tendency to kind of automatically assume that people who don't appear ill aren't. In our heads, we know better; but it's just a natural tendency. I suspect the jolt of being told someone has MS causes that almost automatic response; and I would try to understand that the remark probably comes from their being "emotionally thrown" a little, rather than ignorance.
Thank goodness there are some HONEST ones out there!!! Don't you hate it when someone else takes the words right out of your mouth? You DO LOOK GOOD... You should see your smile from our side!
Most of the time people just stumble over themselves trying to say the right thing when they hear something uncomfortable and something they were not prepared to hear. They are only trying to be helpful. You can only politely respond with " I guess you are not familiar with what MS is all about?
When I do not know a lot about a medical condition, I keep my mouth shut and look it up in WebMD to try to get a better understanding of the condition. I am not a doctor and I think most everyone's friends are in that same category. They are trying to be positive. Give them credit for trying.
Its funny but after being told how good I look for almost 16 years now, I can pretty much take it in stride. I often joke about it with my husband afterward, but I recognize it is not said with any malice by people who care about me. I tell them, "you know I could take a little less "looking good" and a little more FEELING good, right about now!" That usually brings about one of two responses. They either laugh or look at me in shock. With my female friends, it is usually shock because what woman wouldn't want to be told she looks good. But they understand I want to feel better even if it means I don't look so good.
it's the same for many chronic illnesses.
Maybe providing the (but you don't look sick!?!) Spoon Theory story to some people could help:
If someone were to say this to me my response would b thank you however depending on who it is that is saying that to me I may just tell them that I may look good however depending the day sure don't feel good.... alot of diseases/illnesses affect the inside our bodies and unfortunately not everyone reminds themselves that our hurts and feelings are kept inside
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