Why do healthy people find it so hard to be around sick people, even if they're not contagious?
I have my own theory, but I'd really like to hear all of yours. (:
I wish I knew the answer to that. It always seems people who aren't sick seem to think their better then you and that you have done something to cause your sickness.
sometimes the answer is as simple as the healthy person is uncomfortable because they're unsure of how to act or what to say. it's always okay to say, "sorry you're not feeling well." beyond that, listening is a good strategy. or take the lead of the one who is ill. they may be in the mood to cry and be hugged or maybe they want to joke around or hear about family events.
other times, it's because being around someone sick reminds the healthy of their own vulnerability. we'd all rather think we're invincible.
lastly, we all need the majority of our experiences to be positive to stay healthy ourselves. if the person who is sick is depressed about their illness, visiting them can be very draining.
I'm glad you said "theory", because I sure don't know for certain. I would say maybe it's a mixture of 1) being nervous about saying/doing the wrong thing or something dumb, 2) feeling slightly guilty for being in good health (you know, not wanting to rub their health in the sick person's face). I'll be interested to see what others think on this.
One word. Fear. People are afraid of being sick. "I don't have time for being ill". "I can't stand pain". Let me give you a little secret, you CAN deal with pain. People survive a few broken bones or a couple of concusions (just be careful as to the seriousness of your concusion before you fall asleep. wait at least 8 hours after a hit to the head before closing your eyes and dreaming). A cough doesn't really kill.
Some people have reason to fear. A few of my friends have been close to death because someone who was sick did not keep themselves contained as the doctors ordered. Because of someone's stupidity, more suffered.
Some mothers would call my mom insane for putting me at the age of two with my cousin every day for a week, wishing I would catch the chicken pox. Guess what. I was so healthy with an amazing immune system, I never have had the chicken pox. And that is fine by me. I might catch and be hospitalized because of the chicken pox later on in life. However, I am not at risk for shingles, which can blind patients if it reaches your eyes, because I have never had the chicken pox. There are some people who never catch it.
There are probably as many answers to this question as there are people, however, I do think that one of the major reasons why healthy people find it hard to be around sick people is due to the fact that they cannot understand the illness.
I personally have had people unable to be around me when I am hospitalized (I have Crone's disease that has landed me in the hospital a few times). This is due I think to a lot of people's inability to accept what they dont understand. It is often hard to just sit back and be there for someone when you have no idea what is going on.
There is of course those people that are self absorbed and cannot be bothered with someone else who may possibly have bigger problems than their own.
The thing that makes the human race great and also complicated is the fact that we are all different and therefore we hadle situations differently wether we are the one who is sick or the one who is healthy no two people are exactly alike.
People do not like to be reminded about how vulnerable or weak they could be.
Thank you all for your wonderful and well thought out answers!
My own "theory," is that being around someone who is sick forces healthy people to think about their own mortality and makes them realize just how 'fragile' we all can be from time to time.
Take care peeps, and may peace and love remain in your heart and soul...always,
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