Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

Death and people putting their feet in their mouths....

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MariaE:

--- Quote from: kareng57 on June 16, 2012, 09:40:51 PM ---I am sorry for your loss.

However - I think you're being unreasonably hard on the other forum-member.  No, her grandfather has not yet passed away but she knows that it's close - so I think she deserves some acknowledgement of her empathy.  She didn't say "I know exactly how you feel", but "I know your pain" and there's indeed a difference.

She didn't say something like "I know how you feel, my hamster died six months ago".  I truly do not see this as a foot-in-mouth situation at all.

--- End quote ---

I agree with this. Had your father just died and she compared it to her grandfather dying, then I'd agree with you, because the pain just isn't the same, but this seems like a reasonable thing to say. My grandmother was dying for 6 months - I'd started grieving her long before she actually died, so I could see myself saying the same thing.

O'Dell:
I don't like "I know how you feel" as a statement. Emotions are complex and individual. At best it's an inaccurate platitude that people think will be comforting. At worst it's dismissive of another person's feelings.

I wouldn't call it bad etiquette, but I do think it shows a lack of empathy...which ironically is what a person is trying to say they have. I don't think you are over-sensitive to be put off by her statement, but I do think your grief is making you overreact. Her comment says more about her than it does about you or your grieving for your grandfather.

I'm sorry for your loss.

AmethystAnne:
I'm sorry for your loss. Grandparents are truly special people. The memory of him will be a comfort to you forever. Out of the blue, you will think of your Pappaw and you will smile. You will tell stories about him to your children and grandchildren. What a lovely legacy!

Bottlecaps:

--- Quote from: O'Dell on June 17, 2012, 07:27:02 AM ---I don't like "I know how you feel" as a statement. Emotions are complex and individual. At best it's an inaccurate platitude that people think will be comforting. At worst it's dismissive of another person's feelings.

I wouldn't call it bad etiquette, but I do think it shows a lack of empathy...which ironically is what a person is trying to say they have. I don't think you are over-sensitive to be put off by her statement, but I do think your grief is making you overreact. Her comment says more about her than it does about you or your grieving for your grandfather.

I'm sorry for your loss.

--- End quote ---

Thank you for your kind words.

I've never been one to like that phrase, either. No one knows how you feel except you, you know? I like how you put it - her comment says more about her than it does about me or my grief, so I think that's what I took most offense from. Yesterday, I posted about how I was going to write a big, long letter to Pappaw and put it in his casket (which I did), to get a little closure and feel like I said the things that needed to be said. Her response? "Writing a letter is a very good idea, I'm writing a letter about my greatest memories to my grandpa, but I'm leaving it to him now." She went on to say how sick he is, etc. I think the first comment was very tame in comparison to what she said yesterday. I know I'm overreacting a bit, lol. Hell, my Pappaw would just tell me to settle down and quit whining, lol.

However, I feel I must note that I didn't air any of this to her, as in any situation it would be rude, but this one especially because I'd basically be saying that my pain trumps hers, which isn't the case at all, it's just that it's a different kind of pain for everyone and I get the feeling that she was kind of trying to turn the tables and hijack the thread to get some sympathy for herself. (I try not to think that though because that would be a "What an interesting assumption" story in and of itself, lol.) I just thanked her for her sympathy.

kareng57:

--- Quote from: O'Dell on June 17, 2012, 07:27:02 AM ---I don't like "I know how you feel" as a statement. Emotions are complex and individual. At best it's an inaccurate platitude that people think will be comforting. At worst it's dismissive of another person's feelings.

I wouldn't call it bad etiquette, but I do think it shows a lack of empathy...which ironically is what a person is trying to say they have. I don't think you are over-sensitive to be put off by her statement, but I do think your grief is making you overreact. Her comment says more about her than it does about you or your grieving for your grandfather.

I'm sorry for your loss.

--- End quote ---


And the person-in-question did not say "I know how you feel".

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