Struggles and challenges are a part of life that test our resilience and strength. Whether it’s dealing with loss, financial difficulties, mental health issues, or family dynamics, these moments can be profoundly impactful. It’s during these times that we often turn to our friends and acquaintances for support and understanding, hoping to find a compassionate ear and words of comfort.
However, as many users on a social media thread have shared, not all responses to serious struggles are created equal. In this list, we delve into instances where individuals reached out, shared their heartfelt struggles, and were met with responses that left them shaking their heads in disbelief.
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#1 The Insensitive Boss
“I started a job about 2 months ago. My dad is 60 and was in the hospital dying, and I didn’t make it home because I felt like until he was on his deathbed, I’d just go on weekends. My current boss told me the day of his funeral ‘We will be happy to let you make up the days you miss for his death.’ After returning to work she hasn’t said a word to me and was upset I used my bereavement days.”
Losing a loved one is a deeply personal and emotional experience. The response from the boss in this situation is not only unsympathetic but also remarkably tone-deaf. It’s a reminder that empathy in the workplace is crucial, and bereavement days exist for a reason. Overall, this story underscores the importance of treating employees with compassion during difficult times.
#2 The ‘Ask Your Parents’ Misconception
“‘You can’t pay for it? Just ask your parents!’ Hahaha oh honey. I wish.”
Asking your parents for financial help – a life hack for some but a dream for others. This friend’s suggestion resembles a quirky genie offering to grant wishes that just can’t be granted. A lighthearted reminder that not everyone has an “ask your parents” option in life’s menu.
#3 The Tragic Comparison
“When my mom committed suicide over the summer in high school, I came back, and a girl said she understood because she had totaled her car that summer.”
Equating the tragic loss of a loved one to a car accident is both insensitive and deeply inappropriate. This story sheds light on the importance of acknowledging the gravity of someone’s experiences and not attempting to draw parallels with vastly different situations. Sometimes, there are no words that can truly express the depth of empathy required in these moments.
#4 The ‘Just Travel’ Solution
“When I was in college and depressed, I spoke about it to some people at a hangout. My ex’s friend told me ‘Just travel, it makes me feel better every time. This year I went to Spain and Egypt.’ Yeah, let’s just ignore the fact I had no money for therapy, and I should have used that non-existent money to travel.”
Suggesting travel as a remedy for depression, especially when someone is struggling financially, is quite unrealistic. The absurdity of such advice and the importance of understanding that mental health solutions vary from person to person is real. Therapy and support can be more valuable than exotic vacations.
#5 The ‘Housekeeper’ Request
“I live in a nice area, but my wife and I are average income folks without family money. At the bus stop with my kids, another parent asked if they could borrow our housekeeper (we don’t have one) because hers was sick with COVID and the dishes/laundry were starting to stack up. She was in full crisis mode.”
Assuming that everyone has a housekeeper at their disposal is quite the leap. This story humorously underscores the vast differences in financial situations and how making such assumptions can be awkward and insensitive.
#6 The ‘Rich CEO’s Son’ Wisdom
“My friends’ mother started working as a secretary at Comcast in the 80’s by walking in and asking if any positions were available. She eventually became ‘good friends’ with one of the founder’s sons and got access to a bunch of stock benefits and bonuses, effectively making her a multi-millionaire. When I was finishing college, I was applying for jobs and not getting any calls back and got told by her, ‘Young people don’t apply themselves enough! You need to show up early and ask for the job!’ I wanted to say not everyone had a chance to sleep with a rich CEO’s son, but held back.”
The advice to ‘show up early and ask for the job’ is a glaring oversimplification of the job market. The story emphasizes the importance of recognizing the disparities in career paths and not attributing success solely to personal effort.
#7 The ‘Do You Really Like Working?’ Question
“I’ve had a lot of odd jobs over the years, especially in my late teens/early 20’s. Most just different kinds of minimum wage stuff. One year when I was on summer break from college, I was back home working 3 different jobs. I went on a few dates with a guy who had a trust fund and his parents’ black AmEx card. One day we’re at lunch together, and I was telling him about the absolute random grab bag that was my employment history. Once I finished, he looked at me confused and said ‘do you just really like working?’ There was not another date after that.”
The assumption that someone enjoys working multiple jobs out of sheer passion is a common misconception shared by rich people. This story highlights the vast differences in life experiences and how privilege can lead to misunderstandings. Not everyone has the luxury of financial comfort, and working hard is often a necessity rather than a choice.
#8 The ‘But She’s Your Mother!’ Argument
“Anyone who says ‘but she’s your mother!’ when you talk about going no contact. I’m glad you can’t even comprehend needing to cut off an abusive parent for your own well-being, but maybe shut up if you don’t know what it’s like.”
Cutting off an abusive family member is a deeply personal decision, and not everyone can relate to the complexities of such situations. The response ‘but she’s your mother’ overlooks the need for self-preservation and well-being. Remember, support and understanding are essential, especially when it comes to difficult family dynamics.
#9 The ‘Just Don’t Be Anxious’ Advice
“My fiancée had bad anxiety when we first met, and one of our mutual friends said ‘just don’t be anxious’ when the topic came up.”
Telling someone with anxiety to ‘just not be anxious’ is akin to saying, ‘just don’t breathe.’ It’s important to provide genuine support and understand those who struggle with anxiety. Mental health isn’t something that can be turned on and off at will.
#10 The ‘Plan Better’ Remark
“My son was born after 8 years of infertility, but I had him at a slightly more inconvenient time of year. I was talking about this, and some woman said ‘you should have planned better.'”
Infertility is a challenging journey, and bringing a child into the world is a significant life event. Sometimes, life often unfolds in unexpected ways, and judgmental remarks are rarely helpful or appropriate.
#11 The ‘That’s Nothing!’ Attempt
“My wife’s friend said, ‘That’s nothing!’ when I talked about military experiences. Then, she tried to launch into a story that began with, ‘I have a friend who told me…’ Nope. I don’t give a f*** what your friend told you.”
Comparing experiences, especially those as significant as military service, can be quite insensitive. People need to recognize the value of individual experiences and not belittle someone’s story by attempting to one-up them. Everyone’s experiences are unique and should be respected as such.
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