Hello you gorgeous readers you! I am busy doing this, that and the other thing and have missed some days of blogging…but, I am back now…to entertain you with my wit!

Anyway…today I want to piggy back off some blog posts that are being written by Jenny over at

“Using my powers for good.”

She is discussing what not to say to someone who is dealing with a chronic health condition. If you get a chance to read this…please do. She is witty and mad as hell! When I read her posts I began to think about “Platitudes.” Many people like to pull these out of their hats when they don’t know what the hell else to say. Well, here is an idea…don’t say ANYTHING! Just LISTEN! But, I will get back to that in a minute.

I have experienced this personally when I was widowed some years back…and when I had a handful of years dealing with a chronic health condition. People would get all uncomfortable and then start saying a line that they thought was supportive…or maybe not…maybe they just wanted to ease their discomfort.

I don’t know.

But, I was always left feeling bad that their platitude made me feel so bad. Their lame remark dangled in the air…until I said something just as lame back in efforts to stop the whole conversation. I can even remember thanking people for saying something stupid….just so they would STOP IT!

I remember someone saying to me after my husband died:

“It was Gods will!”

“It was just his time”

“He is up in heaven now!”

She was the platitude queen. All I could do at the time was shake my head as if to agree and say “Thanks.” Inside, I was screaming at her…thinking “Look honey…God sucks! and so do you!!! Leave…me…ALONE!!!”

It’s interesting that platitudes seem to be “one size fits all.” I heard the same sorta crap when I was widowed and when I was ill. Now, this is not to say that people don’t care…they DO! They just don’t know what to say that is soothing…unless they have gone through the same thing themselves.

Here is a great definition from wikipedia of a platitude: “A trite, meaningless, biased or prosaic statement that is presented as if it were significant or original.”


Since Jenny is on a roll of what NOT to say…I am going share some things that will be soothing for the person you are wanting to comfort. At least I am assuming you want to comfort them. If you like platitudes…and you want to continue using them…hmmmmmmm that might be a different topic all together…and maybe you just need to stay away from anyone and everyone who is in a vulnerable situation in their lives!

Okay…Back to the GOOD STUFF!

Soothing Things To Say When Someone is Hurting (chronic illness, Death, Divorce…whatever!)

Here is the beginning of my list…in no particular order:

1. JUST LISTEN!!!!! Don’t say a damned thing. If they need to talk….shush up and be there for them without saying a darned tootin’ thing.

2. Ask them what they need.

I like to ask people “What would soothe you right now?” or “What can I do for you?” or “Do you need any help with_______?”

3. If they can’t tell you what they need or want….offer up what you can do for them. For example: if they have kids, offer to take the kids for them. If you can shop…offer to go to the grocery store. If you feel inspired…offer to clean their house…whatever you want to offer…be specific. Offer to take them to the doctors…whatever you think would help. Sometimes, when people are in a very vulnerable place they can’t ask for what they want. You can help with this!

4. Let go of needing your loved one, friend…whoever…to be anywhere that they are not. What I mean by this…is let go of needing this person to be healed and recovered. They have their own journey…and it is a messy journey. Filled with many ups and downs…filled with lots of bad days and some good days. Just support this person exactly where they are.

5. Send your loved one oodles and oodles of good vibes. See them healed in your minds eye (just remember that healing looks like a lot of different things). See them happy. See them thriving. Do this privately. Do this from your purest of heart centered places.

This list is not complete…there are so many more ideas to add…but, this is good for now. I hope this was helpful for you. I am not writing this to make anyone feel bad. I am writing this so that you if want to offer someone support…you will know what to do!

If you have any great ideas to add to this never ending list…I would love to hear them.

Have a clear hearted and supportive day!

4 Responses to “Platitudes spilling forth!”

  1. YES!!

  2. Hey Jenny! What the heck do I do with that first comment? It looks like it is a tag thingie…but how come it showed up here?

  3. The first one is what’s called a “trackback”. It just means that I told my website to tell your website that I mentioned your post in my post. So you don’t have to do anything with it-don’t worry :)

  4. Lynne, Great post and wisdom for us all when caring and not knowing what to say. Listen, listen, listen and accept,accept, accept! (Going to use it as a mantra!)

    Love that you shared that when people say something “lame” you often respond with something “lame”. I don’t know how many times I walk away from a situation where someone has said something akward about my health that I don’t know how to respond to. I shake my head thinking, why the heck did I say that!

    How about a post about what we can say in response to platitudes, so we don’t feel so “lame”. I could sure use it!

    Keep the wisdom a coming Lynne–learn much from ya. Love, Kerry

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