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Dealing with Pushy People

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Carrigon, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    PA, USA
    I am having a BAD day today, with massive pain, fatigue, everything. I'm just doing bad. I had to take out my garbage and check my snail mail, which was killing me to do.

    So I limp down there to get my snail mail on my bad ankle, which I think I stress fractured it. It's really swollen and killing me. And one of my neighbors was down there and she started pushing me on going to this party they are having in an hour for Labor Day. I had no idea there was going to be a party here. Usually, they put up a notice. There hasn't been one. I just had zero clue. But even if I had known, I couldn't have rested up for it. This has just been a bad week with stuff.

    So my neighbor is pushing me to go, and I said, I'm in alot of pain today. And this is where it should have ended. When someone tells you they are in alot of pain, that should be it. Don't keep pushing it. She just ignored me when I said that, and kept on pushing, and I said the pain killers and stuff I take make me tired and I usually end up sleeping. She still pushed me until I finally said, if I'm feeling up to it, maybe. And then she left me be. But she had tried to guilt me into going by saying I should spend time with everyone and get to know everyone and blah, blah, blah.

    Obviously, if I wasn't sick, I'd have no problem going to a party. No one here understands at all. About ninety five percent of the people here are just retired, they aren't sick or even disabled. There's like five percent disabled. And those aren't physically ill, they have handicaps. There's still a huge difference there between a handicap and being sick with a disease.

    I am in no way up to being with a room full of people right now. When I'm in pain, I'm in pain. I'm flaring with other symptoms. I absolutely am not up for party chit chat. She also told me I should bring a dish of food for the party. Ha, yeah, right. Number one, I had an empty fridge till I went to the store a few days ago. I am tapped out since moving here. I cannot afford to buy extra food to make for anyone right now. I did that when I moved in here and they had the Fourth of July party and it did cost me money. I can't afford to do that again right now. And, I am not up for cooking for anyone right now.

    The two things that are really bugging me are the pushiness and the guilt trip. People in here are always like, "don't hide in your apartment all day, come and chat with us". And then I get upset because I am NOT hiding. I'm freakin sick. And the pushiness is such a lack of empathy or anything. If someone says they are in pain, leave them be and drop it.

    I was happier not knowing there was a party today. So now I get to feel bad that I'm not up to going.
  2. K2 for Hope

    K2 for Hope ALways Hoping

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    Jacksonville, FL 32258
    Hi Carrigon:

    Interestingly, I was going to ask how people are handling Holidays. I was asked to go to a small party this weekend, but it was via phone so I just said "Can't tonight, but thanks for asking."

    I think people are trying to "encourage" me and I want to socialize, but just don't feel it would be healthy for me right now. Peace, calm and quiet are my saviors to maintain some kind of balance.

    I try not to get angry, as I was not always like this and I used to try to help people who were unable to get somewhere. I didn't realize at the time, they might not want my help. So I am reminded that "Help" isn't always as clear to me as I thought it was.

    I wish you some peace and calm... :hug:
  3. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Oregon, USA
    So sorry to hear your story, Carrigon. There is no need to feel guilty about needing to stay home and rest. We have to take care of ourselves when we're sick and in pain.

    Your story is a perfect demonstration that some people, for whatever reason, just don't listen very well. And I include myself in that category at times. I don't mean to do it, of course, but there are times when I'm just not getting what the other person is trying to say to me. That realization, that I also have problems listening at times, helps me to remember not to take it personally when someone does it to me.

    At any rate, whenever someone else is not listening (you said "No" - that should have been enough), then whether they have good intentions or they are being too pushy doesn't really matter. At that point it's probably time to simply stop talking and start walking away.

    I think some of us have been trained to be so polite that we forget that we don't have to keep talking. We're not obligated to answer endless questions. There are lots of ways to enforce your boundaries and end a conversation without being rude. I usually start to get brain dead, and can't think of what to say, so I often just smile politely and start to walk away. If I'm feeling extra polite I may add something like, "Gotta go now, bye!"

    I remember a quote (from Miss Manners, perhaps?) - "No is a complete sentence." ;) Another phrase that I've used a lot is, "I'm sorry, I have other plans." My "other plans" may be lying in the recliner and watching TV but they are indeed my other plans. :angel:

    Enforcing my boundaries was something that did not come naturally to me. It was something that I had to learn over time. And the main thing I learned is that actions speak louder than words. If you want some books that helped me I'd be happy to share some titles.

    Anyway, Carrigon, I hope this is helpful to you. So sorry that you've had a bad week - hope you're feeling better soon!
    WillowJ likes this.
  4. anna_o

    anna_o

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    Hi Carrigon,
    I hope you don't feel guilty for declining that invite! It is rude for the neighbor to be pushy about it, but just chalk it up to ignorance. Even if your reason for not going wasn't related to health, she probably would have ignored your needs and pushed regardless of who you are or what your reason was. So it doesn't sound like it has nothing to do with you or your health. She just has her own agenda or whatever.

    Even when I wasn't sick, I was never really into those type of block parties or social gatherings unless I knew a lot of the people. That's just not the way I choose to socialize. Even though it may seem simple to a lot of people, those types of gatherings can take a lot of effort for me, and I don't usually feel comfortable.

    For each of the past three years, I planned to attend our company holiday party. Every single time, we get the babysitter scheduled, I spend too much time trying to figure out something acceptable to wear, and then the evening of the party, I ask my husband if we can just go to dinner by ourselves instead, and we end up not going to the party. I never realized why I was doing that every year, but it makes sense now.

    I'm new to trying to conserve my energy, but this year, I will try to save my energy and have my husband pick up some of the slack for organizing everything so that I can feel up to going to the holiday party.

    Best,
    Anna
  5. Leslie

    Leslie

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    Carrigon, you are to nice. I have been there, trying to be "healthy" when I am actually so sick. I have been very sick now for several months and not coming out of this one, or so it seems. Some days I am in PJ's all day and don't care. Gratefully I have a husband who helps me. I have my aunt and uncle coming for their annual visit from NY, they visit around so the days here are short, but for someone who is sick an hour is a long time. They are very active at mid-70's and like to go, go, go. I can't this time. I emailed and said I couldn't even go out....I will get dressed. I had to email this several times and finally they said, don't worry, we will need the rest at your house in-between the other visits they are making. I am still a bit stressed that I will have to actually talk, but.....if they didn't get the message I can't worry about it.
    It is difficult because we don't want to lose the few people we have left in our lives, I understand. What I learned (I lost a lot of people when I first got sick), new people came into my life eventually. Trust that they will, lose the ones who are so inconsiderate, and they are......Leslie
    Ocean likes this.
  6. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Queens, NY
    I agree Carrigon that you are too nice. You need to toughen up a little so that people don't step all over you.
    My father used to say "at dogs, you need to bark back". What he meant was that there are some people who do not hear reason. You need to learn to bark back. I would have told the neighbor that I have a catchy virus and don't want to make others sick. A white lie sometimes is just simpler and to the point. There is no argument against this.
  7. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    PA, USA
    I'm just so sick of having to prove I'm sick. Why can't people just back off the first time you tell them? Why do we always have to be put in a position to "prove" we are sick?
  8. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Queens, NY
    Unfortunately we don't have the power to change the world. We do have the power to change ourselves and how we react to insensitive people. For your own health, you need to become more assertive. Sometimes it's not even so much the words that you say but how you say it. If you say it with an assertive voice, they will be less likely to question it. Besides, you do not owe these people a "proof" that you are sick. If they would tell you that they suffer from congestive heart failure, would you ask them for their test results before believing them?

    I think the only confusion that might arise because we fluctuate so much within our illness. If they see you going out one day with friends and then the next day, they invite you over and you say that you are too sick, they might not understand that but, you can simply state the real facts to them that this is how this miserable disease acts. It takes complete control of us and does different things on different days. You, yourself when you wake up in the morning. don't know what kind of day this will be. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most annoying aspects of this disease.
    Ocean and ahimsa like this.

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