It happens every day somewhere in the world. Well meant advice rejected. There are no bad intentions in the rejection either. Not worth mentioning, you think. Agree! However, too often it is misunderstood, which makes it worth mentioning.
In a counseling session a man told me, that the week before, he did some repairs at home. His wife was standing behind him, suggesting alternative ways of doing things. It made him nervous, and he asked her not to do this and leave.
Out of the corner of his eye he could see his wife standing there. Saying nothing, just standing there, watching him.
He grew increasingly nervous.
Avoiding upsetting him, she said nothing at first.
What followed was almost inevitable – an argument.
In situations like this there is no one to blame. Both partners are simply influenced by, what society considers “normative behaviour” (normative = what ought to be). In other words: What they expect from a valued member of society.
Let’s take a look at what happened here. Again I’d like to point out that there is no right or wrong, as we are all, to a more or lesser degree, influenced by society’s expectations.
All these misunderstandings can be explained. On the patient’s side, it is often denial, frustration, or simply the realisation that they can’t get by any longer without engaging outside help.
On the caregiver’s side it can be impatience or a general lack of understanding. Nobody is at fault.
Without addressing the above situation in particular, here are some of the “mistakes” commonly made.
First, by the patient:
…and by the caregiver :
If the caregiver happens to be the wife or husband, it is probably a good idea to let them have time out occasionally. Caring for someone can be a 24-hour-a-day job. Caregivers certainly deserve a break from time to time.
We all need “Me-time”!