When was the last time you put your foot in your mouth? Maybe you said something stupid with friends, or wish you’d said something cool and impressive around someone you like, or sounded like an idiot in class. But you know that what you said is nothing compared to that one time someone said the wrong thing about your illness or condition. Probably that person didn’t mean to be rude. Maybe that even made it worse. By posting this list, hopefully you can help make sure that other sick teens don’t have to hear these same things. And please let us know what else you would add to this most-wanted list of stupid things people say to sick teens.

  1. “I know how you feel!”

Unless the person has lived with your condition, how could he or she possibly know how you feel? Maybe the person can imagine how you might feel. But implying they know exactly what you’re going through belittles your experience.

  1. “Everything will be fine.”

Even if your condition is curable, what you have been through, are going through, and will have to endure are not “fine”. Being sick is awful. Imagining that you will be fine probably does more to make the other person feel better.

  1. “You’re doing awesome!”

Versions of this are probably okay. But what people who say this don’t know is that there are times you’re not doing awesome. When you hear this, it can make you feel like you have to hide those times you’re not okay.

  1. “You shouldn’t be doing…”

From antibiotics to chemotherapy to surgery, some people don’t believe in certain treatments. But don’t they think you probably considered the plusses and minuses before you and your team made the decision to do what you’re doing? Their pessimism can undercut your hope.

  1. “You should take better care of yourself.”

Maybe you lose weight or gain weight. Maybe you don’t put on makeup or floss every night. Judgment doesn’t help.

  1. “Don’t worry.”

If your illness is going to affect what you can and can’t do for the rest of your life, it’s your right to worry. Saying, “Don’t worry!” puts the burden on you, making it your fault if you worry.

  1. “What can I do to help?”

Maybe with your spare energy you’ll put some hard work into coming up with ways for people to help. Until then, you wish your supporters would just do the helping.

  1. “I’m so sorry for you!”

Pity? You don’t need no stinking pity. In fact, trying to avoid pitying yourself helps you get through the day. When someone says they are sorry for you, it’s about how they feel and not about how the condition must make you feel.

  1. “You look great!”

But the truth is you don’t look great. And you know it. When people lie to you, it just makes you focus on the truth they’re covering up.

  1. “If you fight, you can beat this!”

Depending on your condition, it may be up to medicine and your body to decide whether or not you “beat” your illness. Saying that it’s up to you to overcome can make it seem like you’re a failure when you struggle.

Have people said stupid things to you? We want to know! Add you idiocy in the comments below…

Rosemary Lokhorst is a technology entrepreneur and game producer. She concentrates on working in social and environmental change and philanthropic projects. She uses her 'techspertise' to produce content she is passionate about, focusing on impact messaging in entertainment and gaming. She regularly blogs and writes screenplays. She is an investor and mentors young entrepreneurs. More info on: www.lokhorst.ch