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The Sympathetic Cliche

| Nov 18, 2013
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The Artist D

The Artist D is Naughty & Nice

I am all for love and caring, but I’ve never been a fan of blanket sympathetic statements. Someone dies and immediately everyone is asking, “Is there anything I can do?” Somebody gets sick and you insist on pushing in with “Do you need something?” Then we have my least favorite of all when you’ve been in an accident, robbery or other such incident. When that happens we hear, “At least you are OK!”

No, no and hell no. To me this is crouching to the lowest common level. This sort of rhetoric brings out the worst in me because all of these statements are a given. If you’re a real friend you will have to assume the position of all of the above! If someone dies and I expect something from you then I’m going to ask. If I’m sick and need some soup I’ll be calling you. Most importantly if I am mugged and not harmed then we all better believe at least I’m OK! If you have to say it I have to wonder if you really mean it.

Let’s just chalk it up to the demanding person — the Leo stereotype — always pushing ahead and actually saying what they mean instead of hoping their friends actually step up and do. Heaven forbid I hear someone respond, “I’m so glad you asked, actually there is something you could do …” Oh lord! You waited for them to ask? What friends you must be.

Don’t just lay there like a wounded animal. Instead stand firm in your expectations of the people whom you allow in your life. We’re surrounded by thousands throughout our lives and only a handful of those people are actually worth your time. Why waste it on people who won’t step up and give when you need? To be completely cliche — why are we not treating people like we want to be treated?

Friends should be held to a higher expectation. Be set for my wrath if you ever ask me if I need something. If you’re my friend you’ll already know what I need and it’ll be in your picnic basket when you knock on the door.

This is why when something tragic happens to a friend of mine they get my love, hugs and (if needed) a heart icon on their Facebook page. The rest is assumed, implied and ready to go. I’m there to help. I’m here to listen. I will do whatever I can when you need it. They already know that because it comes in spades. I don’t have to blather on with silly niceties. I’d like to think advanced creatures are beyond all that bull.

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Category: Transgender Opinion

The Artist D

About the Author ()

The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine and host of the Kawfeehaus podcast.

Comments (2)

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  1. The Artist D The Artist D says:

    Love that, Helen! Very true!

  2. says:

    Most people don’t know what to say in the event of an accident, a loss, a crisis of some sort. You are right that sometimes a hug or a <3 is fine enough but it is also very difficult to assess what the person wants. A hug is nice, a shoulder is good and an ear is wonderful.
    When my marriage finished and I left to live in the big city I had such a load on my shoulders and could barely function, I even rang the hot line and, as the old gag has it, they were engaged!
    A friend rang one evening when I was in a low state and quickly suggested when I was feeling better to give them a ring. Fair enough I thought, I wouldn't want to cause you any discomfort.
    On the other hand there are the 'Desperate Counsellors', they 'feel your pain', they know 'exactly what you are going through'. I call them desperate cos they are so desperate to get to you so they can help, counsel, get to say to others how they did good works. I was chased by someone like this. A third party suggested to them that I was in need of a friend so they rang and as luck had it I was in the middle of something that I couldn't stop. I apologised, said thank you and suggested they ring back. The next thing I heard was via a letter from them, a 'how dare I refuse their help' letter. Saying how they been through something similar and they wanted to help me and I should have been grateful.
    I think I am trying to say here is that it is incredibly difficult to judge what your actions should be, if someone rang and uttered those clichés I'd try and remember the only reason they are clichés is cos they get repeated so often, this is cos people who want to help sometimes don't know how.

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