There’s an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie’s boyfriend breaks up with her on a post-it and she gets angry over the cowardice. She says, “Most women aren’t angry, irrational psychos. We just want an ending to a relationship that is thoughtful and decent and honors what we had together.” So very true! How often has a man claimed that a woman is crazy? Women aren’t crazy, we just require communication. And I think men do, too.
Like Carrie said, there is a good way to tell someone something hurtful. Avoiding the situation entirely is just a really bad idea.
A friend once asked me if I wanted people to ask me how I was doing after a particularly difficult time in my life last year. She wondered if it was insensitive to mention the situation at all given that it had surely caused me a lot of pain.
Here’s the thing: when people go through something bad, they need to know that those around them care. This doesn’t mean they will necessarily want to talk about it, nor do they necessarily want pity. What they want is consideration for their hard time and concern for their well-being. No one likes to feel un-cared for, and if everyone just makes like nothing happened it can feel like no one gives a shit about you.
Here’s what you do if you’re unsure: tell the person that you’re thinking of them, or that you’re there for them if they need anything. That’s it. If the person wants to bring you in, they will. If not, they will at least feel loved. They will not resent you just for bringing it up.
What I’m saying is, the worst thing you can do to a person is ignore a bad thing that’s happened to them. It tells them they don’t matter. Don’t let something uncomfortable turn you into an asshole.