Tell Us: How Do You Know If Someone Doesn’t Get It?

background-111322_640I think we all do our best to keep an open mind, giving others the benefit of the doubt.

So, we share our day as others ask. We talk about what’s going on and may even show our vulnerability–expressing our fears and worries.

And, then something will happen during the conversation or interaction that makes us think: “Ah! They just don’t get what I’m going through.”

It could be what’s said. It could be what’s not said. It could be a facial expression or body language. In some way, you receive the signal that your audience (a family member, a friend, a health care professional) just doesn’t get what your caregiving day–and life–is like.

I’d love to know what that is for you. How do you know when someone doesn’t get what caregiving is like? Please share your experiences in our comments section, below.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

6 thoughts on “Tell Us: How Do You Know If Someone Doesn’t Get It?

  1. Avatar of LarryLarry

    There is person who keeps saying I do nothing productive during the day. I am just lazy because all I do is sit around and do nothing and just making excuses that I am helping mom or my friend. Personally I just ignore him as he does not understand. He should be taking care of his mother but she was put in a nursing home as he would not do anything for her.

  2. Avatar of PegiPegi

    @Larry, sometimes my husband has the same impression! The biggest tell for me when someone just doesn’t get, and also a personal pet peeve, is the spouting of platitudes; kie. it’ll be fine; just give it some time and drone on and on as I hear blah, blah blah. Out in public, it’s the stares, love those stares from able bodied men who sit and watch in amazement or amusement to see if this scwany old lady can really get that twice her size man in the car and than wrestle the wheelchair into the trunk of the car. Thanks for that guys.

  3. Vita

    I have friends or people at work that look confused about me taking care of my mother and the emphasis I put on her well being. It’s like they just don’t get that someone would commit so much of their lives to caring for the needs of someone. I used to go into the whole “in other countries elders are treated with respect, people live closer to each other to help out, don’t you know that YOU will need taking care of one day?” but now I just skip the explanation and either change the subject or move on. It gets depressing.

  4. Samantha

    I joke about this in conversation, on the Internet, everywhere (as if I go anywhere – haven’t been out of the house since March 14th). The way I have to arrange my face to seem surprised, enlightened and grateful whenever someone says “You have to take care of you.” Fourteen years of caregiving; do people really think they’re imparting something new?

    And, of course, the grammar irritates me, too. “You have to take care of yourself.” That sixties B.S. about me taking care of me is silly. I’m the one who didn’t finish school because she was caregiving, I’m the one who couldn’t go back to school because she landed in a caregiving spot again. And I seem to be the only one who doesn’t speak in this psychobabble baby talk. “You have to take care of you,” – with the degrees on the wall and the great jobs, while I wipe his backside.

  5. teri

    You have a simple conversation with the person and either they don’t respond or they respond in some way that has absolutely nothing to do with what you were talking about. They start to talk about objects but can’t find the names of the objects. I hear the word things a lot. “I put the thing in the the thing.” There is this look in the eyes that tells you there is a disconnect. I also find my mother smiling or laughing a lot almost as a way to cover up that she doesn’t know what I am talking about.


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