Keep Your Chin Up
Keep Your Chin Up
Keep Your Chin Up, the one phrase I hate more than any. This phrase rubs me the wrong way. "Keep You Chin Up" is that go-to phrase that people use when they have no idea what to say.
I think I hate it for two reasons. The first I feel that the person has no idea what to say. I know that sometimes there are things in life that are tough and I know that when we are trying to be there for someone we do not have the words or what we think are the right words to help them through. (Important: DON'T SAY IT!)
I would rather have the person who I am talking to say ,"What you are going through sucks butt!" or "What you are going through sucks butt and I have no idea what to say" or "What you are going through sucks butt and I have no idea what to say, but I am hear to listen as long as you need me."
Be honest with me; tell me that you don't know the right words. I get that. I understand that. I sure as hell do not even know what "Keep Your Chin UP" means.
So I went to the world-wide inter-webs to see what this phrase really meant. One website said that it is a phrase of encouragement for someone who has to bear some emotional burdens. YUCK. Then I stumbled upon the following information on the where the phrase "Keep Your Chin Up" originated from. Thanks to the website www.phrases.org.uk: "Keep your chin up. Don't take your troubles to bed with you - hang them on a chair with your trousers or drop them in a glass of water with your teeth." . Okay, this is a little funny and I am all about humor when it comes to caregiving,
Having said that I still have a strong dislike for this phrase. I think the second reason is that when people use this phrase I tend to feel that people use it because they are lazy or don't really want to take the time to listen or understand what I am going through. One last meaning for this phrase is that when you are sad or depressed your chin goes toward your chest. Having you chin held up shows confidence. I get that but there are times when I am not confident and I just need to be not confident at that moment. I need someone to listen to me and not try to make it okay with an outdated phrase that people try to use to make themselves alright in the moment.
Vulnerability and sharing with your friend or family member that you don't know what to say is more authentic than using an outdated phrase that feels like you are brushing that person off. Be vulnerable and authentic as a caregiver; I can understand those feelings.
Written July 20, 2012 - 5:00 a.m.
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- Table Talk: Working and Caregiving (caregiving.com)
- Co-Caregiving: Recognizing the Pitfalls and Avoiding the Sinkholes (caregiving.com)
- Life After Caregiving: An Update from Roaringmouse (caregiving.com)
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