Difficult Conversations Workbook

Chapter 3: Speaking With Family & Friends

Being ill can feel isolating. Of course it is true that your friends and family may not understand exactly what you are going through. But they may be having their own experience of illness–wishing to help but not knowing what kind of help you need. Bridging this gap isn’t easy—but many patients find the support of others to be crucial as they cope with the challenges of illness.

I’m avoiding any possibly difficult conversations with my friends and family,” says Cathy. “I put it off to another time-I just don’t want to deal with it right now.” “I worry about how people can live with me,” says Rich, saying he knows his illness must be hard on his wife. Fritz, describing a critical appointment, says, “My wife was there-it was important to me that she understand exactly what I was facing.”

Ask yourself:
Am I avoiding difficult conversations with any of my family members or friends?
I'm avoiding conversations with...
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