Tips for Befriending Someone with Eczema
Adulting is hard. I think that's what we should learn in high school. How to be an adult. What does it take? How to write checks and make a full meal without using Google. Making friends as an adult is especially hard. At least for me it is. I never know the right thing to say and at times I can come off as a bit anti-social, partially because I am.
Friends with eczema
Having a friend with Eczema is awesome, but then again, I'm slightly biased. If you ask me, I'd say people with Eczema are some of the best people you'll ever meet - but I digress. While having a friend with Eczema may not seem like a big deal because often times we don't really express how we feel about our condition, it does still matter to us - or most of us at least.
Tips For befriending someone with eczema
I don't think anyone with Eczema would volunteer for the condition. It's not glamorous and in spite of how popular the condition is, people are still very ignorant to the needs of people living with Eczema...This is where you come in!
Be a friend, not a doctor:
When you live with any chronic condition, you're going to get unsolicited advice. Everyone thinks they know best. Most days it's coming from a good place and people are genuinely trying to be helpful. The problem is, more often than not, the advice isn't helpful.
Do's and don'ts
We have medical professionals. Some of us actually have many medical professionals. We're already making tough decisions. We're constantly dealing with the burden of this issue so chances are, we've considered and tried a lot of different options. We don't need more doctors. We need more friends. We need more support. We need love. We need someone to talk to about how we feel. We need to be heard, not influenced.
Ask them if they want to talk:
Often times, those of us living with chronic conditions will try to suppress our emotions. We don't want to come off as "nagging" or "complaining" - so we try to keep quiet. We hide our pain. We don't mention our struggles and we try to make it through the day. Be a friend. If it seems like something is off, it likely is. Don't wait for your friend to come out and tell you, they may not feel comfortable or want to come off wrong. Ask your friend how they are feeling and if they would like to talk.
Understand that it's okay to not understand:
Nothing annoys me more than constantly being told, "I understand," by someone who does not get it at all. While I realize watching a friend or a relative suffer is hard, there's nothing compared to first-hand experience. If you have not experienced your friend's pain first-hand, it's probably best to listen and empathize. No need to assure them of your understanding. We don't expect you to understand. We only expect you to be a friend and be present.
I hope these tips are helpful for you! Do you have a friend living with Eczema or AD? If so, let us know in the comments below!
Have you shared your eczema story with us?