In our EndNotes column today, we answered a question about why people tell cancer horror stories to people going through cancer treatment. Or why they react in weird ways to cancer news. For instance, when my co-author, Catherine Johnston, confided in a colleague that she was taking several weeks off for cancer treatment, the woman replied, “I have news, too. I’m getting a new job!”
Cathy stood up and left the room.
The column is a good reminder (to me!) to listen better to all stories, especially those involving suffering. It seems like it's helpful to share a similar story (it conveys you know what they are feeling, etc.) but people about 99 percent of the time just want their story listened to.