Stupid Things People Say

shockThey generally mean well. Friends, and family that don’t know what to say, and next thing you know the strangest things come out of their mouths. Sometimes even strangers and people we hardly know seem to have opinions or something they feel the need to share. We’ve all been there. Out it comes and we are left wondering “What on earth was that?”

If not on the outside then at least on the inside our jaws are left hanging. And then what do you say? How do you answer what you just heard? Do you answer at all? Most of the time, the person is just grasping for something to say, but, wow, have I heard some people pull some things out of some weird places.




I had just had a left mastectomy and 6 chemo treatments. I was still in the middle of Herceptine treatments. I was bald. I had been thrown into menopause by the chemo and was flashing all over the place. I was scheduled for a full hysterectomy which was to be followed by a mastectomy on my right side.

While at a school function for Dayna (my youngest “bonus” child) I was approached, rather loudly, by an acquaintance who said,

“Dayna tells me you are going to have a hysterectomy. Will you grow a lot of facial hair?” 

As I write this it doesn’t sound half as bad as it did standing there in the middle of that room and seeing multiple people turn, either to hear my answer or in equal shock at the loud and intrusive question. Even the person’s best friend gasped and said, “You shouldn’t ask that.” She went on to tell her friend how thoughtless she was. Of course she wasn’t particularly quiet either and it just added to the awkwardness.

I found myself standing there stammering, telling the best friend that it was okay. (Not sure why I said that because in truth it was obnoxious. Guess I just wanted the conversation to end and it seemed as though the best friend was going to continue to reprimand her outspoken companion.)

Then I answered the question with, “I guess, I really don’t know. Not that I know of.” And I walked away and found a table to sit at.

Joy of joys, they came and sat down at the same table with me and I got to enjoy more of the same type of questions for what seemed an eternity. 

That was one of the more awkward conversations I have had, mostly because it was so public and intrusive.


I once had a woman, who had no particular risk factors for breast cancer, tell me she was certain she would develop breast cancer someday. She then went on to say, “I have already looked at wigs. Do your boobs look good? They don’t droop, right?” 

Seriously, how do you respond to that?

The Fashionable Cancer???

I have even been told that I am lucky because I got the fashionable cancer. The one with all the “gear”. You know, T-shirts and pink blenders. Really?? I didn’t know there was a fashionable cancer.

In truth, I had some odd things said to me and some strange questions asked of me, but for the most part the people closest to me seemed to practice the “Less is Better” approach and I didn’t hear nearly the kinds of things I have heard others describe.

I am sure each of you could share your own stories about the “Stupid Things People Say”

The only thing I can say is that for the most part I do not believe people mean to be insensitive. I believe they just mostly don’t know what to say. As a matter of fact, I hate to think of it, but there have probably been times in my life when I was the one saying the “stupid thing.” For those times I am truly sorry. I guess the best we can do is extend some grace, limit our exposure to the people we know are going to say something insensitive, and try to laugh about it with someone who “gets it.”

Share your thoughts in the comment section below


 make sure to read:

Offering Support To Someone With Cancer

Join Lisa Boncheck Adams at her blog as she and her readers share some of the Stupid Things People Say:

The Stupid Things People Say to those with cancer & their families


Join us on Facebook all this month as we support Breast Cancer Awareness by sharing important and helpful information about breast cancer as well as inspiring stories of wellness and wholeness after and even during the journey. Share this link with someone you love, whether survivor or brave caregiver. Invite your friends and family to come along with us all month as we honor and support those whose lives have been touched by cancer.



Be Sociable, Share!