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Pick your battles

Nowadays, many people don't think twice about making snap judgments or remarks that are inappropriate or impolite—sometimes, even compliments are meted out without discretion or understanding.

There is a difference between telling someone that they look nice today or they are glad to see them and putting undue emphasis on "but you look so great" or "you don't look sick." It may be easier and better to overlook these sorts of remarks from strangers, by chalking it up to their ignorance or ill manners; however, people who are closer to a patient might do the same thing.

Anyone who bears the burden of illness on a daily basis will need to pick their battles wisely and not feed more energy or emotions into situations than they warrant. A simple honest reply may do, or using a little humor or creating a couple of clever quips can help patients end the situation in a way that can also let the other person know they made a faux pas.