YaYaDr

YaYaDr

Student
Jun 26, 2018
128
This has been on my mind for awhile and I thought I might share it with everyone. Platitudes are the words people say to you when they find out you are suicidal. They are the canned phrases that pro-lifers sometimes instinctively fire off in hopes of lifting your spirits. Unfortunately, they are oftentimes meaningless, empty, and without teeth. One questions whether it is for the benefit of the suicidal or the person who says it, but I digress.

After a bit of reflection, I have come to the conclusion that these empty sayings (or bumper stickers as I like to call them) fall into at least 1 of 3 general categories. I now turn my attention to these categories and my thoughts associated with each.

I. Insults disguised as constructive criticism

Examples:
You're so selfish for wanting to kill yourself.
You're such a coward.
You're so immature.

I find it weird when people would say these things to a suicidal person. It's like here is a person who hates life and wants to kill himself, let's try to give him more reasons to do it. Seriously though, even when you remove sentiment from the equation and take these sayings at face value, one finds just how shallow they are.

Is it selfish for a person to want to kill himself? Perhaps, but then we see a problem when we apply that logic to both sides of the story. The question then becomes, who is more selfish, the person who wants to end his life to stop suffering, or the person/people whose happiness is contingent upon having that suicidal person continue to live and in the process suffer. I have yet to seen a convincing argument proving the latter to be less selfish.

Then there's the question of cowardice. Are suicidal people cowards? One might argue that killing yourself is difficult because of our natural survival instinct. To battle that instinct takes courage and dedication, not cowardice. You can even argue that many more people consider death more scary than life and so refusing to kill themselves is the true sign of cowardice, not the other way around. But I like to look at this question from a slightly different perspective. I recall the definition of insanity: to continue to do the same thing and expect different results. By that definition, continuing to live the same drab, mundane, and oftentimes painful existence and expecting it to somehow magically become better is the epitome of insanity. Suicidal people therefore are not cowards, they are pragmatists.

Finally we come to question of maturity. Are suicidal people immature? This maybe the one point on which I might agree upon with pro-lifers. That is, if you define immaturity as a sign the person is still developing. Nobody has all the answers so we are all in a constant state of flux as we learn more. Suicidal people acknowledge that we don't have all the answers, "I don't know" is a perfectly valid answer. I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know how to be happy. I don't know if I can go on. Pro-lifers in their cocksure confidence in affirming the value of life merely demonstrate their ignorance. When pressed on how best to solve complicated issues they stick their fingers in their ears and shout la la la like a little child. Who's the immature one again?

II. Assertions based on blind faith

Examples:
It won't always be the same.
It'll get better.
Tomorrow is another day.
Things will change.

This category of platitudes is so frustrating because many people actually believe these sayings to be true not based upon evidence, but on blind faith alone. I would have more respect for these people had they not actually believed the statements, but (as Daniel Dennett might put it) believed in the belief of it. In other words, say these things in order to be optimistic. Optimism has benefits, scientific research suggests this and most people accept that. But don't say it as though it's the absolute truth.

The tautological saying that things will change does nothing to help the patient suffering from cancer. It does nothing to help pay off the debts of a recently laid off factory worker. It does nothing to cure alcoholism, drug addiction, or schizophrenia. Will the fact things change make someone more attractive? Will it make a romantic love interest mystically appear out of nowhere? Will it cure loneliness? Not on its own I say.

Be optimistic for the sake of being optimistic, but don't let that blind you to the actual actions that cause positive change. A person given the grim prognosis of having only a year left to live, may very well live out that final year as happy as one can be, but it is the people around who supported him that assist in this. It's the treatments that he underwent, the medication he took, the activities that filled his days, all of these things did the actual heavy lifting. The person who nonchalantly claims "it'll get better" is about as useful as all those who send their thoughts and prayers during a disaster. One recalls Ricky Gervais who lamented "and to think, all I did was send money."

III. Sayings that are not grounded in reality

Examples:
Suicide doesn't solve anything.
You're only hurting yourself.
Just be happy.

Sometimes I wonder if I live in the same world as a pro-lifer. Suicide doesn't solve anything? Hello? I'm going to be fucking dead! Why the hell should I still care if I had cancer, debt, or depression when I was alive? Frequently upon inspection, I find the basis behind this platitude to be religious. Oh, just because you die doesn't mean your eternal soul won't suffer, they might say. To that I can only respond, the level of your conviction has nothing to do with whether or not it is true.

I wonder what they mean when they tell me I am only hurting myself. By "hurt" do they mean physical harm? Yeah, that's kind of the point though, I want to kill myself. The argument though is probably more nuanced. I hurt myself emotionally and that is the "real" reason why I want to hurt myself physically. But where the pro-lifer falters is in his inability to go one step further. I want to hurt myself physically because of the emotional pain caused by "x". Now "x" can be anything: illness, financial difficulties, a lost loved one, whatever. The point is nobody chooses to have these problems and these problems are oftentimes the root cause to our mental distress. So that brings us back full circle to the question, how the heck do I hurt myself when I never asked for these problems in the first place?

There are times when I genuinely believe being a pro-lifer is like being part of a cult due to some of the psuedoscientific nonsense that pervades their thinking. Be happy, they say. Happiness is a state of mind, you either will yourself to be happy or not. I find this amusing since this is not so much advocating that you can solve your problems, but that you can make them go away with the power of thought alone. When you research books like the Secret or study what some have coined as the "law of attraction", you can see where I am coming from here. It is this prevailing idea that we can be brainwashed into creating our own realities that forms the foundation of platitudes like this. It's why shucksters like David "Avocado" Wolff or Peter Popoff can make a living. In the words of PT Barnum, there's a sucker born every minute. Geez, I just want to kill myself, am I suppose to be the crazy one here?



Anyways, those are my thoughts on some of the more common platitudes I've heard. If you've read this far, I thank you for taking the time and allowing me to enjoy one more indulgence before I CTB. This thread belongs to the community now. What sort of platitudes are you tired of hearing? How do they make you feel? How do you respond? Leave your comments below and go in peace my friends.
 
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dwimplepeen213

Member
Jun 26, 2018
37
This is so well written and I agree with all your points. I’m so sick of hearing those blind faith comments especially, so annoying and ignorant. Completely agree with the cult like pro-lifer attitude. Love this. Thank you. I wish you peace also.
 
Gray Wounds

Gray Wounds

A Phantasmagoria
Jun 27, 2018
513
I love this thread. It says it all.

I've encountered lots of it and the very one sentence that insulted me the most is, "If you kill your self, you'll be in hell. Believe in god. At least pray. Just be thankful to god blah blah" Now this targets not only insensitivity to my situation but also a jest to my chosen beliefs. And it explains that their brains are only limited to their own understandings.
 
NoLifeNoPain

NoLifeNoPain

-
Jun 17, 2018
1,364
I never really understood why suicide is considered irrational. The argument usually is that it goes against nature, because we are wired to survive and spread our genes as animals, but if this nature does nothing but bring us pain and hardship why is it so irrational to be "irrational" and end our lives if it's better this way for some of us?
I agree with everything you said.
 
EricRoche

EricRoche

-
Apr 7, 2018
75
Probably

"No one has it easy in life. Everyone has their struggles"

Again absolute B.S. This is actually in contrast with the statement "Life is unfair" because if it really is (which it is) then some people will live lives of relative ease while others despite improving will live lives of constant mental, physical, social, and financial struggle unless they make a decision to end their life.
 
Imaginos

Imaginos

Full-time layabout
Apr 7, 2018
633
Fortunately enough, I've never really heard any of that stuff. No, I've always gotten category 4, as it were. In other words, new agey drivel combined with the mind numbing dimension of spiritual hokum.

IV. Spiritual horse pucky

1. - If you kill yourself you'll just have to do this over again via reincarnation! We have to complete the contracts our souls signed before coming here! Whatever you're going through is what your soul intended to learn, so it/you can grow as an enlightened being!

2. - You're only talking about killing yourself because you've absorbed someone else's negativity. Don't let your chakras be tainted! Be careful where you put your intention and what you choose to let into your spirit body! Watching disturbing films, playing gruesome video games, or going to "toxic" websites (like this one, for instance) can lower your vibration and leave you vulnerable to other people's dark thoughts/energy!

3. - Meditate, meditate, meditate! And oh, do you know how effective Qigong is? You should try that and become like a guru, or something!

All of this, unsurprisingly, comes from my mother. I've head every variation imaginable of this unique brand of stupid shit over and over and OVER for fucking years now. Hell, just the other day we were having a bit of a light discussion about suicide and, once again, her main point was the same it's always been. If you off yourself, you'll just be shipped back here and be forced to start the nightmare all over again, whether it be in the exact same life, or as something else entirely. Either that, or you'll be trapped in some kind of limbo/purgatory because reasons. My mother's a very intelligent, capable woman, but she's so desperate to believe in something. Something that can explain and account for everything awful that's happened to her. Jesus, Brahma, or even the Archangel Metatron (I don't have a clue whatever the fuck that is) Anything to act as a spark of hope that it can all finally change for the better and there's such a thing as justice and that we're all given our due in the end. It's all part of the "divine plan". It all happens for a "reason". I've tried to convince her out of it in the past, but then I realized what's the use? Yeah it's stupid & annoying, but besides me and my brother it's all she has. Although, I am quite fed up with how she always refers to me as some ultra empathic guru, untainted from the rest of the world and that I have some grand destiny ahead of me. Her nickname for me is literally "The Brahman". She, more than anyone else, knows for a fact that none of that is even one bit true, but she says it anyway. For her sake, or mine. I just don't know. I mean seriously though, I'm lazy, I'm selfish, I'm unintuitive, and I'm about as empathic as a moldy rock. I'm not ashamed to admit that the only person I really give a shit about at the end of the day, is me. Dear old dad taught me that lesson and, in many ways, I'm as much of a piece of shit as he is. That's why the idea is so fundamentally laughable. Me have empathic abilities like I were a fucking Betazoid? That's so rich I might as well be a billionaire. In the end, I just wish she and I didn't have to suffer the way we do. It's all so sad. The absurd things we resort to in order to cope.

As an aside, the main bulwark for her beliefs come essentially from the supposed experiences she's had throughout her life. Feeling the ghostly presence of her deceased mother who committed suicide (before she was "crossed over", that is), feeling the power of "energy" while being treated by spiritual huckste.... I mean "healers", having the premonitions of purported psychics come sorta, kinda, not really if you think about it, true, citing numerous examples of serendipity and that "spirit" is watching over us. All this and more is, as far she's concerned, "hard evidence" of her beliefs. Not even Chinese water torture could convince her otherwise. It's almost ike trying to talk with someone who thought they saw fucking Bigfoot, or something. "Hey man, if you were there you'd know. I'm telling ya, that hairy motherfucker's out there somewhere. There was fucking trees being shaken and loud stomping and shit. Gotta be Sasquatch. Whaddya mean I was drunk in moose territory and there was strong winds whipping about? Fuck you, I don't want to hear it! There's no other explanation! NONE!" The film "Defending Your Life" is essentially her whole view of the universe and the way it works. I urge you to watch it if you're curious. It's actually not a bad movie, but to seriously think that our potential metaphysical existence is that badly designed. *shudder*

George Carlin sums it up perfectly, albeit with a more Catholic heavy slant.

It's all bullshit folks. It’s all bullshit, and it’s bad for you. Now, speaking of dead people in heaven, there are some people who not only believe that their dead parents in heaven can see them. OK, OK. They honestly believe that their dead parents in heaven can help them. You’ve heard these people, I’m sure. They honestly somehow believe that their dead parents in heaven can intercede with God on their behalf to gain favors for the living. I come from a Catholic home. I heard this shit. They sit there in the chair with the fucking rosary, and they look at you like this, you know. And they said “Oh, my dad. My dad was looking out for me. He was looking out. I don’t know how he got me out of that jam, but he got me out. Oh, my mom…my mom was in surgery with me. She was in… I could feel her presence in there.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Fine. Like the people who die have nothing better to do than run the heavenly branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


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Life_is_comedy

Member
Sep 14, 2020
97
-Happiness is a choice
-Always look on the bright side
-People have it worse in [Insert country here]
-Always stay positive. You're too negative.
-Always look on the bright side
-Things could’ve gotten worse.
-Person [X] is hungry, doesn't have enough to eat, doesn't have money, had gone through [X] things, etc.
-[Recount life story here and try to compare as if has any relation to what you're experiencing whatsoever]

Yeah. As if we want to be sad and angry all the time, want to be negative always, always want to look at the worst of things or that we purposely put ourselves in this situation. People just have no clue that others are just unlucky or just a victim of their circumstances like being born in an abusive household where nothing I did was good enough or that every move I did was a mistake. If I had the power, I would've killed my father a long time ago. What an abusive piece of sh*t.
 
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Deadhead Frank

It’s Over!
Aug 29, 2019
638
Yes I hate all those sayings especially “give it time”! I never asked to be born. We are born against our will. Born into suffering. Forced to fall into line. Forced to go to school, work, etc. If we’re lucky we get some good times but the suffering outweighs the good. Life is mainly suffering . That is the point of it to suffer unfortunately. Then if we want out we are told that we will be tortured for eternity. Is this isn’t s rip off and totally unfair I don’t know what is. So there is no way out they say? Possibly part of a twisted experiment that ends in torture. Well I’m just not going to believe this. What can you do?
 
Blueman

Blueman

Student
Aug 13, 2020
171
Stay positive
Nothing stays the same
Something will come up (job)
Forget about your mistakes (even if they have messed up your life)
Don't overthink
Don't beat yourself up (when it's your own fault)

It's just a load of crap. However in my experience even depressed people often end up saying these things to each other as we are pretty much hard wired to come out with such stuff
 
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AintNoWayOut

Student
Jan 6, 2020
144
anything to the effect of "It can only get better", "Time heals all wounds", "Nothing lasts forever", etc

although these phrases are meant to be comforting to the person, since my situation actually involves a physical issue which is likely permanent and will only get worse with age, it accomplishes the exact opposite... it makes me feel even shittier about my circumstance by reminding me that unlike most people's problems, it wont go away. hearing those phrases everywhere i go when i try to find support, it cuts into my soul... its a solid reminder of how bad i have it compared to most, of how hopeless and fucked i am. and thus, i avoid trying to get "help" now because i already know i'll hear platitudes like that which exclude people in my shoes and treat us like we dont even exist. as if our problems are so great we might as well not even be addressed, because we're just lost causes.

i've had so many times where people would act nice and supportive to me, then insult and ditch me the moment they realize how severe my problems are and realize they cant be fixed with a magic wand lmao. must make them feel uncomfortable to be around such "negativity" in their nice little bubble where life is enjoyable. they cant fathom life actually being a constant physical struggle for some people, just THINKING about it kills their vibe. now just imagine if they had to spend just a week actually LIVING THROUGH IT and others treated them the same way they treat me. privileged assholes. (sry rant lol)
 
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DyingAlf

Specialist
Aug 22, 2020
345
I. Insults disguised as constructive criticism

Examples:
You're so selfish for wanting to kill yourself.
You're such a coward.
You're so immature.
These are not disguised as constructive criticism they are just plain insults, if someone says them to you don’t fall for their lies of “I was just trying to help you”, they are toxic!

You're only hurting yourself.
I’ve never had anyone tell me this one, I usually get told that “you’re NOT only hurting yourself” often with something added on like “think of all the hurt & pain you’ll cause those you’ll leave behind”.
 
mahakaliSS_MahaDurga

mahakaliSS_MahaDurga

Visionary
Apr 2, 2020
2,409
I am trying to put myself in shoes of the people who say these platitudes. They probably don't know what to say, and they cannot offer a real solution to your problems. In all honesty, what is there to say to someone who suffers? If they said something like: "Your situation is truly hopeless, you should just kill yourself", I doubt that most people would be happy with that response.
 
Blueman

Blueman

Student
Aug 13, 2020
171
I am trying to put myself in shoes of the people who say these platitudes. They probably don't know what to say, and they cannot offer a real solution to your problems. In all honesty, what is there to say to someone who suffers? If they said something like: "Your situation is truly hopeless, you should just kill yourself", I doubt that most people would be happy with that response.
Of course you are right. Made me giggle imagining most peoples face if they got that reply :)
 
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Ready2GoNow

Member
Sep 10, 2020
74
‘It gets better’ and ‘at least you’re not a starving child in Africa, some people have it worse than you!’. How the actual fuck does that help me? That doesn’t make my situation any better. And humans have several basic needs that need to be met, food being only one of them. Ever heard of Freud’s hierarchy of needs?!
I agree with everything you said though
 
mahakaliSS_MahaDurga

mahakaliSS_MahaDurga

Visionary
Apr 2, 2020
2,409
‘It gets better’ and ‘at least you’re not a starving child in Africa, some people have it worse than you!’. How the actual fuck does that help me? That doesn’t make my situation any better. And humans have several basic needs that need to be met, food being only one of them. Ever heard of Freud’s hierarchy of needs?!
I agree with everything you said though
It's Maslow's hierarchy, not Freud's.
 
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muffin222

muffin222

Enlightened
Mar 31, 2020
1,188
"Talk to family and friends about how you're feeling!"

What if my family has no idea how to respond? What if I do talk to them about how I feel and they either say nothing, change the subject, or tell me that they don't know what to say? This useless advice is useless for me because my family doesn't have the emotional intelligence to know how to respond to me in a way that is supportive and helpful.
 
woxihuanni

woxihuanni

Illuminated
Aug 19, 2019
3,299
'Nobody can force you.' Perfect for taking away all the responsibility from someone who confesses that they psychologically torture me, and putting it on me instead. No, little worm, somebody is forcing me. It is just easier for you to ignore how much I want to live.

Especially because this shit comes from little worms who have none of my troubles but don't have a trillionth of my common sense or lust for life. It takes all the willpower I have to refrain from saying: Oh, and if I were such a dumb, delusional loser like you, I'd kill myself anyway.
 
Sprite_Geist

Sprite_Geist

NULL
May 27, 2020
1,187
"Think of all of the people you will hurt." - This often comes from people who never think how they might have hurt a suicidal person in the first place.

"You are so selfish!" - This a moot point given that every human is selfish to an extent. Individualist societies thrive on selfishness; you just have to go outside to witness it. As an example: ignoring a homeless person could be considered selfish, but no one actually thinks of it as "selfish". Again: this is another platitude that can sometimes come from those who do not care about you, so what does that make them? It begins with an "S"

"Others have it worse." - Yes, because suffering is a competition. You must collect at least 20 pain points before you unlock the "Empathy From Others" passive ability.

"Get help." - In some cases the people who say this (not everyone) really mean: "Go and bother someone else with your problems."

"Life is unfair."
- Not true. Life itself is indiscriminate and random, so in that sense it is fair. It is human behaviour that makes the world unfair.

"It's okay to not be okay!" - An overused platitude that can be seen on social media. People on social media likely do not really care about whether or not you are okay.

"It will get better." - It does not always get better. Life is not a fairytale - the story does not always end happily ever after.

"It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem." - This might be true, but a permenant solution can be preferable to no solution at all.

"You are so loved." - No. Not every person is loved. There are so many people who are isolated, living in darkness and have faced a lifetime of rejection - where is the love for them? Human beings are not valued equally.
 
JustAGwenSomewhere

JustAGwenSomewhere

Semi-Professional Disappointment
Jan 16, 2020
115
The one that gets to me the most is “Life isn’t perfect, you’ve got to learn to deal with.”

Yes life isn’t perfect, but the fact that I no longer feel able to leave my house most days and the lack of any sort of care from former friends and my family make it even harder to deal with. When I started self harming (I think I was 14) my family’s first response was to shout at me and punish me, friends saw it as attention seeking and my GP thought it was a phase I’d grow out of.

The thing that’ll annoy me most when I ctb is I know with certainty, people willwish they saw the signs despite the fact they punished me for them and told me “to get used to the real world”

Other platitudes can usually be dismissed as somebody not knowing what to say and just trying to help, but telling people to “deal with it” makes me livid.