I don’t mean to sound like the world’s most mean-spirited ingrate but it is very draining when someone says to me these words:
“I’m worried about you”.
It’s usually in response to me sharing that I feel overwhelmed, maybe stressed, lots going on. The usual. Life. And I do, deep down, appreciate the sentiment. It’s lovely to be cared for.
But those words themselves – “I’m worried about you” – are useless to me. So what if you’re worried? What do you want me to do about that? I’ve already shared that I feel stressed and overwhelmed, now (to my brain) I have to add your feelings to my to do list.
I feel as if by saying those words, you’re asking me to stop being stressed and overwhelmed right about now. Which I can’t do. Coming out of stress and overwhelm requires action and that takes time. You don’t get out of these things instantly (well … there are a few ways but they’re neither good for you and often not legal). You take regular actions that add up to results.
I cannot suddenly snap my fingers and lo and behold you no longer have to worry about me.
Thank you for your concern, but your feelings are not my responsibility. I cannot take actions that will assuage your feelings. I have to take actions that are best for me.
On a final point, I see these words are very Empty Communication. There is no point saying those words. If you’re offering to help, fine. If you’re looking to stage an intervention because I’m doing things like downing a bottle of wine a night, fine.
If you have some useful communication to follow the “I’m worried about you” then do tell.
Otherwise – I’m sorry but your feelings are rarely on my To Do List.