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How to make someone open up?

trdlondontrdlondon Posts: 6
edited May 2020 in Carers Corner
My husband's close relative has lung cancer and doesn't want to talk about it. He didn't even tell anyone his cancer had returned for ages, even his children. The thing is, that he is suffering from some side effects that maybe could be better if he would just tell the nurses or let us help him. Or maybe there is nothing can be done. But it's hard to watch someone suffer when you want to help them but they won't open up. I know this can't be forced.  


  • BrucieBrucie Posts: 7
    I am the same. I don't really like to tell people my personal issues. This community is a first for me in trying to change that. I have always found it hard to open up, not something i was taught. The best thing you can do is just to be there, be supportive as best you can and don't push him to open up as this will likely cause him to close back up. That is what i used to do. 
  • cosiecosie Posts: 31 ✭✭
    I have found that you can ask some more specific questions like 'how did today go' which is better than 'how are you doing' and maybe that might help get him talking?
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We men are not always comfortable talking about our feelings. We tend to soldier on, be strong, silent and deal with our situation on our own. We think of emotion as a sign of weakness. 

    Your relative is obviously very vulnerable though. His own mortality is in his face, but he will not want to show any signs of weakness to his family or friends.

    Your husband might try something like  "I'm sorry that you are going through this and if you ever feel like talking, I'm here to listen."  

    If he does decide to talk it is best not to interrupt. Give him the fullest attention and wait for him to finish before saying anything.  

    You have probably tried this already. I hope it works out. Good luck.

    Rob X 

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