When someone tells Dan, who is suffering from cancer, “You look great,” I often feel there is a more compassionate way to greet him.
During the cancer journey, Dan and I have noticed the decline in how he looks and moves due to the hardship on his body.
For others, the bias of wanting him to be healthy often leads them to say, “You look great.”
As a caregiver, I receive this as insensitivity, not as a positive outlook.
When speaking to someone with a long-term illness, it may be better to ask a question such as, “How do you feel?” as opposed to giving an uninformed assessment of how you feel the person looks.
Asking a question may be a compassionate way to learn more about how the person is doing.