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False feelings.

(21 Posts)
messenger Mon 11-Feb-13 20:01:41

I have noticed over the last few months/years a saying that sounds so FALSE
that I cringe when I hear it. The words,I quote:`My/our thoughts and feelings are with the family`unquote. That is to say that we all collectively feel the same false can anyone get?
If you really feel sadness for a tragedy and people why not say`I PERSONALLY` feeL for you or them....why `collectivise` a feeling and make the feeling so false and SHALLOW.[ANGRY]

vampirequeen Tue 12-Feb-13 09:57:18

I agree. What happened to just saying you're sorry whatever has happened. Thoughts and feelings doesn't mean anything.

absent Tue 12-Feb-13 10:05:34

I hadn't noticed the combining of thoughts and feelings. I suspect that this is the standard sort of comment made by politicians – David Cameron following the Algerian hostage taking for example. My brain switches off when they go into that mode. It shows that no thought has been given to what is being said.

In letters of condolence I quite often say "You are very much in my/our thoughts at the moment" which is very different and also true. My thoughts are with you, on the other hand, is meaningless and as for my feelings are with you… hmm

Bags Tue 12-Feb-13 12:09:38

I know what it means, so it isn't meaningless. It may not be the best way to express what is meant though. Still an improvement on "you are in our thoughts and prayers".

Lilygran Tue 12-Feb-13 12:24:29

I think it has replaced 'thoughts and prayers' because of the number of people who don't want other people's prayers. Personally, I find it comforting to know people are praying for me. But some people get upset. I can't understand it. If you don't believe it's effective, what harm can it do?

Nelliemoser Tue 12-Feb-13 12:35:10

Lilygran I agree about not worrying about the "prayers" bit. I am not much of a believer but if someone cares enough about me to want to send me the benefits of what they hold dear and important I will not complain, but see it as a mark of their kindness.

Ana Tue 12-Feb-13 12:43:32

I agree, Nelliemoser. Yet some people seem to view it as an affront, almost an assault...

absent Tue 12-Feb-13 13:14:59

So what does it mean Bags? Is it supposed to mean "I know how your family feels" although, of course, I don't even if I have been in a similar situation. I have even less idea if I have never been in a similar situation, e.g. the families of the hostages recently killed in Algeria. And surely different members of any family feel about things in different ways. I think it's a meaningless and empty sentiment used out of sheer laziness.

I have no objection to a believer saying prayers for me. The only actual occasion I can recall was when a friend had a mass said for Mr absent when he had a stroke. I thought that was touching and kind.

Bags Tue 12-Feb-13 13:19:06

I don't actually mind people praying for me, lily, if that's what they want to do (but who would? wink). No, my objection is that the "thoughts and prayers" thing is often apparently trotted out without much thought or any actual intention of praying, just as "what is said in a politically correct world".

Perhaps the people who actually object to being prayed for, just don't want to have any connection to religion? I can sort of understand that if they think religion does more harm than good, or if they feel religious people have harmed them.

Bags Tue 12-Feb-13 13:20:31

To me, it means that I can (or think I can) imagine some of what they are feeling; that I empathise as best I can. That's all one can do, I should think.

Bags Tue 12-Feb-13 13:20:53

Unless one can offer practical support, of course.

Bags Tue 12-Feb-13 13:21:41

The personal bit is understood, I think.

Nelliemoser Tue 12-Feb-13 14:18:20

Bags I agree that phrase is too often trotted out as a "useful sound bite."

FlicketyB Tue 12-Feb-13 17:23:20

And it is usually accompanied by the phrase 'lessons will be learnt'. If anybody ever says that to me I will be asking what lessons? who by? and how willyou be checking that the lessons have been learnt?

JAB Tue 12-Feb-13 22:41:23

The first time I think I heard those words was when the first forces personnel were killed in Afganistan, or it could have been in the first Gulf war, sadly we have heard it far too many times now, and this comment was said by the P.M. then their opposite number and all other parties,in parliament, usually at P.M's question time. I'm not criticising the words themselves I think we all know what they are trying to say, but I being the mother of a son in the forces dread those words being said. I know there are other occasions when they are said too and think it is sad that they ever need to be used. I do agree with FlicketyB about lessons will be learnt, that drives me insane, if kids at school took so long to learn lessons the country would be in uproar. (Sorry if I've strayed off the thread.)

Mishap Wed 13-Feb-13 10:54:42

I think it just means that "we are thinking of you" - that is good to know when life is tough for whatever reason. Doesn't make me cringe or sound false to me.

I am happy to be in people's prayers when life is difficult even though I know of no deity. It effectively means that they care and that they are thinking of me and wishing me well. I find that comforting. As I said to one of my vicar friends when she said she was praying for us - "That's great - we need all the help we can get!"

Bags Wed 13-Feb-13 12:15:37

I suppose it is something to say when words seem inadequate. A sort of verbal hug, if you like, or touch on the arm.

absent Wed 13-Feb-13 12:20:20

It can be tricky to find the right words when offering condolences – it's just that this is a rather sloppy way of saying something very simple.

Minty Wed 13-Feb-13 12:51:01

Surely its good that someone is thinking about you, however it is put?

Anne58 Wed 13-Feb-13 12:54:17

The phrase that I use in relation to bereavement (especially when I did not know the person who had died, for example the parent of a work colleague) is one that is used a lot in Ireland "I'm sorry for your loss"

absent Wed 13-Feb-13 15:01:29

Minty Given that this is the kind of phrase trotted out by politicians whenever there is a death (or several) in the news, the chances are that once said, all thinking about the family is instantly forgotten.