Several times, I’ve seen a few people who are too preoccupied with their health problems. So much so that when you interact with them, they’ll talk about their health problems all the time. This is regardless of your level of interest in knowing their problems or your ability to help them out. It gets worsened by two more factors:

  • There are times when you are not even expected to be concerned about someone’s problem. For example, you happen to share a compartment with someone in the train and you politely ask “how do you do”. Not only that you are not concerned with that person, you are not even expected to.
  • And then there are also times when the nature of problem is such that you expect the person to just deal with it. Common cold is one example of such a problem, viral infection is another.

However, when we are pre-occupied with something, it spills over all our interactions. Not because we really find it so important. It’s just that it’s at the top of our head and it just finds its way out of us as soon we have the opportunity to open our mouth.

I recently had a first hand experience of this. I got throat infection and it made me miserable for a few days. With every passing day, it started taking more and more of my mindshare. And I found myself talking more & more about this episode of infection and how it was troubling me. The more this thread dominated my mind, the more it became the dominant topic of my conversations with others.

I was a bit surprised when I found myself doing this. I knew that it wasn’t a big thing. And that I should be dealing with it entirely on my own. And that, nobody would be interested in knowing about this throat infection and/or the details thereof.

When I sat down to analyze this behavior, I realized that in a few days time, it became the dominant thread in my mind. The whole thing happened so gradually that I never realized it.

Overall, this was an important experience for me. I’ve seen many old people who talk only about how ill they are and how many medicines they are eating. I could never connect with them. I felt kind of bored. I expected them to just deal with it and contain it within themselves. However, after this experience, I can understand them better. I can understand how their illness has become the dominant line of thought in their mind. How difficult it is for them to free themselves when they don’t have much else to look forward to anyways.

I hope I’ve learnt my lesson. And I hope it would stays with me whenever I interact people with health problems. And as I myself potentially go through my own periods of poor health.