I regret the times a stupid platitude popped out of my mouth in my efforts to comfort or support. Sadly, I'll continue to screw up because platitudes are ingrained in our culture of comforting. My hope is that the more I talk about the problem, the fewer times I'll say something that mght harm another.
Given my remarkable long-term survival, I'm often on the receiving end of platitudes. The most cringe-worthy are those that imply I got sick for a reason or I survived because I had a purpose in life.
I know, I know: they mean well. That explains it, not excuses words that can unwittingly cause harm, as explained by psychotherapist Tim Laurence in his superb piece, Not Everything Happens for a Reason:
I’ve heard it a million times before, but it never stops shocking me: He tells her that he thinks the tragedy had led to positive changes in her life. He utters the words that are nothing less than emotional, spiritual, and psychological violence: "Everything happens for a reason." He tells her that this was something that had to happen in order for her to grow. But that’s the kind of bullshit that destroys lives. And it’s categorically untrue.
...it still amazes me that these myths persist ...worst of all, they keep us from doing the one thing we must do when our lives are turned upside down: grieve.
I urge you to take 1 minute to read the whole piece: Not Everything Happens for a Reason.