Dr. Mitchell's Sage Advice

Harper's Bazar

If no better reason can be found, a decent consideration for the comfort of others should prevent one's talking of ailments. Besides being bad manners the subject is wholly without interest for any but the speaker; the hearer only listens more or less perfunctorily in hopes presently to seize the chance of telling her own melancholy condition. Besides, to talk of ills, mental or bodily, helps to fix them in the mind, to intensify them—and is all too apt to suggest the exaggeration of them in order to make a good round tale. Moreover, if you talk about them too much or too often even the long-suffering physician may grow tired of being battered with symptoms whose catalogue he has heard recited a hundred times over, and thus the very means taken to impress them will bring about its own defeat.

Still more determined, if you are nervous yourself, should be your stand against letting others talk of their ills to you. Even the healthy cannot stand the continual presentation of disease to them without liability to imaginary infection therefrom. Dr. John K. Mitchell.In Harper's Bazar.

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October 24, 1901
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