When asked for an honest reaction to bad news, is brutal honesty really the best policy?
This was the question Redditor LGACERtv faced.
So they turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for telling my sister I didn’t care about her miscarriage?”
The OP explained:
“My younger sister found out that she was pregnant around two weeks ago and recently miscarried on Sunday.”
“I totally feel bad for her but if I can be totally honest, I don’t think I quite care.”
“Maybe it’s because I’m not a mutual party but I just don’t feel any different and unaffected by all of it.”
“Even when she told us, I didn’t have much of a response. My sisters and mum are devastated though.”
“Non stop crying and the whole house has damper mood which is understandable.”
“Last night my sister and I were watching a movie and she asked how I was feeling about the whole thing and I told her I feel for her and that she’ll get through it but then she realized that I was avoiding the subject and mentioned how I’d been quiet about the whole thing so she was making sure I was still coping.”
“I said I was fine but she just stared at me and waved her hand (asking me to go deeper).”
“I repeated that I do feel sorry for her but I don’t really care that much about it probably because I’m not involved.”
“She was a bit taken aback and said that was an a**hole thing to say but that she kind of understands but then my mother came and was mortified.”
“She started shouting at me about it which caught the attention of my other sisters and things just blew up.”
“Maybe it is insensitive but she asked and I wasn’t going to act as if I’m devastated. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked their opinion by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
While many Redditors thought the OP was entitled to their feelings, some took issue with their delivery.
“My thoughts exactly… op isn’t wrong for their feelings, not everybody mourns such a thing (besides feelingsympathy and sadness for their loved-one’s pain), but this was a really insensitive thing to say.” – Profile-Specialist
“Yes, and we are also all humans who can’t be expected to have the exact correct response in the moment to a situation that an internet stranger could come up with while reading about the situation from a 3rd hand perspective.”
“OP is absolutely N T A for being honest while being pressed in the moment, nor do I believe the sister is. The mother on the other hand.” – lydriseabove
However, this Redditor disagreed about the OP being NTA.
“Yes, she is. Her grieving sister assumed she was hurting too and tried to connect with her. Even if that weren’t true and she’d been literally interrogating OP with a glaring ceiling light, the words ‘I don’t really care very much’ should never have escaped her lips.”
“You should never say something like that to a STRANGER who lost a child. This is her sister, whom she’s apparently supposed to care about.”
“What is wrong with you all.” – wauwy
The majority still maintained their NTA stance.
“Op was put on the spot, and when people are on the spot, it is really hard to improvise a white lie to spare the other party’s feelings (unless they’re great at lying). OP was just honest, not malicious nor spiteful.” – JavZub
“I came into this, from the title, expecting to decide that OP was an a**hole, but I’m now a bit concerned that her sister feels like she needs to ask everyone how *they* are doing with the news of her miscarriage and if they need help.”
“The one thing I might suggest doing, without anyone else, is to approach your sister and let her know that if she needs anything, or wants to talk, that you are there to listen or to bring something by (if you are).”
“She may benefit from someone who is not so overwhelmed with their own feelings about the miscarriage that they can be all about supporting her during this time.” – JohannasGarden
“There was a better way to say it for sure. I don’t think it’s that OP doesn’t care that it happened, but just didn’t have any attachment?”
“Maybe saying something like ‘I honestly hadn’t really formed an emotional attachment yet, so it’s not really affecting me except for the fact that you’re upset and I’m really sorry it happened.'”
“The mother is definitely being overly dramatic about it though. Yeesh.” – wookieeTHEcookie
“Particularly when her grieving sister was considerate enough to check how OP was coping with the loss.”
“OP’s answer doesn’t just indicate that she is unattached to the idea of the baby (and therefore not grieving the loss) but also that she doesn’t care about her sister’s grief (which is what I would expect everyone outside of the couple to be affected by).”
“It’s just an insensitive thing to say all round. YTA” – pluckymonkeymoo
“I think her sister was also being presumptuous that everyone would be mourning this as a loss, I think that’s just unrealistic; I think she was being kind of pushy, rather than genuinely considerate, to keep pressing op about that.”
“But I agree with you that her response gives the impression she’s callous to her sister’s grief too.” – Profile-Specialist
“I honestly think it’s more of an NAH/ESH, what he said was phrased really poorly, but he wouldn’t have said it if his sister didn’t push him into it, multiple times.” – RecommendsMalazan
Similar to the OP, this Redditor was not very diplomatic and even encouraged lying.
“YTA. There is a spectrum of miscarriages but almost all of them can be incredibly traumatic for people.”
“She was looking for support of some kind and even though it wouldn’t have been true, sometimes you do need to lie in order to support people who are grieving a loss.”
“You could’ve said something like, ‘I’m okay because it wasn’t my child but I still feel awful for you and what you’ve had to go through.’”
“Saying you don’t care is incredibly insensitive even if it’s true. But also your mom sucks here for escalating when it sounds like your sister was keeping a level head.” – DJersey98
“Miscarriages are a tough one. Some people have no connection to an embryo/fetus, some people form an emotional attachment quickly, some people have fertility issues, and place a lot of hope in a pregnancy.”
“NTA because you’re entitled to feel however you feel about it. It wasn’t right for your family to judge you for it. Please try to be understanding and patient with their grief though.” – Kramanos
The general consensus among Redditors was that the OP should have been more empathetic and that withholding the complete truth might have prevented their family drama.