How useful is the advice, "Just get over it" ?

My mother is in the hospital today and I am very worried for her. It occured to me just before leaving to visit her that worry, although not always useful, might in many cases be inevitable. The same is true perhaps for heartache and/or bitterness. While not particularly useful, is it possibly inevitable to some extent (as to which extent I cannot say)? When people are hurting about love or lack thereof, how useful is the advice, "Get over it?" If heartache and/or bitterness were that easy to just "get over it," it would seem to me no one would ever experience it. I have seen advice on GAG which amounts to (or in some cases is literally spoken as) "Get over it." Would it not be wiser to simply say, "I wish I could help you, but I can't?"


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Most Helpful Girl

  • It isn't.

    In cases where there just isn't anything that can be done, there is no actual need for advice; there is only need for support.

    I believe a better way to say it would be, "You’ll get over it in time." It isn’t imperative like “Just get over it” is, but rather a declaration that you believe they will get past it someday despite how low they’re feeling right now, that maybe it will take some time, but they will get past it. Perhaps showing confidence in them in their moment of weakness may just give them strength and belief in themselves too that they can get through it, that it won’t feel like this forever, and that they will be okay someday.

    Anyway, I hope your mom's okay. :/

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    • Thank you. My mother seems to be recovering at this point.

      "You'll get over it in time" is actually more accurate. It sends a clear message that time is an ally and that it isn't particularly easy.

    • That's good to hear. :)

What Girls Said 11

  • I don't think it's useful at all to tell someone to "just get over it" when they're going through a heartbreak of any sort. When someone has been hurt, it just doesn't work that way. When someone has been hurt or is going through a hard time emotionally, I may not be able to do anything to help them directly but I will still tell them that I am here for them and will offer my support. I think that's far better than telling them to get over it. That just seems kind of rude and insensitive to me. However, I will tell that person that I am here if they want to talk and vent about what they're going through. At least then, I'm doing something to reach out rather than just being dismissive of their problem by telling them to "get over it."

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    • Yeah, I generally say as much myself. If I can't help, I'll tell them I can't help.

  • I hate the term , " just get over it". It's easy for people to dismiss other people feelings when they aren't emotionally attatched to the situation. It's a cold response towards someone who is reaching out to be comforted. It's a term i'd never use, as it's quite heartless to say. If the person could " just get over it" they would.

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  • Well you have to get over it - or at least deal with it - the goal is for them to help you get over it.

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    • Would you tell someone grieving over a loss "Well you have to get over it - or at least deal with it?"

  • I think it's more accurate to say, this is something you need to do yourself. Like most things sadly :(

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    • I believe that is not only more accurate, but a better way to put it.

    • I don't use the phrase unless I'm angry or frustrated. I normally try and be a bit more constructive.

  • It's very useful sometimes. Think about it in a logical way. How is heartache and/or bitterness helping you out in life? All it is doing is making you unhappy and it's good to let your emotions out and deal with stuff. But constantly thinking about the things that make you say isn't help you. So just get over it can be a much more healthier way instead of being stuck on the depressing stuff.

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    • *make you sad*

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    • You never answered my question.

      I'll ask it again. Is there any circumstance under which a certain amount of bitterness/heartache is inevitable?

    • It's not about the situation it's more of how a person reacts to it. So yes there is.

  • Agreed. I'd never say to someone "Get over it", in my opinion it sounds like "stop being whiny" which is harsh.

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    • Thanks for stopping by. Moreover than being harsh, it is useless and possibly counterproductive.

    • No worries! Exactly, it just sounds so careless.

  • I don't think it is useful. Sometimes it is hard to give an appropriate advice unless i've also experienced the same experience. So normally i listen to people and be there for them and not giving the advice. And "just get over it" is certainly not the type of advice that i'd give :/ hope your mom is okay

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  • I think it's how you interpret the phrase "Just get over it". To me it simply means deal with whatever pain your going through and get through it. In many cases people who say this don't say this to be negative, but because there isn't anything they can do for you. You have to help yourself basically.

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    • Thanks for sounding off.

      " In many cases people who say this don't say this to be negative, but because there isn't anything they can do for you."
      Would it not be wiser to simply say there isn't anything they can do?

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    • "Does it really matter how they say it in the end? They still can't help you."

      I believe how something is said can profoundly matter.

    • I see how it could. Especially if the person is dealing with something that requires sensitivity.

      To each his own i guess.

  • it's a lot easier said than done, it gives the impression the person who saying it is highly insensitive, being hurt due to relationship is just the right approach, now I might be able to see if it were a job offer you wanted but didn't get perhaps

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  • That's not advice. It's a clue that the person who said it to you isn't all there in the head or the heart.

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    • Wow! That's... to the point. I might not entirely agree with you. More often I think the person is probably thinking one of these two things.
      a) I'm tired of hearing this person complain
      b) I feel helpless because I can't do anything

    • I insist. That person is a psycho with no soul. Hope things get better.

  • It would definitely be much kinder to say 'I wish I could help you but I cant'. But I think most people are quite rude these days and maybe tend to be quite blunt at times

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What Guys Said 11

  • The Words "Just get over it" are not advice but rather a stern rebuke.

    The message they send is:

    - your emotions are wrong
    - your perceptions are wrong
    - your experience is wrong
    - your ideas are wrong
    - your grief is wrong
    - your distress is wrong
    - your hurt is wrong

    If you could only discharge all of this wrongness, then you could just get over it.

    But, to do so without passing through the pain is to discard all the characteristics that make us human.

    There is no "get over it".

    There is only learning to live.

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    • Thoughtful as usual.

      I *do* believe that sometimes it is INDEED a case of
      -your perceptions are wrong
      -your experience is wrong
      -your ideas are wrong

      However, all three of the ways you just worded it are much more likely to get a person to listen to you than saying, "just get over it."

  • It's not useful. I understand the various sentiments behind it, but it's not useful. Some people are better at handling things than others. Some people are more decisive than others. I think that kind of line indicates someone who sees a one-size-fits-all type of approach to life, which is simply not true.

    Another reason why it's not a good bit is because it shows a lack of sympathy and/or a lack of empathy. "Just get over it", "just go out and do it", "just x, y, and/or z" also shows, to a degree, an unwillingness to help when help is wanted.

    In fact, I think that this advice can do more harm than good because, in a way, it tells someone to bury the problem, disregard it, throw it aside and not bother with it, etc. It's like all those signs that point to a potential disaster, but are ignored. How many times have you heard something like "this tragedy could have been avoided if..."?

    Finally, sometimes people don't want a solution. Sometimes, they just want someone who will listen to them. Sometimes, they WANT to hurt temporarily so that they can know the healing that will eventually come to them if they take the right steps.

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  • Yeah, its completely worthless advice.

    I see it the same as if you were in pain from a physical injury and the doctors advice was "just get over it", no medicine, no procedure, no test/ x ray, nothing. Just get over it. That doesn't do anything to adress the root cause of the discimfort or even attempt to help heal it.

    I think people who say "get over it" usually do it because they can't see the other persons ooint of view and are offended or angered by the other person's problem They see the problem as insignificant or imaginary even though the pain/frustration felt by the other person is very real.

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    • "I think people who say "get over it" usually do it because they can't see the other persons ooint of view and are offended or angered by the other person's problem"
      I'm inclined to agree with you.

  • In my opinion it depends in how you take that.

    For me if someone said 'just get over it' inplies worrying, stress and heartache obviously you can limit all of these like worry and stress but heartache you can only make the heartache last a lot less then usual.

    For worrying and stress you'd need to already be able to meditate and not attach yourself to a thought or an emtion and thats the only hard part about meditation which is extremely useful for any stressful situation.

    Anyways hope your mother is fine and hope you're fine! Goodluck I'm sure everything will be okay!

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    • Thank you, EarthToKepler.

      Is your name a reference to the mission or an exosolar planet?

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    • Sorry dude just recently woke up ahah it's a reference to the both find it bery very interesting:)

    • I find the Kepler Mission fascinating myself. I live in the Los Angeles area and I have attended JPL's open house. I spoke with some of the scientists working on the mission. Very interesting. My students are interested in it as well.

  • Probably one of the least helpful verses it is but for some... there's no other way to put it because they might be wallowing in the self-pity themselves.

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    • Ah, wallowing in self pity is a different story.

      Although even if a person is wallowing in self pity, I still have my doubts that "get over it" is going to be particularly useful.

  • I suppose it really depends on who is saying it to you. Many times a friend or mentor that has been through hard or similar difficult experiences as you may say this phrase simply to inspire you to draw on inner strength they know you have so you can see beyond the ensuing grief and emotional pain and essentially prepare you to provide your mum in this case with the positive vibes she needs from you.
    Coming from others it is very insensitive and dismissive but believe in yourself and ignore their lack of empathy. My advice being a stranger would be to hide your pain and embrace your mum with positive energy and reciprocate the love she showered on you.

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    • Thanks for the advice, openhearted65. That is precisely what I'm doing. Are you from the UK or Australia?

      I also agree it depends largely on who said it.

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    • Many thanks. You are coming into winter. What's winter like where you live?

      By the way, if I had to move from the USA, Australia would be my first choice.

    • I'm in Sydney so winter is quite mild.

  • I think the GaG "Get Over It" is code for it won't always be like this, there is every chance that you will meet someone new and have an amazing life together ( but you won't get them unless you get back to normal ).

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    • Respectfully, I am skeptical it's code for "it won't always be like this." I think it depends on who it's coming from. For some people, perhaps you are right, KDA20. However, for others I think it's code for "stop whining." Yet for others I think it's code for "I don't know what else to say." But perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?

    • I suppose living in hope that people couldn't be that hard hearted.

  • Very useful

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  • Not useful at all. "Just get over it" is pretty much the same response as "man up" or "deal with it". If it's that easy, then no one would ever feel sad.

    While it's an appropriate answer for small and insignificant problems, it's very lacking in depth and is a very lazy answer often used by superficial people.

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    • Hmm. I wonder who gave the two down votes here.

    • Perhaps women who like to use the phrase "man up"? Can't be sure though.

  • I believe "Get over it" is an expression of that person's sense of powerlessness, so yes, the second, most honest answer is better.

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  • not useful. it's easier said than done

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