Thursday, May 21, 2015

Say the RIGHT Thing

I have a very dear friend who has had trouble getting pregnant, and I realize that her decision to tell me was probably a difficult one. I'd like to think that I handle most situations appropriately, but in this case, I said all the wrong things. I've never been in her shoes, and I don't have a child myself, so I wasn't quite sure how to respond. Luckily, she let me know that my response was NOT what she needed to hear.  Here are some tips for supporting your friends though challenging situations (trouble conceiving, or otherwise):

  • DON'T: Tell them they're just trying to hard or are too stressed. Yes, they're definitely stressed! And yes, this is where I went terribly wrong. I told my friend to relax and enjoy this part-it's the fun part... WRONG response!
  • DO: Acknowledge her negative feelings. It's OK to commiserate and say something like "your sadness and anxiety are completely understandable."
  • DON'T: Stop talking about it. I have a different friend who miscarried, which was an incredibly painful experience, but she appreciated the opportunity to talk about something different or cry over the phone as needed. Sometimes just being present is the best thing you can do. 
  • DO: Be sensitive. You might have fabulous news to share,  but understand that your good news might rub salt in your friend's wound. It shouldn't be that way, but broaching the topic before you blast it on Facebook may help to alleviate some resentment. 
  • DON'T: Tell your friend that it will happen when the time is right. Yep, I said this one too. It's like telling a kid that he can have a cookie at some point in the future when the stars align- nobody wants to hear that. 

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