How to Deal with Insensitive Comments

June 22, 2010

in Coping,How Einstein Would Get Pregnant Series,Personal Experiences, Stories and Insights

I remember getting very upset when folks would try to give me advice while I was trying to conceive.  One person even told me after I had miscarried that “I was lucky to have one healthy child…you should leave it at that.”  While you are going through the very difficult and painful process of trying to conceive, these suggestions, advice, questions can strike you the wrong way.  I know it full well.

However, looking back, each and every person that offered me their advice was really only trying to help.  As women, I believe we all possess a strong urge to want to help our friends and family members, so we reach out and tell them what is on our mind in an effort to pass along information, ideas or suggestions.

And we have a decision to make with respect to our reaction to these suggestions.

As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Replace the word “inferior” with any word and the meaning still stands.  Consent is the operative word.  By allowing others to hurt us with their suggestions, we are giving them our consent to do so.  Why?  The only person that becomes hurt from the situation is you.

Make the decision to see the situation from a new perspective.  You might want to feel gratitude to them for taking the time to talk with you.  You might secretly forgive them for their ignorance of the situation and speaking like they know the ins and outs of what you are going through.  You might want to explain to them why their suggestions are not appropriate given your feelings or your situation and suggest ways for better communication going forward.

The result?  Less anxiety and greater empowerment. Remember that you are always in control.

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