How To Respond When Your 'Bestie' Tells You She Has Infertility
To round off my posts for Fertility Week 2018, I want to talk about the best way to respond if your 'bestie' tells you that she is struggling with infertility. Although what I am about to share with you is the same if any friend, family member or colleague shares this news with you.
I realise though that anyone following my social media posts are already probably clued up on this, as they are either struggling themselves or working with fertility clients. Which is why I am hoping that anyone reading this will help me spread the word, not just on your business pages but on your personal timelines as well.
Because here’s the thing…
If there are 1 in 6 people struggling with infertility then we all know someone who is silently struggling. I want to make sure that when the day comes when that person breaks their silence, that the person they confide in knows the best way to respond. Because doing that well can make a world of difference to that person.
I’ve split this post down in to WHAT NOT TO DO and WHAT TO DO to make it really simple.
Before I get on to that though I want you to appreciate that first and foremost if someone confides in you, just what a big deal it is that they have told you. It means that they look at you as someone they can trust and who will be supportive.
Let go of worrying about whether they have picked the right person to put their trust in because you don’t have personal experience. The truth is even when we have had a similar experience to another person, it is just that our experience, and we all deal with things differently.
Let’s look now at how what you can avoid saying and what you can that will make a huge difference to them emotionally.
- try and compare their feelings with something you’ve been through.
- say you can have one of mine, they drive me nuts.
- tell them about all the great things they can still do if they haven’t got kids (or all the things you miss because you do).
- turn into an unqualified fertility expert - “have you done this, that and the other?”
- tell them to be grateful for what they have, or invalidate their feelings by saying “at least it’s not....”
- suggest that maybe this is how it’s meant to be, that the Universe has a reason for this or any other such nonsense.
Most of all don’t dare tell her the story of someone you heard about who stopped trying and got pregnant, because they just RELAXED!
- tell them that you are sorry to hear that they are going through this.
- ask them what they need from you, including if they’d like you to check in on them now and then or if they’d rather just come to you when they need you.
- still invite them to things even though they may say no. Let them know that you will always understand if they say no, even if that means saying no at the last minute.
- let them know that you will be there for them as a listening ear whenever they need, but that you may not always know the right thing to say. So, if you say the wrong thing you want them to tell you. If you don’t know what to say, admit it by saying “I wish there was something I could say to make things better.”
- remember that the main thing they want to do if they are talking is talk, so you don’t have to do much other than just be there.
- follow their lead. If they want to talk let them, don’t try and cajole them into something else. If they want to be quiet just be with them, don’t try and make them speak. If they want to have fun then get on and have fun with them.
Having fertility issues goes way beyond the impact of your 'bestie' struggling to have a baby.
Research shows that infertility has a huge impact on the mental health and emotional well-being of those struggling. In turn this has a huge impact on their lives in general and their relationships, and sadly their chances of becoming pregnant too.
So most of all understand that the one thing you can truly do to help your 'bestie' when they confide in your (or anyone else), is let them know how much you care about them and that you will always be there when they need you.
If you are interested in finding out what it would be like to work with a Freedom Fertility Coach, please click here.