Triggered: How Not to Tell Your Infertile Friend You’re Expecting
"Uh-oh, Mom's triggered," my youngest joked as I picked up his dirty socks from the middle of the living room floor for the umpteenth time.
If you haven't heard about "triggering" in the news lately, you might be Amish or living off the grid. This article will give you the deets. America has gone a bit nuts about protecting people from triggers, or negative emotional responses. On the other hand, if your BFF or sister-in-law is dealing with infertility, there are some ways you, as a member of the fertile world, can do your part to ease the grief and loss of control which often accompany TTC (trying to conceive).
Rather than offering a list of suggestions for avoiding triggers, I'm going to put forth a list of behaviors guaranteed to prompt negative emotions in your TTC friend. It's up to you to steer clear of these landmines. As with any trial, having a friend who is sensitive to our pain is a game changer. Suddenly, our battle shifts from "Me against the world" to "Us against the world"....odds that make us feel like we might just survive.
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash
How to Trigger a Friend Struggling With Infertility
1. Spring your pregnancy announcement on your TTC friend at a large gathering. She'll love dealing with her deluge of emotions in front of an audience.
2. Apologize to your TTC friend after announcing that you're expecting, She enjoys being viewed as a wet blanket who steals your joy.
3. Tell your friend, "We weren't actually trying to get pregnant; it just happened." TTC people feel much better when a friend's pregnancy is accidental, especially with all the hoops they've had to jump through to attempt conception.
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash
4. Complain about the timing of your pregnancy (i.e. We were really hoping for a spring baby, but I guess winter's ok).
5. Post your good news on social media to avoid the discomfort of telling your TTC friend personally.
So how do we want to hear about your pregnancy? It's quite simple. From you. A phone call or face-to-face chat just between the two of us will do. And it never hurts to add these words: I'm still here for you. How can I help you face this?