Author Topic: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation  (Read 7397 times)

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CharlieBraun

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 02:59:47 PM »
You seem deeply compassionate and I applaud you for trying to do the right thing while balancing her needs and yours.

I think she is saying these things out loud trying to come to grips with her situation, almost like you are a proxy for her-in-the-past, and she's trying a do-over. 

Me?  I would *try* this.  YMMV.

At the next comment she raises, put down whatever you are doing, reach over and hug her - just hug her - and say "thanks so much for looking out for me."

And that's it.  I don't think she would "hear" you if you said the doc said it was OK, because her mind is running ahead to the next thing, like perhaps "my doc said it was bad and look what happened" or "my doc said it was good and look what happened" or even "I wonder if there is any relationship between the color of my sheets and what happened."

You need the hugs.  She needs the hugs. 

I'm sending you one as well.
"We ate the pies."

TootsNYC

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2013, 03:03:36 PM »
I think you have handled it well so far. But if it continues you need to say something. I think I would try something like " Amanda I understand you are trying to work through what happened to you and your baby. It was a tragedy. But you need to stop blaming yourself. And you need to stop trying to scare me. I promise you I am informed of the dangers of various activities and I'm taking active steps to protect my baby. And one of the things I need to do is avoid being needlessly stressed out. From now I'm insisting on if you don't have something positive to say to me about my pregnancy, don't say anything to me at all. Its not fair to me, or to you, to start assigning blame over what happened. I don't think you caused your miscarriage and you need to stop accusing me endangering my baby."

And if she doesn't stop, I think you need to speak to your manager. Amanda is a waitress, not a Dr, and its not ok for her make your workplace a hostile environment, no matter how tragic her situation.

I agree, but I'd go pretty quickly to the "I don't think you caused your miscarriage and you need to stop accusing me of endangering my baby" part.

Also, if she says something in this category again, I would suggest you give her some immediate negative reinforcement. (behavior modification) Do or say something that is less than pleasant--not rude, mind you, but just immediately say, "Excuse me," sort of abruptly and leave her presence. Something along those lines. Or a short, terse, "Nobody thinks you caused your miscarriage, and I'm tired of you suggesting that I could hurt my baby." and then walk away.

Something that will be just unpleasant enough to make her check herself before she opens her mouth.

and I would also suggest that perhaps in general you not be as supportive and understanding. Pull away from her--don't answer her questions at all, or if you do answer them, give a non-answer: "Is that aspirin you're taking?" and you say, "I'm not discussing my pregnancy with you." or "It's not really your business is it?"

Time to make her less comfortable with the casual conversation with you. Because she isn't handling them well, and she needs feedback and tells her so.

But you know what? I really, really like Charlie Braun's incredibly counterintuitive advice. Because counterintuitive is really powerful.

And because all the little "my doctor said" etc. aren't really speaking to the CORE issue. Which is that she's grieving, and your pregnancy is a reminder of her loss, which is why she's grieving like this with you.

But I think I wouldn't say "thank you for looking out for me," but instead just something generally loving: "It's hard, isn't it?"

GreenBird

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2013, 03:21:54 PM »
I think you need to take her aside and tell her something like, "I appreciate your concern, but all of your comments about things that might cause a miscarriage are really stressing me out.  My doctor and I have everything under control, so please stop." 

And I think I'd stop answering any questions that look like they might lead to a lecture.  If she asks something like, "Is that Tylenol or aspirin?" I might try answering just "It's fine." with no elaboration.  i.e. responding to the fact that she's spoken, but not opening the door for any details or conversation. 


Mikayla

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2013, 04:24:02 PM »
^ I like this approach.  Because of the nature of all this, I personally would not want to get into a discussion of what my doc has said, or how she isn't to blame for her miscarriage.  I would just want the comments to stop, in spite of the sympathy I'd feel for what she's gone through.

Obviously, if Amanda is a personal friend outside the restaurant, then I might want to have a more in-depth convo. 

Sharnita

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2013, 04:55:00 PM »
Since she has mentioned she would like to try again she migjt habe a lot of emotional investment in the idea that every threat/cause/danger can be odentified or anticipared and thus avoided. This probably isn't about you or your pregnancy but the idea that next time if she is careful enough she can eliminate all risk entirely. She is just givong the concept a dru rin with you.

Minmom3

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2013, 05:31:24 PM »
http://m.jezebel.com/5960255/how-to-have-the-best-pregnancy-ever

The ridiculous amount of contradicting advice out there is overwhelming. Fwiw, I drank coffee my entire pregnancy and a few other things on the list.

Hell, I got in a 108 degree hot tub in early pregnancy with #1 and spent HOURS in the tub.  I didn't know I was pregnant; I was about 4 weeks along and had just had a negative pg test, and didn't have a positive test until nearly 5 weeks later.  So, while certain things are risky and advised against, they aren't all guaranteed to CAUSE things to go wrong.  I don't know what it is about being pregnant that brings out the grue in people who want to talk to you and advise you, but some of those stories scared the daylights out of me.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

sammycat

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2013, 07:48:00 PM »
I think she is saying these things out loud trying to come to grips with her situation, almost like you are a proxy for her-in-the-past, and she's trying a do-over. 

That's what I think too. 

I had a friend go through a similar situation, at 32 weeks (baby lived for a month). I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Fragglerocker

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2013, 08:16:45 PM »
You seem deeply compassionate and I applaud you for trying to do the right thing while balancing her needs and yours.

I think she is saying these things out loud trying to come to grips with her situation, almost like you are a proxy for her-in-the-past, and she's trying a do-over. 

Me?  I would *try* this.  YMMV.

At the next comment she raises, put down whatever you are doing, reach over and hug her - just hug her - and say "thanks so much for looking out for me."

And that's it.  I don't think she would "hear" you if you said the doc said it was OK, because her mind is running ahead to the next thing, like perhaps "my doc said it was bad and look what happened" or "my doc said it was good and look what happened" or even "I wonder if there is any relationship between the color of my sheets and what happened."

You need the hugs.  She needs the hugs. 

I'm sending you one as well.

I like this approach, too.

The bottom line is she is saying what she's saying because she's still hurting. 

CharlieBraun

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2013, 10:03:56 PM »
But you know what? I really, really like Charlie Braun's incredibly counterintuitive advice. Because counterintuitive is really powerful.

And because all the little "my doctor said" etc. aren't really speaking to the CORE issue. Which is that she's grieving, and your pregnancy is a reminder of her loss, which is why she's grieving like this with you.

But I think I wouldn't say "thank you for looking out for me," but instead just something generally loving: "It's hard, isn't it?"

Better than what I wrote, Toots.  Yes.
"We ate the pies."

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2013, 10:08:36 PM »
I think you have handled it well so far. But if it continues you need to say something. I think I would try something like " Amanda I understand you are trying to work through what happened to you and your baby. It was a tragedy. But you need to stop blaming yourself. And you need to stop trying to scare me. I promise you I am informed of the dangers of various activities and I'm taking active steps to protect my baby. And one of the things I need to do is avoid being needlessly stressed out. From now I'm insisting on if you don't have something positive to say to me about my pregnancy, don't say anything to me at all. Its not fair to me, or to you, to start assigning blame over what happened. I don't think you caused your miscarriage and you need to stop accusing me endangering my baby."

And if she doesn't stop, I think you need to speak to your manager. Amanda is a waitress, not a Dr, and its not ok for her make your workplace a hostile environment, no matter how tragic her situation.

I agree, but I'd go pretty quickly to the "I don't think you caused your miscarriage and you need to stop accusing me of endangering my baby" part.

Also, if she says something in this category again, I would suggest you give her some immediate negative reinforcement. (behavior modification) Do or say something that is less than pleasant--not rude, mind you, but just immediately say, "Excuse me," sort of abruptly and leave her presence. Something along those lines. Or a short, terse, "Nobody thinks you caused your miscarriage, and I'm tired of you suggesting that I could hurt my baby." and then walk away.

Something that will be just unpleasant enough to make her check herself before she opens her mouth.

and I would also suggest that perhaps in general you not be as supportive and understanding. Pull away from her--don't answer her questions at all, or if you do answer them, give a non-answer: "Is that aspirin you're taking?" and you say, "I'm not discussing my pregnancy with you." or "It's not really your business is it?"

Time to make her less comfortable with the casual conversation with you. Because she isn't handling them well, and she needs feedback and tells her so.

But you know what? I really, really like Charlie Braun's incredibly counterintuitive advice. Because counterintuitive is really powerful.

And because all the little "my doctor said" etc. aren't really speaking to the CORE issue. Which is that she's grieving, and your pregnancy is a reminder of her loss, which is why she's grieving like this with you.

But I think I wouldn't say "thank you for looking out for me," but instead just something generally loving: "It's hard, isn't it?"

I tend to agree with Toots' approach. I think your co-worker has crossed a line - especially asking you deeply personal questions about your "scrabble" life.

And don't stop what you're doing on her account. For example, if you want to have a coffee, have a coffee!

miranova

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2013, 10:25:25 PM »
I think compassion is the way to go here.  That doesn't mean you have to take her negative comments, just handle it by addressing what is clearly the underlying problem...she thinks she is somehow responsible for her baby's death.  That has to be a horrible feeling.  A stillbirth at 24 weeks is a horrifying experience.  I would go with "Oh sweetie, you didn't do anything wrong.  Anything.  What happened wasn't your fault and you couldn't have prevented it by not drinking coffee".  The underlying implication there is "and me having a coffee won't hurt my baby either". 

And I would then continue to drink coffee, in front of her.  Because this reinforces that drinking one cup of coffee won't hurt your baby and didn't cause her baby's death either.

sammycat

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2013, 10:49:22 PM »
I think compassion is the way to go here.  That doesn't mean you have to take her negative comments, just handle it by addressing what is clearly the underlying problem...she thinks she is somehow responsible for her baby's death.  That has to be a horrible feeling.  A stillbirth at 24 weeks is a horrifying experience.  I would go with "Oh sweetie, you didn't do anything wrong.  Anything.  What happened wasn't your fault and you couldn't have prevented it by not drinking coffee".  The underlying implication there is "and me having a coffee won't hurt my baby either". 

And I would then continue to drink coffee, in front of her.  Because this reinforces that drinking one cup of coffee won't hurt your baby and didn't cause her baby's death either.

I agree.

Calistoga

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2013, 11:20:05 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys.

I just had my first sonogram yesterday, and a few of my co-workers asked to see pictures, so I'm kind of dreading today because of that...I'm on a high note and I don't want to be brought down.

I like the more compassionate route for the time, and that's what I'll try if we have issues today. I don't want to be too firm with her and end up causing a tense work environment- our restaurant is so small that we all work 6-8 shifts a week with a lot of overlap, so I see her nearly every day.


Shoo

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2013, 11:30:10 AM »
Then I think you should just do your best to tune her out.  You already know she's going to say things, and you know why.  You are compassionate enough to not want to make her uncomfortable by bringing it up with her.  So just ignore her, know that in time it will all be water under the bridge, and enjoy your pregnancy.

bah12

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Re: Very Delicate and Uncomfortable Situation
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2013, 12:26:33 PM »
What Amanda is going through, I think, is very normal.  And she's processing all those questions and feelings out loud.  What makes it more difficult, is that it is coming accross as criticism of you...and scaring you and stressing you out.

I think it's very kind of you to be sensitive to her feelings and not want to go out of your way to talk about the baby in front of her.  Having been in her shoes, I can say, that for me, it was better to have friends/coworkers not try so hard to avoid the topic.  I can understand your hesitance, but when your coworkers ask to see the sonogram pictures, show them.  I think it would make Amanda feel worse to know that people were tiptoeing around her loss.

As for the comments, I also wouldn't modify my behavior around her, but neither would I try to discount any 'advice' that she attempts to give.  (Pet peeve: people who say, I did "x" and nothing happened in response to advice that "x" may increase the chance of something can go wrong.  Every pregnancy is different...women should follow the advice of their doctors and their intuition when it comes to what is safe/isn't."

It may be difficult to outright ignore her and being that the comments stress you out, I would say "I've discussed this with my doctor and he/she said it was fine.    I am aware of how fragile pregnancies can be and am duly worried.  Per my doctor's advice, I am trying not to concentrate on the potential dangers and am following the program they have set up for me, strictly.  I appreciate your concern and know it's coming from a good place."

If you were better friends I would suggest that you sit down with her and let her pour out all her feelings and questions and try to comfort her that these things are tragic, and can't be explained.  Since you aren't that close, it may be overstepping.  Is there another coworker who is closer to her that is there for her in that respect?  If she had another outlet, it may relieve you of being that for her.