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  • Allison Ramsey, Asheville Fertility Counselor

When Platitudes Fall Flat

Platitudes Suck Infertility Couseling

When Platitudes Fall Flat

You've all heard a platitude. They are words that are intended to be helpful, but do not usually help. (The work platitude comes from a french root of plat - meaning flat!) So no wonder it falls flat. If you're going through infertility or any hard time in life, here's a few I bet you've heard:

  • Everything happens for a reason

  • It was God's plan

  • Time heals all wounds

  • Good things come to those who wait

  • What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger

These statements all sound great if they were true. I've come to the realization that people who say them are those who have actually found them useful for themselves. The caveat is that if you're going to believe a platitude, it has to come from you. It will just plain not work if someone else is telling you "It could be worse."

Unfortunately because you're already suffering, it's hard to not quickly get angry with this person and avoid them for the next few months. But practicing compassion with yourself and others can help to hold you both where you are instead of making things worse by destroying a relationship.

I sincerely believe that the people telling you a platitude care about you and want good things for you. They are also hurting for you and don't know what else to tell you. So the next time you hear a frustrating platitude about your situation, see if you can:

  • Take a breath

  • Smile

  • Translate whatever they said to "I'm so sorry you're going through this. I love you and wish I could make it hurt less."

  • Say Thank you

I know you're doing a lot to take care of yourself. It can feel like so much more work to take care of your relationships on top of struggling with infertility. With these simple steps you'll keep the relationship in tact and be able to give your brain energy to something else instead of fretting about how you can't believe what So and So said to you.

Allison Ramsey is a licensed professional counselor and fertility counseling specialist in the Asheville area. She’s a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and completed their certificate training in mental health counseling for infertility. Contact her to start feeling better.

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