Keep your cool

Physical responses

Even if you know that a comment was fueled by good intentions, there will always be times when you will feel frustrated by things people say to you. At these times it is useful to develop a brief ‘regroup strategy’ that will let you express your frustration in a subtle, physical way, before you process and respond to the comment. This will help release some tension and stay in control. Here are some examples of regroup strategies that might help you in a frustrating situation:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Count to three in your head
  • Stretch

Verbal responses

The following diagram contains a strategy for dealing with unhelpful comments:

Having some stock responses ready can help you to handle difficult situations calmly and remain composed. Here are a few examples:

Unhelpful commentPrepared response
Your biological clock is ticking.That is not helpful for me to hear right now.
No rush – trying is the fun part!I think I’d like to talk about something else for now.
Are you planning to start a family?We will have children when we are both ready.
Why haven't you had a child yet?Sometimes these things just don't happen right away.