Awesome Etiquette: Supportive Yet Sensitive

Oct 13, 2017

Offering support is an essential part of friendship, but it can also be tricky when the situation is personal and sensitive.  For instance, we heard from a couple who were close with another couple that was having difficulty conceiving. Their question: is it okay to ask about fertility progress since these friends shared this information in the first place?

After receiving a text of well wishes on the day of expected test results, the couple seeking treatment did not reply to share the findings. Not long afterwards, both pairs of friends set out on a couples weekend where the topic was not mentioned at all which made it feel as though there was an elephant in the room. Our first couple, concerned for the other two, desperately wanted to check in on the situation but were uncertain how to go about it.

There are many occasions when friends share delicate information about health, relationships and other sensitive topics, so it's always wise to tread carefully. In this instance, it's okay to check in with your friends since they shared their news with you. But don't ask about the specific subject (in this case, fertitlity and conception), instead, ask IF they would like to discuss their situation. Your goal is to find out how you can be supportive. A "thinking of you" text or e-mail is another option.

Of course, if your friends prefer not to talk about it, your duty as close friends is also to simply hang out, have a good time together and provide normalcy.

Hear more on this matter by listening to our podcast of Awesome Etiquette