Why People are Tactless
You would think that with all the things that could go wrong and all the anxiety this causes a mother-to-be, people would be extra careful about what they say. In fact, the opposite is true: When it comes to pregnant women, people have a special disregard for manners.
It's not everybody. There are the people who offer you a seat on the bus as if you're royalty, or flash knowing "welcome to the club" smiles. On a good day it can be thrilling to be the center of attention. On a bad day, though, you are a magnet for those with no judgment. And because you're already extra sensitive and often not feeling that great, those negative remarks can really get to you.
It's as if the world regards pregnant women as public property. "Oh my gosh, you're so huge" is a comment that almost every pregnant women hears at least once -- but who would dare say that to a woman who wasn't pregnant?
People are curious and happy for a soon-to-be mom, notes Paul Geltner, a psychologist at New York University. But because they are simply looking out for her, friends, relatives, and even strangers feel they have the license to do and say things that they wouldn't otherwise.
So how are you supposed to deal with tactless behavior from people who just want to help? Mendie Cohn, a New York City psychologist, says that in general you'll feel better about yourself if you take the high road rather than resorting to rudeness. Of course, rudeness toward pregnant women comes in many forms -- and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't always work.