HOW DO YOU TALK TO PEOPLE YOU DONíT KNOW AND WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT?
Talking to people youíve never talked to before especially in a support group can feel a little intimidating. When you want to talk to others but arenít really sure how to do it, the best thing you can do is break the ice by sending a e-mail basically saying hello, this is my name, here is a little about me. I look forward to talking to you.
For example say a woman named Brenda joins the group. She just found out she was pregnant with her first child but doesn't know what to expect during her pregnancy and is a little scared. Brendan wants to talk to others in the group who are pregnant as well not only for support but to also learn about what they have been going through and what steps to take for the future of her pregnany. The first step Brenda takes is to go to the support group web page and send a e-mail to the support group. Here is what her e-mail would say:
My name is Brenda, Iím 27 years old, my husband John is 34 and I just found out I'm 12 weeks pregnant with my first child. I'm so nervous about what to expect and what steps I need to take. I'd love to talk to others who are pregnant as well not only to share stories but to also learn from others about what I can do to ease my fears. I look forward to taking to everyone
P.S. feel free to message me on AIM: ******** or yahoo:***********
For those who wish to respond to Brenda e-mail all members would have to do is click on the REPLY TO ALL area and send their response.
Once you send out a ice breaker e-mail like above you are sure to get a response or even a few and also get the group up and going again. When you do find someone you can relate to see if you may have other things or interests in life you can relate to as well.:-)
When it comes to the entire group also feel free to open up. If youíre having a bad day or even a really good day send a e-mail to the group. You may think others are thinking ďWhy is this woman sending a e-mail like this, who cares!Ē but more often than you think people can relate to what you say, they do care and they are there to reassure you things will be ok and also share in your joys as well. For example: Brenda is having problems at home. Her husband just doesnít seem to understand her frustration. She is stressed over work, stressed about having to come home to a messy house and stressed that her husband doesnít seem to understand why she is so moody and what she is going through. Here is her example e-mail:
Iím running into a problem and I really donít know what to do. Yesterday I burst into tears after going to my in-lawís house and seeing everyone fuss over my sister in-law who is 6 months pregnant. I know it may sound a bit selfish but the thing that upset me the most is no one even said hi or how are you doing, I was completely ignored. I had my first prenatal last week along with a ultrasound just to see how everything was doing especially since I had a previous miscarriage 6 months ago. No one in his family even bother to ask how that went or even wanted to see the ultrasound of the baby. They were totally wrapped up in my sister in-law's ultrasound showing she was having a boy.:-( My husband doesnít understand why I get so upset about all of this. He doesnít seem to understand a lot these days like why it makes me so mad to come home after a stressful day at work only to find that the two hours heís been home heís trashed our living room with his work clothes on the floor and junk food wrappers all over the place. I just donít know what to do anymore. I feel like you ladies and my family are the only ones I'm going to update on my pregnancy and I'm not even going to bother telling my in-laws when I'm due or even if I'm going to have a boy or a girl.
Sending e-mails like this were youíre running into a problem with daily life, even if it has nothing to do with pregnancy, can be a great deal of help knowing that there are others who can relate to what youíre going through and knowing others care.
I have found from experience that not sending a ice breaker e-mail to the entire group but keeping quiet and not interacting even just a little in the group can cause big problems. When the first support group first started (the TTC group) we had over 30 members and members got at least two e-mails from the group a day which was great. We were all communicating, getting to know each other and helping others out. About a year later after we had 50 members things started to go downhill. Most of the members who were communicating ended up having success and becoming pregnant while most who stayed behind seemed interested in just observing which is ok but the group became completely silent. I ended up asking people to e-mail me back who were interested in still staying in the group and only 20 got back to me out of 70 at that time. Ever since then its been pretty silent. As I said its ok if you want to sit and observe but I do ask that everyone send a e-mail at least once every two weeks just so we know you are alive and everything is going ok. Believe it or not I start to get worried if I donít hear from someone in a while lol.
If you donít want to be the kind who just sits back and observes the group then feel free to send as many e-mails as youíd like. If things start to get a little overwhelming with e-mails we can move everything to the message board.
Also if youíd like to keep responses away from too many e-mails then send your ice breaker e-mail to everyone but request that members reply to your e-mail on the message board. You are more than welcome to use both message board and e-mail as well. There are a few members who prefer to use the message board to communicate not to mention we also get people posting messages on the board who are not members of the support group as well.:-)
Trust me once people get to know you a little youíll start making friends who will be more than willing to be there for you and to help out.:-) When it comes to making friends in the support group it also all depends on what direction you would like to go, friends you make in this support group can carry on for years to come. What I mean by that is once you deliver, in this support group you are automatically transferred to the Parents Of Infants support group were you can make new friends and also meet old friends from the TTC support group and pregnancy support group who moved into the Parents Of Infants group before you or move into the group after you. Once your baby is a year old you automatically move into the Parents Of Toddlers 1-4 yrs (Toddler Time) support group were you can also meet new friends there and keep your friendship from the infant support group. Soon I'll be starting a Preschool support group for parents of preschoolers 4-6 yrs. You of course have the option to stay in the other support groups after you have moved on but let me know so I can keep you in that group.