7 Things A Pregnant Woman Really Hears When You Tell Her She's "Just Hormonal"
I've been pregnant numerous times, and every time I've had plenty of people call me "hormonal." Unfortunately, it's pretty common to hear non-pregnant people talk about the hormones of pregnant women with reckless abandon and it makes us feel, well, crazy. Pregnant people need support, not accusations that make them feel like they're losing their mind, so it's worth remembering the things a pregnant woman hears when you tell her she's "just hormonal." Then it's worth, you know, saying something else or keeping your mouth shut.
From invalidating their feelings, to minimizing their reactions, to deflecting your own discomfort of someone's big feelings, telling a pregnant person she's "hormonal" is a big, huge, undeniable no-no. And for good reason. If you're close enough to said pregnant person that you get to have an opinion about her emotional state, then you should naturally be compassionate about the intensity of her emotions. Growing a human being is a lot of hard work, if you hadn't heard. The hormones that come with it are super intense. If you feel uncomfortable just witnessing the big feelings, imagine how she feels.
If you're not close enough to her to have an opinion about her emotional state then you should never utter anything even remotely close to her being "hormonal." Seriously. That is not for you to say. Ever. And if that makes you defensive, and you're all like, "But, I mean, this chick at my work...," or, "You don't know! You're being too sensitive!" then the following is for you. Because this is what you're actually saying when you say a pregnant person is hormonal, even if you don't mean it.
"Your Feelings Aren't Valid"
It's easier to call a pregnant person hormonal than it is to confront whatever it is they're having feelings about. You may find their concerns invalid but I guarantee you, they don't. Try validating them instead of blowing them off.
You know what never makes a person feel good? Telling them they're overreacting.
When you brush off a pregnant person's concerns with "you're hormonal," it is really an excuse to minimize their reality. Even if you don't have the same emotional charge as the pregnant human you're interacting with, doesn't mean her response is an overreaction. In fact, since there's just two of you in the relationship, her perception of the situation is at least 50 percent of the interaction. In other words, maybe you're not reacting accordingly.
"I Am Not Compassionate"
Let's face it: telling a pregnant person she's "hormonal" is a brush off. That says nothing about her and everything about you.
"I Don't See Pregnant People As Real People"
A pregnant person is hormonal, it's true. There are a lot of goddamn hormones coursing through her body. By using that fact as a weapon against her is essentially revealing a side of yourself that thinks you get to ignore pregnant people's experiences entirely. Like they're not real people until they're not pregnant anymore. Maybe, just maybe, if they're good little girls you'll take them seriously again after they have the kid. Barf.
"I'm Going To Ignore You"
Your concerns, your feelings, your worth as an autonomous human being. All of it. Ignored. Because, as we know, when statements are based on hormones they are totally unimportant. Almost non-existent, as if you didn't say anything at all. Ugh.
"I Don't Like You Right Now"
Using the "you're hormonal" line is a lot like using the "you must be on your period" line. It's a lazy and unimaginative way to tell a pregnant person you don't like the way she's behaving.
"I'm A Misogynist"
Ya'll probably see where I'm headed with this now, right? When you blame women's feelings on hormones, you might be a misogynist.