One to One Coaching

I offer free 30 minute telephone/Skype consultations for people wanting to find out more about coaching on the 'baby decision'. Email me at and assistant Laura will respond and arrange an appointment with you. Visit for more information about my coaching services.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Why it's easier to talk to a stranger about deciding to have children or not

I've often heard from clients that they have often never shared their struggle to make the decision whether to have children or not with anyone else before.... not even with their closest friend.
Why is it often easier -  for people to share and talk about their fears and vulnerabilities with strangers than friends?  Oliver Burkeman talked about this in this short article Confiding in Strangers.
In this piece, Burkeman is talking about talking to strangers or people we don't know very well, like hairdressers or bartenders.... not so much therapists or coaches but it is a similar principle.  As Burkeman points out, people who are not friends and who don't know us very well provide a blank slate.

'There are benefits, too, in the blank canvas of someone you don’t know well. This helps explain the cliche of the therapist who answers every personal question with a question (“Why is it important to you to know that?”). A psychoanalyst, Freud said, “should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him”. Learning that your shrink has three kids and likes playing the harmonica, he thought, would interfere with the psychoanalytic process. But you needn’t buy Freud’s theory to see the upsides of being forced to really hear your own words, and think about them. By contrast, a close friend might jump in with reassurances, or suggestions as to how he or she would respond in your shoes – well-meaning, but not always helpful'

Our friends are invested in our decisions themselves.  Unconsciously we often want our friends to reflect our choices in life.  Why? Because this often validates our our decisions.   Friends can also be well meaning because they have found the path that makes them happy and they want to share that happiness with you.

Many of my clients say that often they have found it difficult to talk to their friends and family.  They can often feel that their friends don't understand their ambivalence .... and they can feel some pressure from family, particularly parents who would love grandchildren. 

Talking to someone who doesn't know you can give you that opportunity to talk to someone who will give you a sounding board without having the same emotional investment in your decision.  It also offers you a safe and confidential space to express your fears and worries and work through those without judgement or being triggered.