Understanding You - Discussing premenstrual symptoms with your colleagues, friends and family
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“ Never complain if your husband comes home late. This gives you the excuse to do exactly the same.”
For many women, one of the hardest parts of getting their period is the impact their behaviour has on people around them such as their friends, partner, children and even co-workers. A good way to start dealing with the impact of your period on your relationships is to talk about it with the people it’s impacting1.
Women who are able to recognise changes in their behaviour as being related to their menstrual cycle are ahead of the game. They can not only speak to their doctor about potential treatment options, but also, their colleagues, family and friends are likely to be more understanding once they know the behaviour changes are not deliberate. It’s important for you to get in tune with your menstrual cycle and understand the symptoms that may be occurring and the impact they’re having on your life. Check out Your Body Diary for a free and simple way you can track your symptoms and work out how they’re affecting you.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, it may be helpful to let people close to you know that you are taking action to help address the symptoms you experience in the lead up to your period. By explaining to friends and/or family that you are consulting your doctor to make some changes to your life, it allows those people who are close to you provide support at the time you need it most.
Things may not change overnight so, in the meantime, a few suggestions:
- Take time to breathe – avoid quick reactions or responses to emails that could be taken out of context.
- Even though you may not be able to control your emotions, a quick apology if you do get upset can go a long way.
- Make a deal with your partner or friends that you will initiate any jokes about your premenstrual moods – others may do so at their own risk!
- If you are feeling bloated or unattractive, try to remember that others don't see you that way – you are your own worst critic!
If you think your premenstrual symptoms are influencing your personal or professional relationships, make sure you visit your doctor and seek advice about the best treatment option for you.