Most people with diabetes have been overwhelmed or annoyed at some point with questions about diabetes from friends and family. You want to talk about all the great things you’ve been doing, and they only want to talk about diabetes.
Can you relate?
Before you get too annoyed with your family and friends, keep in mind that they are probably asking because they care about you, and they want to make sure that you are healthy. You may be the only person with diabetes that they know, and they may not know much about diabetes besides what they’ve seen in the media, which isn’t always accurate. When someone asks you about diabetes, it can give you the opportunity to give them some real-life insight about what diabetes is and how it’s managed. You can show them that it’s possible to live well with type 1.
But remember, what you share about your diabetes is completely up to you. If questions from your friends and family get to be too much, it is healthy to set appropriate boundaries. You may be asking what the best way is to set these boundaries. Here are some suggestions:
If you would prefer not to talk about diabetes at all, a little planning can go a long way. Come up with and practice what you want to say when someone asks you about diabetes. Make sure that what you say is firm, but polite. You may want to ask a trusted friend or family member for feedback on your plan to be sure that you’re clear in getting your message across. For example, when someone asks you about diabetes, your reply could be, “Thanks so much for asking, I’m doing really well. I really prefer not to talk about diabetes, so I’d appreciate it if we could talk about something else right now.”
Sometimes people may offer you advice about what you should be doing to manage your blood sugar. Most of the time, the person wants to help but has no idea how to be helpful. If you would like some help, don’t be shy about letting people know what would be helpful for you. You can say something like, “I don’t need advice on how to manage diabetes, I got that covered. If you would like to help, I would really appreciate it if you took a walk with me after dinner.” A lot of times, people really like it when you tell them what they can do to help. It makes them feel useful and may help cut down on the questions and unsolicited advice.
Remember, communication is key. By setting clear boundaries while acknowledging their concern, you can create an environment where you feel safe and supported.
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