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How To Help People Help You

I was recently reading an article that was all about the things you shouldn’t say to someone who has type 2 diabetes. It was full of good stuff, but it made me wonder: How many people have friends and family who are actually taking the time to read articles like this?

Sometimes, I’m afraid, that the person with the chronic condition is the one who has to teach the people in their lives how to talk to them. Your friends and family probably don’t know that you don’t want or need any more advice on how to change your diet, or dirty looks when you decide to skip your morning walk. Here are some ideas to get everyone in your life on the same page:

Start with the people who are less important to you

I know, this probably sounds a little weird. Why would you care if the lady at the coffee cart talks to you in a way that’s kind and respectful, when really you want your dad to be that way?

Because it’s much, much easier to talk about emotional stuff with people on the periphery of your life, that’s why. Letting your co-worker, the one who often takes lunch orders, know that getting advice on the healthiest option isn’t something you need right now. Once you feel comfortable telling an acquaintance that, you can work up to telling your mother-in-law the same thing next time you go out for lunch.

Ask if people want help in talking to you, rather than trying to force them to change

If you have a well-meaning family member who is always trying to give you advice or tell you how to change up your lifestyle, ask them, as respectfully as you can, if they’d like to know how they can better serve you.

They likely have your best interests at heart, so if they really want to help, teach them how they can. If they get defensive and don’t want to hear it from you, drop it and try to come up with an easy way to let their advice roll off your back.

Find a way to avoid getting defensive, even if it means walking away

This goes hand in hand with the previous advice. Yeah, other people can be annoying. That doesn’t mean you have to get annoyed, too, though. Walk away, say “Thanks but I’m good,” do whatever works to keep you calm.

Provide family members with reading material so you don’t have to explain it to them yourself

Look around for articles about how to talk to someone when they’re diagnosed with or living with type 2 diabetes and pass it on—let someone else’s words do the explaining so you don’t have to!

Do your very best not to take it personally

Whoever it is, whether it’s your child, your parent, your partner, or your personal trainer, they’re trying to help. They don’t know their words are hurtful or harmful unless you tell them. If you feel comfortable doing that, great, if not, try to just let go and move on.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    1 year ago

    Good examples but there are some that will never learn. You’ll always be doing it wrong because you’re not doing what some ‘big doctor’ on television says or you’re not using some product they’ve seen advertised on how well it controls glucose levels and their ‘friends’ use and swear by it.

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