Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Whose Diabetes Is It, Anyway?
Dealing With Resistance, Denial, and Unsolicited Advice

by Scott Coulter, LSW

Now, there may be times when you need to be a bit firmer. Remember that if someone is really being intrusive, you are entitled to draw the line and request that he allow you to make your own choices as a free and intelligent adult. You probably won’t need to put your foot down like this for most people, but remember you have the right to ask for what you need from the people you love.

Separate the advice from the person
As a person with diabetes, you are all but guaranteed to get some unsolicited advice. I urge you to remember two things. The first is that the people offering you their advice really are trying to be helpful. So take issue with the advice, but not the person. The second thing to remember is that a direct conversation is almost always the best route to changed behavior when unsolicited advice is bothering you or working against your efforts to effectively manage the physical or emotional toll of living with diabetes.

Don’t let resentment build quietly until you finally blow up at Aunt Betty in front of everyone at the dinner party because she gave you some diet pudding instead of the cake she gave everyone else. Find a time to sit down alone with her, and explain how you manage your diabetes and how you plan for special desserts like her delicious cake. This is a golden opportunity to provide some education, and other folks with diabetes who attend your Aunt Betty’s dinner parties in the future will thank you for it, too.

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