Have you ever found yourself resentful of people who offer you help or advice? Do you get angry or suspicious? Do you decide to ignore all attempts to help you, no matter where they are coming from, almost in a spiteful way? Donât try to hide; I remember well, “I doinâ it to spite you!â type behaviour. I have a relative who refused to listen to her eye doctorâs advice. I had to ask her, “so who do you think this hurts most, you or the eye doctor? Who ends up blind in the end?â
Yes, there will be those who probably have no business giving you advice. Yes, there will be advice you donât want to hear for many reasons. And yes, there is such a thing as un-welcome advice. BUT, before you turn off your ears or worse, turn on your arguing mouth, I ask you to think about these few questions:
1) Why am I angry about this advice? Is it because I am angry I am in this situation in the first place (most likely) or because the person is being hurtful in the way they offer the advice? For example, many people somehow feel they are entitled to give dietary advice to people who have diabetes. “You shouldnât eat that,â is the most common thing you will hear. Even if insensitive or even incorrect, those people most likely mean to help you and not insult or annoy you.
2) Is the advice useful? Yes, it is annoying to have your dietary nurse tell you all the things you should eat less of, but it is important!!! Even if you donât want to hear it, this advice will help you if you follow it; so, donât take out your frustration on the nurse.
3) Are questions about my health making me uncomfortable because I feel guilty? Or they are too personal?
I urge you to stop and think before you react in a bad way to advice or questions about your health. Really and truly, the majority of attempts from other people are well meaning at the least, so give them a chance. Accept help when offered; be gracious, and think about how this could help you in some way. Donât let your pride or possible misinterpretation get in the way.
Next week we will talk about some of that advice being well-meaning, but NOT helpful (still be gracious anyway, please).
Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies!
Anita Ramsetty, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group