This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.
One of the most wonderful things in life are all the different personality types out there. Life would be so boring if we were all the same. Yeah, certain types of people really get on the nerves, but, hey, they keep life interesting and keep us on our toes and appreciating the good ones, right?
Throughout my life, like every diabetic or person with a chronic illness (or 20) out there, I’ve encountered many different types of people that each have responded in a different way when finding out, or just talking to me about, my type 1 diabetes.
The Bleeding Heart: This person is the one who looks at you with tears in their eyes as if you just told them you were dying of some terminal diagnosis. Thanks for caring so much and having empathy, but please don’t treat me like I’m ill. I’m a diabetic, not an invalid.
The ■■■■■■■: This person can react in a number of ways, but all of them are cruel and heartless. This person is mean, uncaring, and a bully. Once they find out you are a diabetic they suddenly treat you as if you are worthless or sub-human, and pick on you. They usually assume you became a diabetic because you eat too much or are lazy. They are always uneducated and totally ignorant.
The Care-taker: Once this person finds out you are a diabetic they will take it upon themselves to suddenly have your diabetes care as their number one priority. “Have you checked your blood-sugar? Can you eat that? Are you OK? Did you take your medicine?” OMG! leave me alone, I can and do take care of myself!
The Sorry One: This person will apologize for your diabetes and feel bad for you. They will say things like, “I’m sorry for all the candy and junk food here.”, “I’m sorry we don’t have any diet soda.”, “We have a veggie tray for you.”. It’s all from a good, but misguided, heart.
The Cure-all One: This person has all the cures. You’re diabetic? I have a cure for that! Cinnamon! Garlic! These supplements! This totally off-the-wall diet! This snake oil really does the trick!
The Fellow Diabetic: These people are awesome! Nothing feels better than meeting another diabetic and feeling totally at home with them. We get each other and have each other’s back.
The Doom and Gloomer: This person knows, like, a ton of diabetics…and they’re all missing body parts or dead…
The Shame Gamer: This person, when they find out you are a diabetic, will throw blame and shame at you for being a diabetic, and for every health related issue you have from now on. “You don’t take care of yourself”, “You don’t eat right”, “You don’t exercise enough”, “You’re diabetic because you…”. These people are ignorant and heartless just like The ■■■■■■■.
The Questioner: This person has all the questions about diabetes and what it’s like. They aren’t mean or stupid or bad in any way…although they can become a bit annoying. They just want to know and understand, and as long as they are genuinely listening, go ahead and take this opportunity to educate!
The Indifferent One: This person does not care that you are diabetic. They treat you no different than they did before they knew. These people are wonderful.
The Plagued One: These people, when they find out you are diabetic, suddenly step back, and may have a disgusted look on their face. They think you are contagious or something and don’t want to be around you anymore. Ignorant fools.
The Friendship Ender: These people were never your friend to begin with. When they find out you are diabetic, all of a sudden they are no longer around or available. They can’t handle what they believe to be a burden and they have no interest in learning the truth.
The True Friend: In stark contrast to The Friendship Ender, when this friend finds out you are diabetic they may initially act like The Indifferent One or The Questioner, but then they become your confidant, shoulder, comforter, and supporter. You are safe and perfectly comfortable around them. They get you, they understand, and they aren’t going anywhere.
Have you met these people? Have you met any that aren’t on this list?