Listening and Respecting Others

I get on TuDiabetes every few months. Today I got online and saw posts that were negative, dismissive, and sarcastic. If you have nothing to add but simply feel the need to correct or diminish someone else’s idea or opinion, please don’t post. We are all equals here, and no one has the “right” to feel better by putting others “in their place”. Life with T1 is hard enough without this information forum becoming a vehicle for ranting.

This is not a place to vent your anger at other people or institutions. I want to know about your experience. If you are frustrated by someone’s comment, you can compassionately ask for more information, rather than calling people names. Let us rise to our best selves and be kind to each other. I hope this kind of posting ends.

This is part of what is posted about the guidelines, below:

Empathy- A positive environment where our members support and help each other. This doesn’t mean it’s all roses all the time, but it means that, overall, we strive for maintaining an encouraging and supportive space for all people touched by diabetes. This is what the basic guidelines say for this site:

Support-Valuable information-Respect- We value diverse points of view. All people touched by diabetes are welcome. You may find opinions and positions that are not similar to yours, and it’s OK to disagree. It’s just not OK to do so in a disrespectful manner. If you are unsure about whether something may be disrespectful to others, try to put yourself in the shoes of the other person and consider how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of the comments/contribution you are making.

Patience and Tolerance- We embrace openness and authenticity, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the other values. If you disagree with someone else’s comment, in reply to something you contributed to the community, as long as it was a comment that was made in alignment with these values, don’t delete it. Doing so shows no respect for the other person’s comment.


Why can’t we vent anger at institutions?


@Sealani Thank you for voicing what should be obvious to us all. I think though that sometimes we are so focused on our issues that we forget and our manners seem to “bend”. Thank you again for bringing the discussions back to the middle ground.


This is a valuable point to raise.

Its tough now because so many significant things are happening and people have a lot on the line.

I believe there is a place for venting because venting helps people express frustration and discontent. It is often justifiable discontent. In real life, I call it “stress debriefing.” I try to use those words to warn people whats going on in advance. Like, I’ll say, “We need to get together for a stress debriefing.” That helps notify people, in advance, that what is going to happen might be emotionally intense and is specifically designed to be so that people can air grievances and feel better. Sometimes, just stating something out loud in words helps people trouble shoot problems or feel better. It has value. I’ll try to warn, in a post, if I feel like I’m going off the rails and doing some kinda “stress debriefing.” Maybe that helps put thoughts into a more appropriate emotional context.

But, social media is not like real life and it has real, inherent difficulties that are not well understood. Text messages, like social media posts, can be read in a number of ways. Communication is more challenging and there is a learning curve. Someone who is already stressed out, will tend to read in the most negative light of interpretation. Sometimes, I need to read a post numerous times, at different times of day, to try and interpret it. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

Despite all the intense arguments that are taking place around us, about us, in the national circuit, I think we are doing pretty well. Some time ago, it could be really difficult to come on here because of how much trolling there was. Its nothing like it used to be. Although, I can see how it can sometimes still be difficult. Its the nature of the beast.

Also, I suppose its important to recognize that online, like in real life, people are born with varying levels of capacity for empathy. One of the largest predictors for ones capacity for empathy is how long it has been since someone has eaten. That will be magnified for our community. Also, there is a difference between empathizing and sympathizing. You gotta to bring the right ball to the right game.


@mohe0001 Well put - in an online format, a person’s intent is not always obvious. Some of us have language, writing style, or educational difficulties. We all come from different walks of life, are different ages, have different experiences, yet are generally bound together by this voyage called Diabetes. Personally, it was a voyage that I for a long time objected to. Empathy, tolerance, and respect for others experiences which even though they might be different than yours are no less relevant.

I enjoy hearing about others experiences both good and bad. From every post I read there is usually a takeaway for me. Not always the takeaway I expected, but knowledge none the less.

These are trying times for many. Costs, fear, lack of care are all stressors. I have been there. I understand what it’s like to go through someone else’s recycling containers to sell the recycling back so I can pay for Walmart insulin. Frustration at perceived or real inadequacies in our health care system is also a huge struggle for many. While I choose to not hate on those that post their frustrations, I do emphasize. These are tumultuous times. As we all come together to fight for the common good and not turn on each other we will achieve our goals.

I apologize if the previous seems like a rant. It’s not intended as such. I believe we accomplish more together than as combatants.

P. S. @mohe0001 Can I hire you to write my future posts?


No, I totally agree with your previous post. I suppose I was just writing a response to the all the posts. Your the best, @El_Ver! Do you think legislatures read our forum when they do research? I think lots of people do.

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@mohe0001 we can only hope they do.