Do you ever feel like people don’t notice YOU because of your diabetes? Do you feel like a disease or a spreadsheet of numbers that should be evaluated, judged, measured and fixed? Do you feel like the things that matter to you take a backseat because diabetes is like a cranky two-year-old demanding constant attention?
I get it. You can become lost in the day to day activities of managing what your pancreas no longer can. Perhaps you feel that your “numbers” are all that people are concerned about, especially if others have access to your devices. Do you wish that people noticed YOU more? YOU the person…
The interesting thing is, diabetes or not, we all want to be noticed and seen. We have deep-seated needs to belong and feel connected. It most likely goes back to our caveman ancestors who required the safety and belonging of the clan. If you weren’t noticed or accepted, you were at great peril. It was important that others in your clan knew who you were, where you were and what you were doing.
It’s not so different today. You see it in kids before they become more self-aware. ” Mom! Mom! Mom! Look! Look! Look!”. Whatever thing they are doing, it is super important for them to be noticed, to connect, and to share their experience. There is no shame in calling attention to themselves. Over time the “look at me” shouts tend to tone down and social stigma tells us it’s not nice to draw attention to ourselves, but the desire for others to notice us doesn’t go away.
We want and need others to notice our lives. To see where we are hurting, to acknowledge our struggles and to just be interested in us. Being ignored, overlooked or passed over hurts deep. Most people, even the shy ones, want someone to know them, to see them, and to connect with them.
Diabetes Takes It Up A Notch
When you live with diabetes, a LOT more people notice you. Friends, family, coworkers and your providers sit in seeming constant vigil, hoping to help you with your diabetes. That is a GREAT thing! I am not sure where we all might be without the care and concern of those who help us on our path. It is a blessing all the way around.
BUT….it can feel like diabetes is all they notice. With loving benefactors noticing our diet choices, our exercise (or lack of), our BGs, our mood, and our behavior, the best parts of us can feel lost in diabetes symptoms monitoring. And it’s the best parts that our inner self wants others to notice. Our true self. The part that never changes, despite disease, life events or mistakes. It’s our inner light, our gifts, our voice, and all the other mojo that make us special. That’s what we want people to notice. Our best parts deserve admiration and attention, not just the broken parts that require oversight.
How to Get the Right Parts Noticed
If you read my recent post about getting to “better”, you know you need to go through some “yucky”. And, my dear friend, it’s no different here. There are 2 things to help people notice what you need them to notice. Truth and Courage. Both can be a bit “yucky”.
Truth is paramount. First and foremost, if you feel “you” are lost in your diabetes, you have to ask yourself is this really true? This is not fun or easy. It means you really have to see things as they truly are, and not what you “feel” they are. Is it true that others really just focus on your diabetes? Or is that the only thing you notice? The answer may be yes or no, but you do have to take into consideration your perception might be clouded or that you may be extra sensitive.
Once you are clear about your truth; what is missing, what goes unseen, or what you wish someone knew, you must summon up your courage to speak it to those who matter. This feels HARD! It is scary! I’m not gonna lie. Most of us find it hard to ask for what we need, but that is the only way. You must get the attention of the person who needs to hear you, then shares what you need them to know. An adult version of “Mom! Mom! Mom! Look! Look! Look!”.
The sandwich approach is always a good technique. Deliver the hard news in between 2 bits of nice news. It might look something like this;
Top slice of bread (nice news) “Hey Friend, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your concern with my diabetes. I notice how much you are tuned into how I am doing.
Meat (heavy stuff) “I need to tell you that sometimes you are so focused on my diabetes, that you miss out on some of the other great stuff I have going on. I want you to know (fill in the blank)
Bottom slice (nice news), “I think our relationship would be so much stronger if you noticed these other parts of me as well as my diabetes. What do you think?
Then be ready to listen, you will likely learn something, something important. And hopefully, they will too!
If this sounds too “yucky”, let me help you! Sign up for a free call and tell me your story. CLICK HERE
I know you are so much more than diabetes!