T2D Healthline community members share how they respond to unsolicited advice and judgmental comments.

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When you live with type 2 diabetes, it can often feel like everyone has an opinion on what you should or shouldn’t be doing to manage your health.

Navigating a chronic health condition like type 2 diabetes is challenging. Having to deal with added external pressure can make it overwhelming.

It’s important to feel confident making health decisions, but shutting down unwanted input from others can be hard.

Research shows that judgment can lead to feelings of shame or guilt. This can cause those living with diabetes to feel less confident in their ability to practice self-care and even be less likely to seek care, according to a 2017 research review and a 2018 study, respectively.

The T2D Healthline community understands what you’re going through. Here’s how some of our community members say they respond to judgment.

“Educate yourself on every aspect of this disease. If someone says something mean, kill them with kindness. Try to educate them as well. Most people have the same misperceptions that some of us had. Be kind, most of all.” —Chrismar

“The best advice I can give is to do what you know is right and try to educate those around you about your health issue. Sometimes it’s just a matter of them really having a better understanding.” —Brian D.

“We have all been there. Depending on who the people are, it might not be worth trying to educate them. Choose the ones that you think will be worth explaining it to and will understand and receive the information well. Just do what you have learned and remember that you know the truth and what is best for you.” —Korie C.

“When it’s hereditary and in your DNA, it’s very difficult to avoid. There is no shame in being diabetic, just as there is no shame in having a heart condition or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. I would tell people that they need to educate themselves on diabetes. Until they do, ignore them.” —Ray

“I have ZERO control over what others say, do, or think. In fact, what others do is their own business. Not mine! I respect other people and their boundaries, and I’ll be damned if I won’t demand that mine be equally respected.” —Luella Triplett

“Concentrate on your successes! Learn from the past but you really need to let go and focus on the future! Dwelling on the past doesn’t solve a thing and can stress you out. And stress raises our numbers! Not to mention it is negative, useless energy. It is your life and what you make it. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” —Sherry

It can take a while to start trusting the voice in your head when it’s competing with the seemingly louder voices of others.

Some days it may feel empowering to share your knowledge. Other times, educating others can just feel exhausting.

Focusing on your own self-care is not only perfectly valid, it’s necessary. At the end of the day, no one is a better advocate for your health than you.


Elinor Hills is an associate editor at Healthline. She’s passionate about the intersection of emotional well-being and physical health as well as how individuals form connections through shared medical experiences. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, photography, drawing, and spending way too much of her time running.