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Gma of 3

Tired of peoples reactions to my restrictions

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I don’t go around blasting the news of my restriction, yet there are certain times when I need to let people know I can’t have certain food. The office potluck, birthday cake time, visits to others homes. Yes I’m so blown away by the support I get from friends and family but when people do comment on gluten intolerance, it’s fast and furious ignorance. I will hear everything from it’s a made up illness to how do I know I have it who told you that you have it then? So tired of having to explain and yet there’s a need to explain. Also  people’s reactions after I’ve explained are ridiculous. Most of this had been from co workers and now I’m in between jobs dreading going back to work! Where’s the line drawn between giving up my privacy and being polite ? Can anyone tell me what you’ve said and how you may educate people in this situation?

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I tell people about my disease and my allergies if I am going to be around them. I do not need them offering me stuff or endangering me with said items. If they opt to make fun of me or Bring said items near me after repeated warnings it shows who your true friends are and who you can really trust. This way it weeds out the good people from the assholes and you know who to give the cold shoulder and who to stick to.

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Most people are just very curious about it, because there is always someone in their lives suffering from something similar. Whenever I have to bring the subject up, I am sure to get lots of questions and hear about someone else's bowel movements.. :rolleyes: 

Very often they find out when we are about to eat and, since one of the first questions is "What were your symptoms?" I take the chance to end the conversation by answering "Nothing I would feel like talking about during our meal." That usually works. 

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18 hours ago, Gma of 3 said:

Can anyone tell me what you’ve said and how you may educate people in this situation?

Don't bother trying to educate anyone that isn't a close friend or family member would be my advice!  Tessa's approach seems right to me. Shut the conversation down and move it on to other things. If you're offered something smile, say it looks delicious but sadly you can't indulge, but don't let that stop you!

Something like this for instance:

18 hours ago, Gma of 3 said:

how do I know I have it who told you that you have it then

Is at best passive aggressive. There's an implicit accusation within and if you fall into the trap you'll answer in a defensive way. Don't fall for that. Don't engage with people like that any more than you have to. Change the subject. Downplay the issue. Don't get dragged in to a debate. If there's a direct challenge just deflect it in such a way they realise you're not going to get involved. If someone is genuinely curious / wanting help then refer them to a respectable online source. Say 'I've learned this is very complex and individual reactions can vary immensely. Go to the university of chicago website for some good general info and look for a doctor that specialises in these areas. 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Juca said:

Most people are just very curious about it, because there is always someone in their lives suffering from something similar. Whenever I have to bring the subject up, I am sure to get lots of questions and hear about someone else's bowel movements.. :rolleyes: 

Very often they find out when we are about to eat and, since one of the first questions is "What were your symptoms?" I take the chance to end the conversation by answering "Nothing I would feel like talking about during our meal." That usually works

 Thank you for your advice. That certainly sounds like an effective answer. THis is in a nutshell what I need as giving an inteligent or more lengthy answer results in crazy and condescending  dialogue from the co worker! THAnks so much! ?

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With well-meaning, but curious, friends, I will just say something about GI issues, hives and headaches mostly if asked about symptoms, then move on to another topic.

With rude people who insist it's not real (honestly, very rare in my life, because - I'm told -- I give off a very matter of fact, not up for debate, attitude about it), my general response to whatever they say  is "Well, that's not true, but thanks for your input" with a smile that hints at sarcasm and condescension.

The more woeful and sad about it you sound, the more rude people will prey on you -- own the power you have to make healthy choices for yourself and keep this disease from destroying you.

 

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In the beginning it is  difficult and many people don't get it.  I give a quick, brief explanation and then let it go. Again, I use the words "similar to a food allergy" as that is what people understand.   If someone asks about my symptoms I just say "it's not pretty" and if they push I tell them we'll talk later and change the subject.

The hardest for me has been a group I belong to and our monthly pot lucks.  I always take something and eat my own.  Most of the women know I am celiac but they still come up and let me know that their contribution is gluten free and to be sure and try some.  I've come to the place where I just smile and say "thanks for thinking of me": and then do my own thing. 

Bottom line - most people are just trying to understand, they don't get it and why get upset.  Give the basics that they might understand and then Life is Good.  Sometimes someone is struggling themselves and really wants more info which is when it is appropriate to have a more private conversation with just that person.  Not discussing my poop & vomit at a dinner table!  Well, one could....... lol!

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