WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO MAKE YOU FEEL SAFE TO TALK HERE AT D.C.?

Caroltoo
By Caroltoo Latest Reply 2012-03-11 10:24:14 -0500
Started 2012-03-05 21:00:29 -0600

Our membership here at D.C. is large, but many are quiet. I would like to pose the question to our quiet members: what would it take for you to feel like you would be willing to contribute your thoughts?

We need your input, different ideas than the same verbal group of us who always talk, or perhaps just an affirmation that you are also of the same belief. We need fresh faces and fresh ideas, but also some consensus about things we believe in common.

We talk about being a big supportive family and for the most part we are an open and encouraging group of friends. Families do have disagreements and, if they are functional families, they sort out their differences and make up. We can do the same. For those of you who come from families that don't handle differences in this positive manner, this may be a threatening image to you.

I think we need to be free to speak openly, but respectfully. We don't live another's life or walk in their moccasins. There is much we do not know about each other. Because of this I believe we need to avoid judgements and hold out possibilities to each other for consideration. It is not as confrontive, but it is much more supportive. Truth can be conveyed gently, and gently conveyed truth is much easier for hurting people to hear.

I believe we need to always encourage each other. Diabetes comes with a multitude of complications including depression. It's easy to disagree with someone and then judge them: for example, it's easy to say "that's silly, judgemental, stupid (whatever)" when it's more effective and encouraging to say something like "I'm glad to see you are thinking about that … have you considered this alternative?"

People come here to learn and to get better. People who are discouraged and dis-empowered by themselves or others do not heal. Healing is what we want for ourselves, so shouldn't we also be contributing to other's sense of well-being.

Online safety has been a concern for many of us in recent weeks. This has taken many forms: being verbally harassed by someone who stalked through our online posts and made obsessive & inappropriate comments on one extreme to making too strongly worded comments that are hurtful instead of helpful. In some way or another we all have been hurt. Our hurts can be a point of joining with someone, not of divisiveness.

Unfortunately, Alliance chose to call our new system of friending people one of followers and following. In view of the previously mentioned situation where a member stalked others online, that hit a really sore spot with many of us. They are working on some options and that is NOT what this discussion is about. There are already 4 ongoing discussions that cover that territory, so let's NOT include that topic in this one.

Of course, all of us who talk all the time are encouraged to contribute here. The site needs your input, but if we know any of the quieter members, let's encourage them to voice an opinion. It would be wonderful to know more about them and why they are here, so they can become a more integrated and contributing part of the site.

WE NEED EVERYONE'S VOICE TO BE HEARD. LET'S ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER IN OUR HEALING PROCESS. DIABESTES IS THE ENEMY, NOT EACH OTHER.


69 replies

nzingha
nzingha 2012-03-10 13:54:46 -0600 Report

carol… i have not been as active in recent time… so am just seeing this post and i thank you for expressing it so perfectly. there is also the tendency i feel for some people's contribution to be moreregarded even if they are saying the same things that someone else has said just because that voice/person is more popular/visible than newcomers.. that is not nice…it is something that i've found with even groups and associations. the more vocal or more high prpofile people get more 'respect' than some so thnks and i hope others will be encouraged to post thier views regardlless…

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-10 17:45:00 -0600 Report

Yes, I think that is a fairly typical group dynamic in most groups. People take a known and respected voice as a more likely source of accurate information, but I do think we listen to all. I know I certainly try to do so, because that is how we validate people and encourage them to continue to contribute.

nzingha
nzingha 2012-03-11 09:29:14 -0500 Report

doesnt make it right and will turn off people…

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-03-11 10:24:14 -0500 Report

yes, folks listening to the "Known and respected voice" doesn't make that voice right necessarily.

I am not so sure about turning people off. Perhaps it will turn off a few, but the nature of group dynamics is that folks will tend to listen to authority figures (rightly or wrongly).

I also try to listen to everybody and ask questions by which I try to understand the point they're trying to make or the information they're trying to communicate. I don't get that done perfectly — we are all human after all — but I do try. That's all most anyone can do, IMO.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2012-03-09 11:22:51 -0600 Report

To your original question I say, if I were sent $500 for each discussion I started and $100 for each comment, I would feel safer and richer too!
I feel safe. If I were a woman (last time I checked that was not the case) I would not use my name as part of my screen name. There are people that will use your name and track you down on FB and other sites. Maybe to just harass you, but you do not need the abuse. So, exercise care in information that can ID you. Remember 99.9% of the people on here are great, sadly there is that .1% that are creeps.

J Kate
J Kate 2012-03-09 11:34:59 -0600 Report

Jim, too funny. Love reading your posts.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2012-03-09 11:41:07 -0600 Report

So, you don't think I would feel safer and richer at $500/$100? (Oh, I just earned another $100!) :) thanks.

J Kate
J Kate 2012-03-09 11:43:42 -0600 Report

I know I would feel safer and richer, but why leave out better looking? I think we should get better looking each time we hug someone- money isn't everything you know.. ;)

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-09 14:35:00 -0600 Report

Jim: Well, we've established the good looking man is feeling safer and richer!

Kate: Jim makes a good point about not using real names. I just cringe when I see someone come on here using their full name and email as a site name. Is there a way Alliance could give a few guidelines to newbies before they select a site name and come on-site for the first time?

Young1s
Young1s 2012-03-09 17:56:57 -0600 Report

Great suggestion, Carol. I was one whose profile name was part of my email but wised up and requested it be changed when we had the run of spammers invading the site. But a word of caution ahead of time would have eliminated the need for a change in the first place. Sometimes, like in my case, people aren't aware of the danger in that until faced with a possible privacy violation or heaven forbid worse.

Jan8
Jan8 2012-03-08 09:05:59 -0600 Report

I feel quite safe here and this website has been very educational. I love the people here . They have been very friendly.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-08 14:57:45 -0600 Report

We are a wonderful group, aren't we? I'm framing the response that way, Jan, so it includes you as one of the wonderful people.

That may sound tongue in cheek, but it really isn't. I've seen little evidence of anyone who is here with the intent to be hurtful. I've just observed occasional times when I think perhaps we say things that sound harsh online and which we might have hesitated to say directly to a person sitting beside us. Online gives a little too much anonymity … kind of a distorted "not in my backyard kind of response". That's what I hope we can work to avoid more successfully.

TsalagiLenape
TsalagiLenape 2012-03-08 06:41:35 -0600 Report

Some of you may know what has happened recently. The point is that I come here for help with my Diabetes. Hence I will ask, help or whatever I need to do for myself. Yet at the same time I hope I am asking things others may need to know but are afraid to ask. Creator has blessed me in so many ways. The main one is that I can discern how to word a post. So if you who dont voice yourself feel that any post on here is something that can help you or one you feel the same about, then reply. We all need to help one another. To support and know we are together in this fight. IF you stay silent, then how do the others know we are helping you or not? We dont. So even if you post Anonymously that is better than nothing. Honestly! You have to decide if Diabetes is going to rule your life or you are going to Rule Diabetes in your life. Becoming active, vocal and proactive on your own health is what will help. Maybe not just yourself. Did you think about how you Yes you can help that? So Please I implore all of you quiet ones to come out and voice yourselves. Help us so we can help each other. That is the main reason I believe I am here as well as the others who are. Step up and be noticed. Your own contributions can help many and affect change. If you are having a bad day, I want to know. If you are having a great day, I want to know. Thus you will realize we do care. That we talk the talk, walk the walk. So PLEASE join in! Thank you Caroltoo for posting this. I hope I can inspire others as others have inspired me. Bless you all.

Jan8
Jan8 2012-03-08 09:10:17 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby, So happy you are still here! You are very inspiring and a great asset to this community. The only way I remain silent is when I am very ill with various other diseases and can't think straight. Even so, I enjoy seeing everyone's posts.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-08 15:00:16 -0600 Report

Me, too, Jan. I found myself doing that recently when I was sick. It does take emotional energy to become involved with others and there are sometimes good reasons for pulling back for a while.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2012-03-09 14:10:19 -0600 Report

Specially some days when you just can't deal with anything but ourselves. There are days when I am less chatty because I just don't have it in me. The only times I am missing from here is when I get crazy busy (like this month) Other than that, I'm here because you guys are all GRRRRR-EAT!(that was my Tony Tiger impression) LOL

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-09 14:37:48 -0600 Report

I like Tony the Tiger … always loved Frosted Flakes too, but they are a taste from my past, a fond memory. Been sugar free for so long now, that I'm not sure I would even still like the taste.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2012-03-09 14:41:25 -0600 Report

Nope, you wouldn't...things like that taste so disgusting when you have cut your sugar back. I don't miss them, but he was always one of my favorites.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2012-03-07 18:38:56 -0600 Report

What made me start posting here when I first found the site was just that I could not get answers from anywhere else. I posted a lot of questions and so many members helped me out. I was given great advice and even a few reality checks. I have had comments that "bothered" me, but when I looked more closely, it was just that I was in a bit of denial about what was told to me. Like any relationship, there are ups and downs and those moments of clarity. I love it here and am always encouraged to see new people posting here.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-07 18:44:09 -0600 Report

It is a source of great pleasure to see people come here, usually hesitant and uncertain at first, and then begin to open up and blossom with the support and friendship they receive here. Information is great also, but we can get that from impersonal sources. This site feels open and supportive. I, too, am very glad I found it.

Misspearl01
Misspearl01 2012-03-06 16:48:30 -0600 Report

As a newbie to D. I am hesitant on sharing all on here
I will admit that the people here ate wonderful you all have helped so much more than my previous doctors. There are times I still feel alone who ever I refrain from voicing my feelings because of some answers or facial expressions I get in real life. To the point it makes me so angry. But since Friday when I went to my endo appointment some people have changed I guess it took three doctors telling me I was a diabetic. (for I already new). Now waiting for everyone else to get on board. You guys here have made it easier than sailing alone. THANKS to ALL how have listened and replied. 

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-08 15:02:07 -0600 Report

Welcome, Misspearl01, if I haven't done so before! Thank you for stepping up and sharing with us about your experience as a new person on site.

I hope you will believe me when I say we would really all like for you to begin to contribute as much as you feel comfortable doing so. There are no eyes to roll or eyebrows to raise on d.c., so you are safe from that kind of implied criticism!

I'm glad to hear things are changing at your Endo's office. It really helps to have a supportive doctor and staff! My husband's doc is very supportive, the department nurse is not. It leaves me in a real bind when I try to help him. Finally, figured out how to communicate directly with the doc by email. One person can make the doc/patient relationship more difficult. Glad yours is improving.

pixsidust
pixsidust 2012-03-07 15:33:54 -0600 Report

Welcome! I was diagnosed just one year ago
I am not far from knowing just how you feel

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-07 15:58:23 -0600 Report

Hard to believe your diagnosis is so recent, Pixsi. You seem like an "old hand" at this process.

TsalagiLenape
TsalagiLenape 2012-03-08 06:46:07 -0600 Report

LOL Yeppers I am older than dirt ask my kids LOL Tis all good for with age we get experience and knowledge along with the wisdom. Hugs

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-07 22:50:44 -0600 Report

Well .. the operative words were "seem like" :)
But I like the rest of it.

I feel like saying, "Welcome back, Pixsi." Haven't seen your cute sense of humor for way, way too long. Glad you are feeling better.

EdnaShukis
EdnaShukis 2012-03-06 16:25:06 -0600 Report

Fortunately, I missed the problem, but I hope to be supportive and encouraging. I do store things that bother me until I reach my thresh-hold then I tend to blow up. After I feel much better but often the other person doesn't I try never to hold grudges and forgive easily, like I like to be forgiven. I hope never to hurt any one's feelings on here and If I do, please let me know so that I am aware. I often don't know what I said that offended. I love this place, it is just what I need in my life right now. Thanks to all who have been supporting me. Edna

TsalagiLenape
TsalagiLenape 2012-03-08 06:49:07 -0600 Report

Hey Edna, glad to see you here. I have found out by personal experience that holding it in and then exploding isnt good for myself. Glad to see you joining in on this. Yet venting is needed. LOL I should know. LOL Yes venting is great and a stress reliever at times. I usually clean like a freak although right now my house is still in need of major recall. LOL So it helps to know I have a way to release pent up agression frustrations and all in a positive way. Hugs:)

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 18:07:43 -0600 Report

Hi, Edna! I would agree that we need to be encouraging and supportive. Seems to me like that and education (of all of us) are the goals for the site. I'm glad to hear it is meeting a real need in your life right now. I feel the same way!

From time-to-time we all need to vent. Some people do a discussion where they do this and then get over it. It does help to get it out so we can heal. Venting is impersonal and doesn't hurt anyone.

EdnaShukis
EdnaShukis 2012-03-07 12:44:09 -0600 Report

I so agree that venting is needed occasionally and that is why I have been posting so much. I am new to the boards and need all of your advice, like I said, I love it here!

Somoca
Somoca 2012-03-06 16:10:19 -0600 Report

Not having to worry about what I say in email being plastered on the discussion board. If I ask you about my vaajajay/ paradise garden/ pool of joy ( you get my drift) on email, that's a hint I do not want to discuss it in public. Sometimes this diabetes works on a female and its hard to just talk about it BAM all out in the open.

pixsidust
pixsidust 2012-03-07 15:36:02 -0600 Report

You can also make your discussion appear Anonymous if you have to go that vajayjay route and get more responses that may help

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-07 15:59:36 -0600 Report

That would be a good use of anon and, I'm sure, wouldn't even annoy the folks who don't like see anon posts!

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 18:09:41 -0600 Report

You make a very good point, Somoca. We go to p.m. so that it is private as the name implies. It should stay private. We probably all need to be more conscious of that and the fact that all our discussions are available to anyone who knows how to google them. Protecting our own and others privacy is important.

Thanks for telling about this situation. We can all learn caution from it.

digitaldoorbell
digitaldoorbell 2012-03-06 12:38:25 -0600 Report

Unfortunately, this won't be a direct response to your post. The majority of the people here are responsive and provide information and assistance. There has been a flurry of negative posts. I received one today that was, well I'll just say myopic and silly.

To tell you the truth, I have tried to make a contribution here. I no longer feel that this site is my responsibility. I am active on other sites (each of which have greater participation) and I believe that I will return to them exclusively.

I wish everyone here the best. The frequency of dismissive or arrogant posts has increased and I have far better things to do with my time than cyber-babysit those lacking social skills.

All the best.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 16:39:26 -0600 Report

I'm sorry to hear this. Yes, most folks who contribute are really wonderful, reassuring, and helpful. I wish we could figure out a way to expand this supportiveness and deminish the negatives aimed at each other.

You have made a contribution here and I hope you choose to stay here and ignore those contributions which are negative. If not, I'd like thank you for what you have contributed and say I'm sorry to realize that you feel this way.

Again, it makes the point that we need to monitor the atmosphere of the site if we are concerned about keeping our membership involved and contributing.

Thanks for sharing.

Young1s
Young1s 2012-03-06 12:19:31 -0600 Report

Cut, pasted and edited from my answer below.

New members may be hesitant to participate because a question they have (or something similar) may have already been discussed. It was that way for me. But any questions and concerns, especially when first diagnosed, need to be voiced regardless of previous discussions because:

a) It can give you peace of mind that you put it out there.
b) You may be helping others, with the same question/concern, who may be nervous about speaking up.
c) There may be additional changes, ideas, found info, members that can bring new or different answers to the question.
d) There may be other elements that apply to your particular situation but weren't touched upon in a previous discussion.
e) There are no stupid questions here.

So I would strongly encourage new members to ask away.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 16:34:43 -0600 Report

Absolutely, Young1s, and you aren't the only one to say there is a need to reassurance about it being ok to ask anything.

MAYS
MAYS 2012-03-06 11:41:27 -0600 Report

In my opinion, we have to make other members feel as though they are a visual part of this family.
Moving into a new neighborhood can be a little scary for some, but new neighbors are a part of the community and need to be made welcome.

(What ever happened to the welcoming commitee, is that a thing of the past not practiced in life anymore?)

Let's start a welcoming commitee here that is composed of members, let's make every new member feel as though they are an essential part of this family!
I would love to see more participation in discussions, video uploads and informative input by family members.

We have something more common than our concern for ourselves (or) our loved ones pertaining to diabetes, we are all human and interactivity is vital to human existence (whether or not we admit it.)

What do you think, what's your opinion?
(Don't worry, I don't bite!)

~Mays~

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 16:32:54 -0600 Report

Thanks, Mays, for your response. I like the analogy with a new neighborhood and our fears as we move in. Feels very accurate.

There are a number of us, you included, who try to reach out to new members on a regular, though not organized basis. When I greet, I usually see dietcherry, mewella, and jayabee greeting somewhere in the same day. Frequently, you, bryun, and young1 are in there also. I've been sick for the last month, so haven't done as much as I usually do.

Do you think we should greet everyone who comes on the site regardless of whether they make any attempt at contact? I look sometimes at where people come from. If directly from the outside, it's usually prompted by interest (positive or nefarious), whereas those who immigrate within the system seem to frequently be exploring to win a badge on their other site and don't come back.

Maybe we can draw some ideas from this discussion about points to cover in our welcome that would also encourage immediate envolvement … things that have been mentioned so far relate to being encouraged to ask anything even if it's been discussed recently and no question is stupid (a comment Jayabee frequently makes).

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let's keep thinking about it.

draco59
draco59 2012-03-05 22:09:39 -0600 Report

I see one problem, is that people don't read others profiles, if there is one to read, that's one of the other problems. I understand a person’s need for privacy, but put at least a first name, what your look to get out of this group. These are just off the top of my head. As I think of more, I’ll post them.
Brian

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-05 22:21:00 -0600 Report

Thanks, ryver, for your thoughts. Appreciate your sharing them with us.

I've found even when there is no profile, you can get a lot of information from reading several of the posts … not as complete as a profile, but gives you a sense of what's happening.

I, too, wish people would profile, but I have to say that just a little tongue in cheek. I did mine a week or so after I came on here and, for some reason, it didn't save. It was rather extensive and I was so discouraged at that point that I didn't recreate it!

One of my wishes is that people would take the time to read a complete discussion and many of the responses before responding. It might help keep us more on track. (I'm not talking here about some of the fun stuff we do, but about folks who take offense at something that is taken out of context. It takes so much energy to process misunderstandings and does effect the trust level.)

draco59
draco59 2012-03-05 23:17:01 -0600 Report

You’re right on all your pionts. I've have a tendency to put my life story down. Which doesn’t set well with my wife?
Yes people don’t take time to read it all, I’m guilty of that at times. But also people tend to get off topic, which turns people away too. Also I think a lot of people don’t take constructive help (criticism) well, even though there asking for the help. Their feelings get hurt, and don’t come back, or the same or go out of their way to hurt or bad mouth that person.
My wife just came up with something, a lot of people just lurk, get there question answered and some people don’t get on every day or just get on if they net to find out something and go on. Another thing is, like me I’m on 4 other groups.
Just some thoughts
Good night Carol

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 01:39:29 -0600 Report

Thanks. I appreciate knowing where folks are coming from, so no problem for me with the life story. We've all had times when we haven't read something thoroughly and afterwards think, oh, I shouldn't have said that. No harm done. I think I'm thinking more of making folks aware that they need to go to the discussion to see how things are developing rather than overreacting to an isolated post.

Yes, I think lots of folks do get their questions answered while lurkng. And, since they have nothing invested — no opportunity for it to be personal since they haven't talked to anyone — they feel ok moving on.

So what could we do when folks first come on site that might help hook them in more personally? What attracted you to stay and talk?

Irish1951
Irish1951 2012-03-06 09:52:27 -0600 Report

As a newbie, I remember being hesitant because I might be repeating something that was covered in depth the week or month before I came to the site. Didn't want to come across as not knowing.

As far as those just lurking looking for answers- they soon find that there is no real answers. What works for me won't work for you or the next person. D is such a personal condition that affects each of us differently and our bodies react differently to it. Even when we think we have got it down our bodies says here is a new curve for you and all the things you had gotten used to no longer works. This is the frustrating part for the newly Dx'ed. Not even the Dr's know or have the answers.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 16:11:31 -0600 Report

So it sounds like we need to reassure folks, like Jayabee does, that no question is stupid and we are all in a learning process.

Young1s
Young1s 2012-03-06 10:53:58 -0600 Report

It was the same for me. I was hesitant at first about asking questions that had already been covered. I felt I might not get any responses. But that wasn't the case at all.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 16:12:39 -0600 Report

Would reassurance that it would be a good idea to start a discussion so the helpful folks could contribute, be an encouragement?

Young1s
Young1s 2012-03-06 18:40:55 -0600 Report

I think it would. I remember being slightly intimidated by how knowledgeable everyone was about EVERYTHING and was nervous about posting or responding to anything. Finally the need to have my question answered became greater than my nervousness. So I took a leap of faith. And I'm so glad I did but this was after being a member for about a month. For some it might take longer. So encouragement to take that first step would be very helpful. Because the fear of just asking can be worse than the unknown for some people.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-03-06 20:19:26 -0600 Report

That is why I frequently tell people that here on DC the ONLY "foolish", "stupid" or "silly" question is an HONEST question which is NOT ASKED!

I am glad you took that leap of faith Young1

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-06 19:00:16 -0600 Report

Yes, I have mentioned that you share this frequently a couple of times over the course of this discussion, because knowing it's ok to ask anything has come up in several of these comemnts.

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