I Won’t Tolerate Your Intolerance

When it comes to dealing with people that just portray themselves to be know it all’s and that know your disease better than you, they tend to open up their mouths without fully thinking things through. That, or they refuse to acknowledge what we deal with on a daily basis living with a chronic illness.

If you’re reading this and have Multiple Sclerosis, or another chronic illness with no cure, you have probably had someone at some point in time give you unwanted opinions and/or advice.

Only we know what we go through

Living with an incurable illness day by day, we are the only ones that know what we go through. Even the specialists in the field can be super knowledgeable about the condition, but they do not KNOW what we go through. It’s along the same lines of  “You Don’t Get It, Till You Get It.”

Now, I’m not saying that I’m opposed to any sort of advice or opinions from loved ones and friends, I actually appreciate you taking the time to research information and bringing it to my attention. So please don’t let this post make you feel like your support is unwanted, because it’s the exact opposite.

Unwanted opinions

This post is about those people who portray themselves to know everything about every subject possible. When people begin to give me unwanted opinions on the matter, it’s very frustrating. It’s almost like walking through the mall and having sales reps from the kiosks approach me to sell me something. It’s annoying, and if I was interested in what you had to offer, I would approach you.

For instance, consider when the tenth person that week gives me their personal opinion about my health. However, they are stating it as a fact and they are trying to ‘sell me’ their opinion, so I’m going to get angry. Sorry, not sorry, you brought this on yourself.

Don't push your opinions as facts

As a caring human being, there should be a general rule that you DO NOT push your opinions as facts and try to sell someone your thoughts as pure facts, especially when it’s in regards to a health condition that you do not even have. If you are not sure if you have done this, please refer to “MS & Things People Should NOT Say”. If you have said something along these lines, this post is for you.

Even as a patient advocate, living with Multiple Sclerosis, I have not and will never push my beliefs on to someone else. I will NOT tell them what they should and how they should live their life. I will ONLY speak from experience and share my story and what I’ve been through, and how I handled certain situations, testing, medications, diets, etc.

Multiple times a week

If you walk away from a conversation mad at us because we got upset that you tried to push your opinion on us that we didn’t ask for, maybe you should think about how you approached the situation and how you can avoid causing distress in the future. But don’t feel like you’re the only person that does this, because you aren’t. I probably get unwanted opinions on my life told to me multiple times a week, and it makes me upset, stressed and causes anxiety.

That’s the difference though: you can share information with us that you feel can be of interest, but when you start to sound like a salesman, I’m not even going to entertain it. Now, I don’t speak for everyone with MS or chronic illnesses on this issue, but this is how I feel personally, as well as a few others that I have discussed this matter with.

Sharing information without being pushy

So just to be clear, just because your friend’s uncle has MS too, and this certain diet or vitamin, or procedure out of the country helped him… you can share that information with me. However, if you get pushy with the subject to where I feel like I’m backed into a corner, be prepared for me to push back.

Remember that we are fighting a battle that you know nothing about, unless you live with it as well. It is a daily struggle to just function ‘normally’ throughout the day. We’re literally battling ourselves on a daily basis, which is stressful and exhausting. So please, do not add to the stress.

If you continue to be obnoxious and uncaring of my struggle, don’t be surprised when I no longer associate myself with you. I won’t tolerate your intolerance.


Ashley Ringstaff

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