I Won’t Tolerate Your Intolerance

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.

xoxo

Ashley Ringstaff

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (10)
  • LeeAnn
    3 months ago

    There are a lot of people that think they know everything and try to tell you how to live your life. I’ve even had doctors tell me what I should do that have no real understanding of MS. After years of going through this I’ve started to have good come backs for those people. I’m now able to deal with them and go on. I know we shouldn’t have to do this but ignorance has no understanding. I would rather be like I was before MS but that’s not possible so you deal with what you have and go on with life. I don’t feel sorry for myself and never have. It took several years before I was diagnosed with MS and it actually was a relief to know that I did have it. It made dealing with it easier. The not knowing for sure is worse. So hang in there. Some people will come around to understanding and the others aren’t worth the energy it takes out of you to set them straight.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 months ago

    Thank you for your kind words @leeann .
    I try to not let it bother me but sometimes my level of tolerance is just full for that time, and I just explode because I can’t even deal with anything else at that time.

    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

  • JimmyMac
    3 months ago

    Normies (those without MS) advising me on how to combat MS doesn’t bother me. I think it’s great they have taken the time to devise a plan for me. I normally don’t get offended but understand if you do. I suggest asking where their cure is written up so you can read about it. Since we with MS know currently there is no cure. Asking where the cure is normally shuts people up. I suggest following this question with asking what others with MS have done to pushy Pollie that makes it that they haven’t documented their ideas

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 months ago

    Oh that’s a good idea for a response. I love it when people who genuinely care discuss things with me about my MS, but it’s the people that are just doing it to be know it all’s, and rude. I can’t stand those people… I already deal with the ‘normal’ stress of life, and I have MS on top of that. So it’s just a non-stop cycle of stress and life.

    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

  • IzzyB
    3 months ago

    This is especially timely for me. One of the most difficult points that people don’t comprehend is the fact that, while we may have similar symptoms, no two people with MS experience it the same way. Being compared to anyone else, invalidates me.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 months ago

    Very true! That’s why I refer to MS as the ‘snowflake’ disease… while we all have MS, there is no exact duplicates. Just like snowflakes.

    I wrote this a while back, https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/ms-snowflake/

    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

  • LeeAnn
    2 months ago

    I like your analogy of MS is like a snowflake. I will definitely use that.

  • Mike H
    4 months ago

    Yes Dev the specialists know a great deal about MS but they DO NOT KNOW what we are going through…you are absolutely right on this. I couldn’t agree more.

  • collena
    4 months ago

    It’s made me realize that I’ve been one of those know-it-all’s myself before I was broad-sided by the MS bus. When it’s my family I let it go because I’m glad they don’t exactly what I’m going through- I don’t want them to.

  • Ashley Ringstaff moderator author
    2 months ago

    So true. I don’t want my loved ones to know EXACTLY what I’m going through, but I do want a bit of understanding on the aspect of it.

    xoxo
    Ashley Ringstaff

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