Here's the second in our month of 'language challenges' - to get us all talking more about the everyday ways we can transform the diabetes conversation!
Challenge Number 2. A selfie-speech-spot! Think of something you tend to say in your diabetes life or work, such as a phrase, a word, a reference to someone, a conversation-opener or closer. Now check it for 'Language Matters' principles. Is it supportive, encouraging, positive, non-judgemental, for example? could you tweak it in any way towards these principles (and away from the potential opposites!)?
Page 9 of 'Language Matters' gives 2 columns, encouraging us to respectively, 'seek to be more....' and 'seek to be less....'. Perhaps check your own words or terms against these?
If you're not sure what your common words or expressions are (we often use them unconsciously), could you bravely ask a colleague or a friend - or check your correspondence for clues?
As an example for this challenge, I'll use the phrase 'diabetes control', which we explore a bit in the document. This gets talked about a lot by both health professionals and people living with diabetes. It's such a common expression that it's easy not even to be conscious of using it. However, it can suggest a) that there's a fixed end to diabetes, where it is, finally, controlled and b) that this is the most important aspect to be attended to. In real life, neither of these tend to be true.
A tweak to this phrase could be to start referring instead to 'life with diabetes', 'managing (with) diabetes', or, if it's a question, 'what is happening with diabetes?'. There are many other possibilities!
Challenge 2 accepted?