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Thread: People making fun of you or staring at you.

  1. #1
    New Member FlameRedSarah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Manchester (UK)

    People making fun of you or staring at you.

    Have people ever made fun of you or stared at you because of your disability? Do you ignore it or do you say something to the people who were staring at you or making fun of you? I am 32 years old. I was born with Scoliosis and Spina Bifida Occulta. I am small for my age (4ft) because of Scoliosis. I use a wheelchair sometimes. I sometimes get stared at but i am used to it and sometimes i just smile at the people who stare at me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Have people ever tried to make fun of me. They may have tried but were soon put in their place through wit!

    I use a wheelchair outside but tend to attract people who are eager to help if needed. I'm always polite and may or may not take up their offer. I want people to have a positive experience wen interacting with a stranger who happens to be disabled. Luckily I seem to bring out the best attitudes in people from street beggars to city gents, thugs to nannies.

    When you have a physical disability you can't hide it. I can't pretend to be 'normal' - whatever that is. Interestingly I have identified that I get stared at or attract as much attention as a good looking woman. And attractive women are drawn to me because I'm different and more interesting as I've had different life experiences than the average 'standard' guy.

    This Saturday I'm having a pre-theatre meal with a charming none disabled woman before we hit the theatre - being disabled isn't all bad news. I'm quite a confident man but it's mixed with being vulnerable due to my impairment. But confidence is key.

  3. #3
    Sheesh, does that happen to you Sarah? You would think people would not even think of being so insulting and discriminatory especially in this day & age.

    A few times I've had little children ask me why I'm lame our if I'm an ask or a child, and I don't mind explaining because how can they find out anything if nobody tells them...the accompanying adult is sometimes embarrassed or apologetic, but I bet they are secretly glad to know the answer as well.

    Adults, I think, should either risk asking and annoying the person, because it's not actually their business is it, but then again it's probably not in their experience, or they should contain their curiosity and not stare. Pointing / commenting in an adult is just plain rude, but little kids need to know.

    Mind you I'm not very good at standing up for myself, my only real experience of rude strangers is having a go at a bus driver for being rude to my mother as she struggled to climb on - the bus driver was a bit startled but the other passengers were all full of good vibes towards me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    I'm in a chair when i'm out and take the same attitude, I always smile and say "please" and "thank you". I agree it usually brings a smile back and much the same offer of help or whatever. A GROWL and "f$%k off!" comes just as easy as a smile and "please" or "thank you" Also if anyone has anything smart to say to you I usually reply with a smile and "I'm cool enough to get away with it". Stumps them every time!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I've just started using a wheelchair outside and saw someone I work with. He said "oh my, what happened to your legs?" I'm still waiting for my employer to make the building accessible for me to use the wheelchair at work, so this is the standard of comments I can expect...

  6. #6
    look! I don't care what people do think about me. if they stare at me, I reflect. so what if I use wheel chair. don't be silly. be brave. cheer up

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wootton N. Lincs
    Kaff79, Regarding what your colleague commented, Sorry, How was this innocent remark offensive????
    Last edited by stree; 10-09-16 at 12:20.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    I have had some things, but I suppose they are not typical of what you are asking.

    I don't look like I have anything at all wrong with me. I'm thirty, but everyone always thinks I look a lot younger, so am pretty much spoken to like a teen.

    What have found happen to me is when I am in a lot of pain and I may want to use the disabled queue in a store or anything accessible, I have on a number of occasions been met condescending comments and looks, one time someone on the tills did actually laugh after he said it was a disabled till and I told him I was. It was a scathing laugh and quite hurtful. I then told him a bit about invisible disabilities and he was saying it's good that I look so great, but it didn't remove the feeling of hurt. I've had a lot of similar experiences to this.

    The other day I was on a train, had to stand, I wasn't feeling well for a long time while out, my hands started to turn numb (a sign I'm about to pass out), and feeling sick and blurred vision, I was about to pass out and needed to sit down, instead of asking someone I got my Mother to hold me onto the platform to sit down there as I now don't like to ask and if I do I have to explain (obviously I wasn't capable of it then!)

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I use a wheelchair, no one has laughed at me since I was 9 years old. I think I feel less looked at since I needed to use a wheelchair, than I did when I walked badly. Generally I honestly think people are keen to help someone using a wheelchair, even if what they think will help is a bit misguided. Sadly this intention isn't followed through in terms of access though.

    Kaff79 I think you will find it's ok, although daunting at first. Good luck! Let us know how your work situation progresses.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Staring is difficult I know, and can be very uncomfortable. But I don't necessarily think that there is anything malicious behind it, often people are just curious. I know there are situations where staring is malicious and intimidating and I'm not belittling that. But as Sarah says I think it's best just to smile at them, and tell yourself that some people have no manners!

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