Monday, February 3, 2014

Calm Down...This is my Normal!

"WOW," she said. "VERY GOOD JOB."

I stared for a second, dumbfounded, and then smiled a little to try to cover my confused expression.
"Thank you," I said, "but good job with what?"

"You did a VERY GOOD JOB walking down those stairs!" she crooned, her voice slightly sing-song.

"Oh!" I said. "Thank you! I try!"

I come across these types of people all the time and sometimes it's hard to know how to handle them. I know they mean well, but sometimes the patronizing tone gets to me.

There was one day earlier in the year where I didn't see one of the steps as I was walking down to the dining hall, thanks to my depth perception problems, and I almost fell but I caught myself just in time. Since then, I have felt this woman's eyes on me as I walk down the stairs, carefully watching my steps. Oftentimes, she comments afterwards...it's not always "WOW, VERY GOOD JOB" -- sometimes it's, "You almost missed a step there again!" or "I don't know how in the world you do that every day," or "You walk down those stairs better than I do!" and to be honest, it's kind of awkward. I'm just trying to live my life...again, I know she means well, but sometimes I feel like I'm on Dancing With the Stars or something....



 And then there's the overly-helpful types; there's another staff member who, once again, means well -- but every. single. time. she sees me carrying my plate of food, her eyes get wide and she rushes over in a complete panic to ask if I'm okay.

"Miss, miss, do you need a tray? Are you okay? Do you need help? Are you SURE?"

It's gotten to the point where if I see her, I run in the other direction because YES, for the love of all that's good in the world, I'm okay. I do this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I'm all for recognizing good intentions, and I appreciate that they're trying to be nice, but it gets old really fast! Can't I just go about my life without an audience for everything I do? Must I be applauded for walking down the stairs and for managing my own plate of food? There are some days when I just want to hold up a sign that says, "CALM DOWN...I GOT THIS, PEOPLE."

16 comments:

  1. You could start bowing. And wearing sequins. :) I think it is a tough rope to walk. To be helpful and empathic while being respectful of some one's ability

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha Kerri, I totally should! ;) And yes, I agree...I love that they're trying to be helpful and empathetic, but sometimes it comes across as condescending. If I had to choose one or the other though, I'd rather them be too helpful/too empathetic as opposed to not empathetic enough!

      Delete
  2. I love this! There is a great clip by Lawrence ( comedian with CP) in th Uk expressing his feelings about this topic x
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fx9fAEJeI0E&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dfx9fAEJeI0E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bron, thanks for sharing! That made me laugh so hard! I especially loved when he asked someone if he could give them a sticker....HA! I can definitely relate!

      Delete
  3. K, you wrote this REALLY WELL. I mean seriously, WELL DONE YOU.

    (sorry, couldn't resist)

    Maybe ask them (snarkily) if they'd like to make you a sticker chart for each time you manage the steps without falling.

    Adunno. I'm no help in that kind of situation - it's so beyond anything I know, and I know you understand that they're trying to be supportive, but I can't think that makes it any easier.

    My usual retort to these things is "I'm deaf to condescension, and right now I could hear a pin drop..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lizzi,
      Thank you!! That compliment means the world to me, especially coming from you (one of the best writers I know, hands down!)!

      HAHAHA the sticker chart idea is priceless, and I love your retort! Thanks for gracing my blog with your awesomeness.

      Delete
  4. I can imagine how frustrating that is, and I am sure my boys will be experiencing those feelings soon enough. I guess the positive from it is (it seems like) these people mean well…as opposed to the few that would step OVER you if you fell, or huff and sigh angrily if you took too long in front of them on the stairs…those are the people we can all REALLY do without, and I've already experienced far too many of them when I'm out with my boys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracey,
      You are so right! I'd much rather have them be too empathetic than not empathetic enough...I've experienced both kinds of people, and the latter are definitely much worse! xo

      Delete
  5. Reading your post and the comments, I think it's all about "Too Much". Too much cruelty and indifference is horrible, but so is too much praise and offers of help. By the way, the photo was a nice touch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Andrew! I totally agree -- moderation is key! :)

      Delete
  6. UGH I can't stand when people say "well done" with the obvious. This is amazing as always my lovely friend. Big time.

    ReplyDelete
  7. OH probably time for a new Our Land too right ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristi! :) And YES! I saw that there's a new Our Land post up and I can't wait to go read it as soon as I get the chance! xo

      Delete
  8. Sheesh... Why would someone feel the need to comment like that?? I mean seriously. It's nice to get compliments, but could they NOT focus on that part of you for just one second?? I mean, that's where it's at... It's ONE PART of who you are. Such small minded people. Go get 'em gal. You handled that with a lot of grace...and restraint!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kerith! You're right; my CP is just one aspect of who I am, just like it's just one part of Brielle. I wish more people thought like you do!

      Delete
  9. So frustrating! I so relate to this, too! No one wants an audience for everything - especially a condescending audience!

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Thanks! :-)