Thursday, October 28, 2010

How close is too close?

I saw a segment on The Early Show this morning called "How Close Is Too Close?" that I really appreciated. It was about boundaries and people invading your personal space. The truth is, sometimes people unknowingly invade the space of others... we've probably all done it at some time or another.

This is something that is especially important to me since my accident. Sometimes when people talk to me they definitely invade my personal space! Of course it's unintentional, but it's annoying, nonetheless! Normally people can take a step back to distance themselves from the other person when their space is being invaded, but I can't. When someone is talking too close to my face I can't do anything about it except suffer in silence! I think that anything less than two feet is much too close, unless we're very close friends who are exchanging secrets with each other!

While I'm on the same topic, I want to share another one of my pet peeves. Now that I'm in a wheelchair I feel like people who don't know me at all or don't know me very well often talk down to me and treat me like my brain must be handicapped since I'm in a wheelchair! Let me assure you that just because someone is in a wheelchair does not necessarily mean that they are mentally impaired. Sometimes when I'm out in public people talk to my mom instead of me and will say something like, "Does she want this, or does she want that?" instead of asking me directly.

Another thing that bothers me is when people bend over at the waist when they talk to me. Crouching down all the way to the ground is okay, but I don't like it when they bend over at the waist because it always makes me feel like they think I'm a child. Hopefully I'm not sounding mean as I vent about my pet peeves, but since I've been confronted with the same things for the past seven years and will most likely continue to be confronted with the same things for the rest of my life, I can't help but share my feelings!

I know that people aren't meaning to be rude or condescending, but it often feels this way. However, people are usually very nice and sweet for the most part. I imagine that I would probably be unsure of how to approach someone in a wheelchair if I didn't know them, so I definitely don't begrudge people acting the way they do, even if it is occasionally annoying!


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