Every disabled person falls into one of the following categories: 1) They accept help happily, usually. 2) Or they rarely, if ever, accept help happily (and I say “usually” because this is never a hard and fast rule).
Since becoming disabled, I’ve found it fascinating the way people with disabilities perceive help. It’s all across the board. absolutely love it. They think it’s the best thing when someone realizes they have needs, and offer to help . This type of person is never offended when a complete stranger offers a helping hand, and they never take it personally. Instead, they see it as some kind of validation that people aren’t that bad after all.
Also, the big difference in this type of person, compared to the other type of person who hates it when people ask if they need help, is that they usually are more ok with their disability, or rather, they’ve accepted that they need help and will always need it (so they’d better get used to it now).
And then you have the type who hates t when people ask if they need help. To them, needing help makes them weak. They want to prove everyone wrong, they scoff at the “it takes a village” mentality and would rather do everything completely on their own, if they can get away with it that is. They want to prove to the world that even though they have a disability, that doesn’t mean they have to rely on others.
And this type of person is usually worried with how they’re perceived. In fact, they may too concerned about this, and it influences their stress levels. I am guilty of this. Whenever I’m out struggling to grab something off of the shelf, I get angry when someone sees that I’m struggling, and offers to help. Or when I’m just sitting there, and someone comes up to see if I’m ok. I let this bother me.
I know, it’s silly, but the anger comes from hating the way I must be perceived when I’m out now. Before my injury of course, I never used to be viewed as someone in such a state, but now I am. It’s never easy excepting your new identity when you have an acquired disability, but getting angry, or rather being ridiculously stubborn and not accepting help, will never get us anywhere.
However, these stubborn folks say there’s a huge benefit to being the way they are: It can push them. Their stubbornness has enabled them to do as much as they can, to drive, to push, to help them discover new abilities. But to be stubborn this all the time? I don’t know about you, but nothing in excess is ever healthy.
What kind of person are you? Are you overly stubborn & try to do everything on your own? Or do you welcome help when it’s offered?