Stubbornness, is it good or bad?Nov 01 05:04
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?
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1. Justine | Nov 04 02:45
I'm appreciative of the people who ask if I need help, so long as its appropriate. If its over something simple and I don't appear to need help, I get annoyed. Funny, no one really seems to be around when I'm really struggling with something. Ask me if I need help when I drop shopping items, for instance. Not when I just happen to be browsing. ( annoying salespeople in clothing stores notwithstanding lol. That seems to be a given whether you're disabled or not. Come to think of it, that's the one place where, more often than not- I get ignored!!)
2. Mivoyses | Nov 07 04:47
I am a stubborn, determined, independent person. I will do for myself what I can, for as long as I can. However, when some one offers to help when I am having difficulties I do not get mad or angry. I see it as people actually being considerate of others. Seeing a need and offering of themselves the help required. Why would the offer of help get me mad? This makes no sense to me.
3. ex-Gooserider | Dec 06 06:10
I try to always be appreciative, even if I can deal with something myself - which I prefer to do if I can... I also don't hesitate to ask for help if I DO need it. I figure being appreciative makes the helper willing to help the next person that comes along. But by not asking for help if I can do without it, I figure that I'm helping to avoid "compassion fatigue"...
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.