How to Respond to Stares and Unasked Questions

Hi there! I’m just going to get right to it today. Having a visible disability means you are bound to get stares from people young and old. When I was little, it would bother both my parents when kids stared at me. At first, it would upset me too, but I eventually learned that kids are young and curious and they don’t know better. I always knew that kids never meant any harm. Even now when little kids stare at me, it doesn’t bother me. I just smile and wave and more often than not, the wave back. Kids aren’t afraid to be brutally honest and wave to people they don’t know. Some kids even strike a conversation with me or sometimes I do. I think it makes both the child and the parent more comfortable. When parents catch their kids looking at me, sometimes they turn them away so they stop staring. They don’t mean it to be malicious, but it’s still uncomfortable for everyone. I really think that instead of teaching our kids not to stare, we should teach our children to say “hello”. Just that simple lesson will make the world a more friendly place.

Aside from kids, I do get some young adults and adults who stare which bothers me because they should know better. Again, I know they are probably curious as to why I look the way I do or talk the way I do, but they are old enough to know it’s not polite. I’ve gotten more understanding over the years and I’ve actually approached some of my peers and ask them if they want to know anything. Their first reaction is to be super embarrassed and feel like they offended me. I make sure to quickly reassure them that they have no need to be embarrassed or feel like they hurt my feelings. I tell them that I encourage questions and am super open about everything. After that initial wall is broken down, the tension is gone and it’s like two friends catching up. I never want anyone to feel uncomfortable asking me about my disability or to approach me simply to say hi.

I always worry about making new friends and that’s something I had to deal with when I began college, but it was easier than I thought. I started by saying hi to people in my class and asking them what their major is and where they are from. It’s like my ice breaker and once we get to talking, it’s not like that awkward first meeting anymore. It would be nice for someone to initiate the first hello to me, but I think that will come with time. Few people have approached me during my time at UNH and it’s been so nice. There is a huge difference between high school and college and that is people are more open to different walks of life.

I want to leave you with this thought; teach children to say hello instead of not to stare, don’t be nervous to approach people with disabilities, and be the one to strike a conversation with them. Trust me, it will make someone’s day.

Thank you for reading! Shine on my lovelies!

19 thoughts on “How to Respond to Stares and Unasked Questions

Add yours

  1. Love this one, Rosie! I think this is so important to share!!! You’re right that sometimes. people just don’t know how to act – and maybe this will help 🙂


    1. Thank you Miss Katie!!! That’s the hope! I know people don’t mean to be mean, they just don’t know.


  2. Rosie
    Good for you ! All will fall in place at UNH
    A short story…..
    My niece was star struck when she saw Gene Wilder and stood there with wide eyes and her mouth open.
    Gene saw her and returned the same facial-expression
    No harm intended just making contact.


    1. Exactly, no harm, but her mouth isn’t always wide open. But I understand where you are coming from. It wasn’t like he was mocking her, he was just being silly


      1. Yes he was looking at her the same way she was looking at him …. LOL
        He is (was) a funny guy and made many people happy with lots of laughter


  3. You are so kind to be the gracious person and be the one to make others comfortable. We all need to remember that kindness counts! You have inspired me to remember that when I am out and about in this big old world . . .smile, say hello . . .you may just make a person’s day. Thank you Rosie for giving me this bit of wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rosie,
    These are amazing! I just read all of your blog entries. You are an inspiration and a very skilled writer.
    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself.


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