There is a right way and a wrong way to offer someone in a wheelchair help.
I’m going to give you a REAL life example of what NOT to do.
I appreciate when someone offers to help me. I truly do. If I need it, I take it. Generally, I do not but it’s nice to know people care.
FYI — YES…Please keep offering and feel free to ask me if I am sure. DO NOT keep going and going, walk away and then turn around and ask again and imply that I could do it easier another way. Why on EARTH would I leave a narrow, $2000 chair unattended in the front of a busy store to use a HUGE bulky store chair that moves at a snails pace and would never keep up with my kids? Do not assume I need your sympathy because I didn’t take your help and appear to have such a horrible life because of the chair. That is NOT the case and likely not the case for the person you see. It may be. It may not be, don’t assume. For all you know that seemingly pitiful, disabled person is happier than you.
What I DO NOT appreciate is when someone is SO insistent that I MUST need help and refuse to let it go, it become beyond rude and annoying.
This REALLY happened last week when I was in Target with Nathan.
This went on for about 5 minutes.
My cart was full, I was stopped to check my list before heading to a register.
I’m in black. The other woman is in blue.
Do you need help?
No, thanks I was just stopped to check my list.
Are you sure (looking at my full cart) ?
Repeat TWO more times and she takes off.
I start to roll/push cart.
(she stops and looks again) Are you sure? I can just leave my buggy and help.
Nope, I’m good. Today is an easy day. I only have one kid with me instead of all 3.
Ok. Well good luck. Oh, wait. You don’t just use one of those motorized carts?
Oh, gosh no. Those would be annoying and a pain to maneuver. (As I continue pushing slowly so I don’t pass her)
Uh, ok. Well.. Uh good luck and im so sorry about your uh…. Voice Trails off a bit
Thanks but You don’t have to be sorry! I have a fabulous life.
Oh. Well, good for you. Wish I did.
After readying a few comments here is a small edit:
So after this incident I was trying to come up with a snarky comment to throw at the next person that just won’t give up. (not the nice people that ask and confirm, I LOVE YOU people!)
My ideas was this:
“do I look disabled or something?”
Charlie said that would come across as looney … so how about this!?
“why do you keep asking me that? I may be in a wheelchair but I got my baby in the car and myself in the car, drove here and have been shopping peacefully for the last hour without any help. I’ve been doing this just fine for 13 years. I genuinely do NOT need any help. I’m comfortable enough in my own situation to ask when I do. I appreciate the offer but the respectful thing for you to do is GRACIOUSLY accept that I do not need your help. Your insistence is very rude and I would appreciate it if you would let me get back to my shopping”