Life remains always changing. Those changes come from everywhere. Finding a significant other, job changes, moving to another city or state or perhaps even country! Yet all these varied changes possess at least one common theme, meeting new people.
Significant others mean meeting entire families, not to mention friends. A new job brings along new co-workers, new bosses, and new cliental to interact with. Moving forces you to adjust to new neighbors. Oh, the humanity. The seemingly endless humanity!
If I can stay calm in regards to meeting new people, you can too. After all, my cerebral palsy (CP) complicates meeting new people. Considering my CP’s mildness the complications I experience pale in comparison to others in the cerebral palsy community.
The stories my cohorts from the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow share leave me laughing because the stupidity involved puts me at a loss. Someone sees a person sitting in a wheelchair and decides to approach.
“HI! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?”
Like, seriously bro? First, STOP YELLING! Where does the assumption a physical disability must correspond with a hearing issue come from anyways? Do you hear with your legs? Exactly what I thought!
Give credit to the yeller, though. At least he made an approach.
Watching You, Watching Me
Please excuse the accidental reference to Bill Withers’ song “Watching You Watching Me.” I’m actually referring to people’s habit to stare at someone with a disability. Stare and stare and stare. You know this much staring proves only acceptable during a staring contest, right?
Gawk at someone long enough she will want to borrow Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. That leads us to people who behave as if the person with cerebral palsy sits or stands there wearing said invisibility cloak!
He walks up to your party and the dialogue begins. “Can she talk? What happened to her?” Dude, check yourself. Imagine how you might feel if I came up to you and your friends and started. “How is he doing? Does he get out often?”
Just a Glimpse!
All the above barely begins to address the ways cerebral palsy complicates meeting new people. I could write an entire blog post completely devoted to the unfair assumptions people make when meeting someone with CP. Then I could write a post entirely dedicated to meeting people using online dating sites. Wait! I already did the latter.
Anyways the fact stands there exists many layers to living with cerebral palsy and meeting new people. By reading to this point I’m guessing you hold greater interest in the topic. Excellent!
Tomorrow (September 30th) #CPChatNow welcomes accomplished cerebral palsy blogger Katy Fetters to lead a Twitter chat titled “Introducing Your Cerebral Palsy When Meeting New People.” Join us and ask Katy a question.
I’m expecting the dialogue to uncover great strategies to help make meeting new people easier. For the non-tweeting population share your questions on the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page. I will make sure your question gets asked and I also will include the answer in Thursday’s recap.