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Author Topic: Didn't Have a Choice  (Read 11984 times)

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Morticia

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Didn't Have a Choice
« on: April 20, 2015, 08:31:04 AM »
Yesterday, I had to opt for complete silence because I was so utterly gobsmacked that anyone would do this. I had just left my building, and was admiring a lovely German shepherd, when the woman walking him called at me, "You're limping pretty well there!" What?!? Who says that? I mean, yeah, I walk with a limp and some days it's more noticeable than others, but still...

Anyway, it's just as well that this is considered a polite option, because if I had found my voice I am not sure I could have avoided being rude.
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
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Venus193

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 08:44:32 AM »
Sometimes complete silence is the best way to go, especially if you can't think of something to say that wouldn't get you tossed into Etiquette Hell behind the person you are calling out.





violinp

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 09:51:54 AM »
Sometimes complete silence is the best way to go, especially if you can't think of something to say that wouldn't get you tossed into Etiquette Hell behind the person you are calling out.

I couldn't agree more. Half the things I want to say to rude people sound "good" in my head, but in reality are just as rude, if not ruder than what was just said.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


rashea

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 11:19:53 AM »
I get this one. I think people are trying to say, "what's up, you're limping pretty badly, are you ok?" and it gets truncated coming out of their mouth.

This is one situation where I try to answer what they meant more than what they said. But, I've been dealing with it for years. I'm not saying that you need to take that approach, I just find it less trouble to do so.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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TootsNYC

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 11:49:58 AM »
Or, maybe she meant "I've seen you limping worse than that, and you look like you're feeling better."

Or, "I notice you're limping; here's a little jocular sympathy. I'll pretend that limping is a good thing, and praise you on your ability."

And though either of those things are meant well, they so totally didn't work. And this whole incident is proof of why you should simply never comment on other people's appearance.
   If you know them well enough to have a conversation about how they injured themselves, or how their chronic condition is going, you would have had that conversation long before now.
So, just zip it, folks. 

Jones

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 12:22:26 PM »
Good job on the silence! I have been limping for a couple months now (chronic pain condition) and I don't know what I would do if someone commented on it. Fortunately no one has at this point, which goes to show that most of us know better than to comment on someone's apparent disability.
“A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems.” CS Lewis

Mustard

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 12:47:06 PM »
And this whole incident is proof of why you should simply never comment on other people's appearance.
   If you know them well enough to have a conversation about how they injured themselves, or how their chronic condition is going, you would have had that conversation long before now.
So, just zip it, folks. 

My husband was at a dinner some years ago and found himself sitting next to a woman sporting two black eyes.  At the end of the evening she said 'you are the only person in this room who hasn't asked me about my eyes!  Would you like to know what happened?'

Reader.. he didn't.

Runningstar

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 05:42:07 AM »
Remaining silent about someone's limp (or other physical issue) is a lesson I've learned the hard way.  I bite my tongue almost always in time to just not ask what is none of my business.  I can give you a reason for this (admittedly nosy) question - the times where nobody asks and the injured person takes affront or is hurt that nobody even cared enough to ask them how they were/what happened/etc.  That is just awful for me, and then I feel very badly about my assumed  lack of caring.  For a complete stranger, I remain silent.  A friend I ask.  But there are people who I consider mere acquaintances, and then it is a harder call for me. 

laud_shy_girl

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2015, 09:42:18 AM »
I would say this,  if it was someone I know who dosent have a limp. I'd be asking in a roundabout way if they were alright and what happened.  It shows I've noticed but "hopefully" dosent pressure them to go in to too many details if they don't want too. (A know your audience moment)

I wouldn't say anything to some one I didn't know because it could be a long standing condition and its non of my business.

Some people are just too nosy for there own good.
“For too long, we've assumed that there is a single template for human nature, which is why we diagnose most deviations as disorders. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of minds. And that's a very good thing.” - Jonah Lehrer

TootsNYC

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2015, 03:27:21 PM »
You know how sometimes we say that when someone asks a prying question we should just pretend that they made the only -socially-acceptable comment (like, "How did you hurt yourself? or "what's wrong with you?" is prying; but "I hope you feel better" is acceptable, so pretend that's what they said, and say, "thanks for your conern; I'll be fine soon")?

It's a good idea for those of us who are making the comment to think, "what really do I want to say? I don't really want to pry into their life; I just want to say, "I see you're having some difficulties; I wish you well."

So say that.

Danika

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2015, 07:04:55 PM »
After you just stared at her in bewilderment, did her facial expression show that she realized she was out of line to comment on that to a stranger? Or did she not get the point?

I had a somewhat different reaction to the same scenario.

I've been walking with a limp for about 18 months now. Some days are worse than others. My podiatrist and I have been treating plantar fasciitis in both of my heels with no success. Next weekend, I'm getting an MRI on both heels to see what is really going on. My point in giving you my history is that allegedly what I have is common. And allegedly, it's treatable and my limp should not be permanent. So, in my mind, I don't think of myself as "someone with a limp." I also have a significantly worse health issue, totally unrelated and so I'm always focused on that, and not on the challenges that my limp and heels present to me.

A year ago, DH had to have a significant surgery on his heel and he was on crutches and in a cast for a long time afterwards. We were at a friend's wedding. I had to wear dress shoes, so that was exacerbating my walking pain. But after the surgery that DH had just had, I didn't want to focus any attention on my pain, or anyone to focus on me since I was trying so hard to be the steady, healthy spouse in charge of the children, while DH was resting his foot and doing his best to just even attend the wedding.

We were at the reception and another guest made a comment to me about my significant limp. I had been focusing so much on appearing to be the spouse with healthy feet that my immediate reaction was "I don't have a limp!" And the lady said "It looked like you were limping around." I just said "no."

And then I paid attention the rest of the night, and the rest of the month even, and she was right. I limped 100% of the time. I hadn't realized that.

Normally, I would never refute something with gaslighting or denial. But it was really effective. It shut her down pretty quickly. I might try that tactic again in the future. Or complete silence. Those are good responses.

Morticia

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2015, 09:41:13 PM »
Update  -- last week I was walking home from a meet up and this person standing outside a club makes a point of saying, "Are you okay?" in a very concerned manner. What is it lately? I said, "Yes, I'm fine." Thankfully, I just started physio with an awesome therapist, so hopefully, soon there won't be a limp worth commenting on. But I still don't understand why people think they should comment any way.
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
                                        -- Big Rude Jake

My travel blog: http://www.stepmonster.ca

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2015, 01:27:46 AM »
If I'm sharp enough at the time, I like to re-direct:  "Yes, I'm fine.  How are you?"

Awestruck Shmuck

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2015, 05:33:15 PM »
I like Toots' ideas. I get some similar comments a LOT but due to my appearance, rather than a limp. I have perfected this excited smile, and an "Oh.. Thank you!!!!". Not because I'm grateful, but because if they mean well, they are pleased to have made me smile, and if they mean for me to take offense, they can't quite figure out if I give a crap what they think, or not.



Or, maybe she meant "I've seen you limping worse than that, and you look like you're feeling better."

Or, "I notice you're limping; here's a little jocular sympathy. I'll pretend that limping is a good thing, and praise you on your ability."

And though either of those things are meant well, they so totally didn't work. And this whole incident is proof of why you should simply never comment on other people's appearance.
   If you know them well enough to have a conversation about how they injured themselves, or how their chronic condition is going, you would have had that conversation long before now.
So, just zip it, folks.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Didn't Have a Choice
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 08:31:51 AM »
Update  -- last week I was walking home from a meet up and this person standing outside a club makes a point of saying, "Are you okay?" in a very concerned manner. What is it lately? I said, "Yes, I'm fine." Thankfully, I just started physio with an awesome therapist, so hopefully, soon there won't be a limp worth commenting on. But I still don't understand why people think they should comment any way.

My guess is that walking with a limp is a little different from walking with a cane or crutches in that the limp could have *just* happened.  So if you're walking by a club limping, the person who sees you pass may think that you *just* fell and got hurt, and perhaps he could help by calling somebody for you, or giving you an arm, or something like that.
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