One of the most annoying phrases that abled people say to the disabled is that “you’re so inspiring!” In most cases, when they tell a person with a disability they are inspiring it is because they think they need a compliment. Here a few reasons why you should not tell a person with a disability they are inspiring unless they have done something remarkable!
Unsympathetic- Sometimes when people compliment people with disabilities they just tell them what they want to hear but aren’t really thinking about their feelings! People with disabilities are people too and it would be nice to get a real genuine compliment every once in a while! When someone gives a real genuine compliment to a person with a disability it says a lot about them!
Would you call an abled person inspiring?- Would you call an abled person inspiring for no reason? Probably not! What makes a person with a disability so inspiring and not an abled person? Living our lives is not inspiring that is just how we live our lives! Somebody has to do something remarkable to be inspiring not just live their life! People with disabilities may do things differently but that doesn’t make them inspiring!
Pity– Sometimes an abled person may feel sorrier for a person with a disability than they do for themselves. Calling somebody inspiring does not make them feel better about themselves because they will know you are only doing it out of pity. Most people with disabilities are very happy with their lives and don’t even feel sorry for themselves so your pity is just annoying! There are some people with disabilities that feel sorry for themselves, but those are people who have not learned to embrace their disability!
What did I do that was remarkable?– People with disabilities appreciate it when you give them a genuine compliment! Telling them they are inspiring when they have done nothing remarkable is not genuine and they will know that! There are tons of ways you can compliment a person with a disability other than calling them inspiring! Complimenting their outfit or their personality is just a few ways you can compliment somebody without calling them inspiring! Most compliments that you would say to an abled person you can also say to a disabled person! People with disabilities are people too they are just different!
In my experience as a disabled person when people say “you’re inspiring” it is because they don’t know what to say to a disabled person! Not all disabled people will feel this way so before you call a disabled person inspiring clarify what you are saying so there is no confusion! All they want to hear is real genuine compliments there is no need to be fake! Talk to a person with a disability like you would an abled person there is no need to talk differently just because they have a disability! If you wouldn’t give an abled person a compliment out of pity then you shouldn’t be doing that to the disabled! If you have any questions about why saying “you’re so inspiring” is annoying please leave them in the comments below!
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!