With all jokes aside when was the last time, someone told you your not normal? For many abled people, they would say never but that may not be the case for people who are disabled. When I was in school I was being constantly reminded that my disability was not normal and I shouldn’t identify myself as disabled and I should use a different term. Calling anyone abnormal is rude but calling someone abnormal because of there disability is ruder. I have had to deal with behavior like this for many years and because of it, my mental health was affected. If this has ever happened to you and are wondering what the appropriate way to respond is then here are a few things to think about.
What is normal?- Before I dive into how to respond when someone calls you abnormal I want you to really think about what is normal? Disabled people are not abnormal they are different and you should never view them in such a negative way!
Ignore it- If someone says something as hurtful as you aren’t normal then they probably do not care if they hurt your feelings. You have two choices get really mad or ignore the comment. Getting really mad and creating a scene will not solve anything because you are giving the person who hurt your feelings what they wanted and more of a reason to laugh at you. Instead of creating a scene ask yourself is what they are saying true? No isn’t so why are you getting all upset about it?
Educate- If you are really hurt by a name someone has called then you then now is your time to educate that person! Let them know how you feel and help them understand that a disability is not abnormal it is just different because some people may not understand that and may need your help to get a better understanding!
Consider your word choice- Words like retarded, abnormal, and crippled can all have a negative effect on a disabled person. Before you use certain words around them ask them if they wouldn’t mind and if they say they do then respect that and choose a different word choice
Depression- Some disabled people suffer from depression and when you tell them they need to change you are implying something is wrong with them. Some disabled people have a particularly hard time with embracing their disability and your insults are not helping! Disabled people need your support when they are suffering from depression not for you to tell them their disability isn’t normal. Instead of telling someone who is suffering from depression that their disability is abnormal ask them how you can help? You will have a much more positive effect on someone when you try to help them than when you just insult them!
Some abled people may see a disabled person as abnormal so when they call them that to them it is not insulting! Most disabled people would disagree with you so you want to try and stop saying hurtful comments like this! A disabled person is different than you not abnormal and you should never refer to them in that way! If you have questions about how to respond when someone calls you abnormal 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!