How does one cope with staring people? — Scope | Disability forum
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How does one cope with staring people?

one of my disabled friends has a condition that makes him look a little different.  Not horrible or frightening!  Just  because of his shape.  He has a curved spine.  He gets upset when people stare and when even grown men and women, yes adults, whisper and snigger.  WHY DO THEY DO THIS?  He is one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet. He's been married twice, has kids, and lives  life to the full but peoples ignorance get him down and he's starting to react after so many years putting up with remarks and staring.....any advice I could give him guys?   Saying ignore them doesn't seem enough.


  • Happyflower
    Happyflower Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I too have a similar condition but I've been lucky In that I either don't get noticed, or I'm oblivious to it ?
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,412

    Scope community team

    Hi @Happyflower

    That must be so annoying for your friend.  Sometimes people do really make you despair don't they?!  I can understand him starting to react.

    I think people do it for lots of reasons.  A lot of it could be they've never seen someone with a curved spine before and lack awareness so gawp or unfortunately they hold stigmatised views about people with different bodies and are ignorant in their actions.  

    I don't know what the right way to handle it is but I'd emphasise to your friend this is not his problem, it's wider society's attitudes to disabled people and a lack of education on different impairments. I appreciate that doesn't help him in the here and now though :( 

    Has he ever asked people why they are looking?  I can imagine when confronted most people would feel embarrassed.
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  • male45
    male45 Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    edited August 2020
    Hi Happy flower how are you today and how is your friend?
    Where I come from we have a few ways of dealing with people as you have described.
    One of the best is to stare right back and in a loud voice so others around can hear we would shout..""hey do you like what you're looking at", this would send them packing with red faces.
    A friend of mine who has a birth Mark full coloured on half his face just smiles and and acts like quasimoto towards them..they normally run away afraid.
    I'm not saying your friend or yourself should behave like this, but my friend has went from a silent bloke to someone with a lot of confidence 
    Sometimes the best thing to do is walk on and just imagine them naked lol
    Best Wishes 
  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 5,263 Disability Gamechanger
    Apart from confronting people in some way I don’t think there is a way of dealing with people staring. The only control we have really is in our own minds, how we attend to others attention is completely down to our own mental ability to block them in this instance. 

    “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

    ― Dalai Lama XIV
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,260 Disability Gamechanger
    I would go up to them and say you seem very interested in me would you like to know more about my disability ?
  • male45
    male45 Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    edited August 2020
    ask them out on a date 
    Best Wishes 
  • male45
    male45 Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    come on over and give me a big juicy kiss....
    Watch them go :smile:
    Best Wishes 
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,449 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello and welcome, as @janer1967 posted welcome them by encouragement In a conversation, asking for a time check or directions even if you know the way. It will break the ice and you never know you may have mis judged them, assumed they where talking about you in a nasty way. Bring a bit or humour into the conversation.


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