You can feel their eyes on you and it makes you want to shrink, shrivel, and become invisible. What are they looking at? What are they thinking? And most importantly, why are you feeling this way?
Let's be honest. The physical changes caused by some types of arthritis can lead to some awkward situations. Maybe difficult is even a better descriptive word than awkward for such situations. Take a moment and envision:
- limping or difficulty walking
- difficulty with stairs or needing assistance getting up from a low seat
- the clumsiness presented by turning a key or doorknob
- the impossibility of opening a new bottle or jar
- fumbling the change handed back to you by a cashier
- using the handicapped restroom or handicapped parking place
- hand deformity or other obvious physical deformities whether major or minor
The discomfort and uneasiness of these and similar situations can quickly draw a stare from another person. The other person stares because they see something out of the ordinary, something not quite "normal".
What's Really Behind The Stare?
- Is the person that is staring consciously projecting negative feelings?
- Are they ill-at-ease with anything that appears less than normal?
- Are they fearful of what they don't understand?
- Are they made tense as they imagine themselves in the awkward predicament they are witnessing?
- Is it just idle curiosity?
We can assume that what's really behind a stare varies and in any instance you can only guess what's really behind the stare. A person can stare because of:
The person being stared at has few options as a response to the imposed embarrassment. They can internalize the negativity which they receive as vibes from the person who is staring, whether the negative vibes are deliberate or not. They can give in to the uneasiness created by their own swirling emotions made more turbulent by a combination of:
Or, they can consciously shed the negativity by resolving to feel confident and significant, a master of the challenges they face, undiminished by the ogling of another person.
People With Arthritis Stare Too
It is interesting to realize that people with a disability such as arthritis, who are sometimes offended when stared at, admittedly stare at others with a disability too. It is as though they are making a mental comparison between their own situation and that of the other disabled person, perhaps visually determining who is worse or what there is in common.
It is fair to conclude that what is really behind a stare is part of human nature. People who exhibit differences, or what is considered not typical or not normal, will forever be the target of staring. To remain unaffected by other people who are focused in on your limitations, it is important to develop a shield that will protect your determination, your feelings of self-worth, and your positive attitude.