Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I didn't know what to do

Okay, so I was in line at the grocery store last night, and the woman ahead of me was unloading her groceries out of her cart. And she was doing it slowly, because one of her arms was crippled.

And I SO MUCH WANTED to ask if I could help, but I was afraid it would embarrass her, or insult her.

And I remembered back when my wrist was broken and my arm was in a splint, and I would have GLADLY accepted any help offered. But then I worried that maybe it was different when the disability was permanent, and maybe she'd be mortified if I tried to help. I didn't know what to do. So in the end, I did nothing, and this morning it is STILL bothering me.

So. As usual I am clueless here. Should I have asked if she needed/wanted help? Should I have just gone ahead and started unloading her groceries with her? What would you have done?

I need to know, in case it happens again.


~~Silk said...

There's no rule. It truly depends on the person. Some will appreciate and some will be offended, and unless you know them, you won't know which.

I always offer. If they are offended, that's their thing. Offering is my thing.

Bridgett said...

Yep, I control my actions and let others control their reactions. A simple "Would you like some help?" puts the ball in their court and then they can choose to say yes or no. I try not to just jump in and help without asking because that seems to me an infringement on a person's autonomy -- in that situation, I would want as much control over who I said yes to as possible because not everyone means well when they start encroaching and testing how able you really are.

the queen said...

My disables Mom would answer that if she was accomplishing the task, then she didnt need any help. The worst thing anyone every said to her was while she was out gardening, a neighbor came by and asked if she needed help. When mom refused the neighbor said, "I had to ask because it just makes my skin crawl watching you try."

rockygrace said...

Thanks for the advice, guys. And queen, your mom's neighbor sounds like a real peach.

Vinomom said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I like how Silk puts it. I am one of those overly pushy people, so I probably would have definitely offered. Or I might have just not said anything at all and started helping.