How people might act

The biggest challenge

For many people with a visible difference, the hardest thing is coping with other people and how they act, especially when in a public place, like a park or a supermarket or at school.

How people might react

People might stare or ask questions or make a comment. This is often because they are curious – or they might be wondering if you are ok.

Unfortunately, there might be times when people have laughed or said something rude to you. Other times, people may move away, or look away or ignore you.

It is not easy. But it might help to think why do people do this? Mostly it is people being thoughtless; most people are just curious and don’t mean to upset you – they don’t think about how this might make you feel.

Think about how you’ve acted when you’ve seen something or someone who looks different for the first time. Grab a pen and write it down. What did you think? What did you do?

How does this make you feel?

If these things happen to you, it can be hard to cope. You may feel:

  • Judged by others
  • Embarrassed
  • Self-conscious, like you stand out
  • Angry or cross
  • Sad and unhappy
  • Worried, anxious and scared
  • Unconfident and useless

All these feelings are understandable and it can be hard to deal with the things other people might say or do. If you are upset, don’t bottle it up – talk to a friend or someone in your family about it.

To help you deal with other people, you might like to try looking at:

Handling staring

Handling comments

Handling questions

And there are other self-help tools in this section you to look at to help you.

Handling staring

Read

Handling comments

Read

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