While it’s natural to make initial judgments based on appearance, true understanding comes from looking beyond the surface.
A user asked the forum, “What is something people wrongly assume about you all the time?”. Let’s look at the top responses.
“I’m 70 years old, look older, retired, and walk 3X daily. People stop their cars assuming that I have dementia and am lost.”
MATHEMATICS AND DRIVING
“I’m an Asian guy with glasses. People assume I’m bad at driving and good at math. I’m actually bad at both.”
“I have a resting miserable face. Even when I’m perfectly happy, I look morose. Every summer, I go to music festivals and will routinely have people come up and check on me to make sure I’m okay because I look like I’m on the verge of tears.
It doesn’t help that I look a good 20 years older than I actually am, so they just see this worn-out old git who looks like they are on the edge of a breakdown. In fact, I’m usually just happy inside my own head, enjoying the music.”
BEING JUDGED FOR THE FACE
“I’m approachable and will want to talk to them. I just have one of those faces, unfortunately.”
KNOWS ANSWER FOR TV SHOW QUESTIONS
“My wife assumes that I know the answer to the multiple questions she has about the T.V. show we are both watching for the first time.”
“That I’m very helpless and insecure. It’s a result of my disability. Disabled people generally struggle with the problem that able-bodied people frequently infantilize them. In my case, this may be stronger than in others because I’m blind.
When you’re blind, your body motions, and especially the way you walk, tend to be very cautious. This has multiple reasons. For starters, I obviously don’t want to get hurt (it still happens, but I try to avoid it).
Secondly, I don’t want to break things. For example, when I’m in an unfamiliar place, I’m always super rigid and careful because I’m scared I will knock over something and cause a giant mess (it has happened before).
Thirdly, I also use my hands to explore my surroundings. When I step into a room, I can’t just “take it in” in a single glance like sighted people can. I need to explore it with my hands and my body. This takes much longer than simply looking at something.
Not being able to see also means I need to memorize everything. For example, I need to memorize where the door is, how far away it is from the table, and so on. This takes up tons of brain space that sighted people can use for other tasks.
Sometimes, I get lost, and I need to re-orient myself. I know it sounds funny, but I’ve even managed to get lost in my 2-bedroom apartment once or twice. I know these situations quite well by now, so they don’t stress me out as much as they used to. I simply gather my thoughts, touch my surroundings, and after a minute or two, I’m re-oriented.
However, I’ve noticed that sighted people find it very hard to watch this. They want to help me (which is nice), but seeing me like this also gives them the impression that I’m a lost little child feeling completely insecure.
This view of me as a blind person can be very frustrating sometimes, especially when I’m trying to talk to a woman. I’m an adult, and I actually feel just as confident as the next person.
I just look more insecure and helpless because I’m slower because I bump into things, and because I sometimes get a little lost. But it’s not actually a big deal. It just takes extra patience to deal with those situations.”
FIX A COMPUTER
“People assume I can fix their computer because I work in I.T.”
“That I’m all muscle, no brains. I’m tall and like to work, but I literally know nothing about sports. Obsessed with anime video games and chess.”
“That I can’t have ADHD when I tell them about my diagnosis.
“Oh, but you don’t fiddle around a lot or are impulsive enough to have that.”
Please look up the different types of ADHD before you make assumptions; thanks.”
“I’m introverted, so when I go out and meet new people, I don’t talk so much. It got to my ears that people assumed that I was arrogant. They can get that you can be good-looking and well-dressed but have social anxiety.”
JUDGMENT FOR PIERCINGS AND TATTOOS
“People often think I’m ‘up to no good’ because I have lots of piercings and tattoos. But my full-time job is taking care of dementia patients. I hug the ones who let me; I sincerely have a soft spot for them.”
“That I’m borderline broke.
I drive my mum’s 20-year-old car that she doesn’t use anymore, get all my clothes in charity shops (which I love and talk about enthusiastically), and the only social events I tend to show up at are festivals.
I make really good money; I’m just very un-materialistic day to day and spend my money on things people don’t necessarily notice or that I don’t brag about.
I’m also an introvert and find social interaction exhausting, so I invest that energy in big events, and I’m very quiet the rest of the time and I go on holiday by myself!”
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.