When we encounter a situation where another person looks or behaves differently it can cause us to react in a variety of different ways. Today, for instance, my husband and I went into an office to conduct personal business. The person behind the desk had a condition that we had seen before. Her situation was not a problem for her because she was wearing a garment that exposed it which leads me to believe that she was totally comfortable with the inconsistencies we observed in her working environment.
As an expert in assisting individuals with the normalizing of problematic physical conditions of this sort, I was able to ask myself a series of questions that made me believe that any help I may have offered to her would have been inappropriate in her small enclosed cubicle space. The experience made me pause however, and I realized that handling such circumstances really was not so difficult as long as I recognized two things (1) that I needed to be respectful of the environment and not just jump to conclusions thinking this professional women required my assistance (2) that common courtesy would be a great way to deal with the issue.
10 Additional Tips that Indicate What Reactions “WOULD NOT” be appropriate in a Professionals Workplace…
- Commenting on an inconstancy in someone’s appearance while they are in their workplace
- Mentioning the person’s problem to another person in an area where the person speaking can easily be overheard (for example: an open cubicle space without a ceiling or a door)
- Staring at the individual’s problem or making an obvious visual note of it
- Asking personal questions that would draw attention to a person’s problem
- Offering to handle the situation for the person by telling him or her that you have a remedy
- Offering unsolicited support of any kind to an individual with a disability without requesting if they need assistance
- Comparing disfigurements and directing a conversation away from the subject at hand, calling attention to one’s similar condition
- Denouncing the problem by pretending it is not obvious as it is by looking away, beyond it or in another direction
- By speaking down to the person as if he or she is less than because of his or her physical differences
- Appearing sympathetic to a person’s plight without understanding how or what caused the physical inconsistencies