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Friendships

kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
Do other wheelchair users have difficulty making friendships , I have people I speak to etc when I go places but no mates my own age, I am 32 to have a night out with as most non disabled people have. I suppose they don't want to be bothered with a wheelchair tagging along they only see the chair not the person in it.

Replies

  • joannarashellejoannarashelle Member Posts: 135 Pioneering
    Hello @kenny I don't have a wheelchair no visible disability I have Autism though like you I find it difficult to make friends but for different reasons. 
    I'm wary of people, a lot of them freak me out!

    But want you to know there are people out there who wouldn't notice your wheelchair they'd just see you for you and what you can do not what you can't. 

    I hope you find kindred spirits on here who you can chat with

    Joanna
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
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  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you thought about joining social clubs to make new friends?  I joined the WI this year to meet new people and to take part in new activities and hobbies.

    It's usually quite tough for most people to make new friends! Can you look around for a hobby or group you might like to try? 
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Thanks for the advice I can see in not the only one, just feel a bit envious when I see a group of people similar age to me going out and about, yes I do go places like the gym and bingo but as I said people pass the time of day with me but have never formed a friendship
  • joannarashellejoannarashelle Member Posts: 135 Pioneering
    Howdy @kenny, I know what you mean, we can sometimes unwittingly put barriers up so people can't reach us if you get my meaning, perhaps people think you're self reliant I know some think I am and I am in lots of ways, but there's lots out there who struggle to find kindred spirits with friends, you'd be surprised. 

    Ive always had dogs, have made some of my best friends while out walking my fur babies. 

    There will be lots on here who'll give you advice who may feel the same as you xx



  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Great point @joannarashelle dog walking has meant I got to chat to people even when I was feeling isolated.  If you don't have a dog, there are websites where you can sign up and walk other peoples dogs, and lots of dog rescue homes need volunteers for dog walking too.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • joannarashellejoannarashelle Member Posts: 135 Pioneering
    And visiting others who might not be able to leave the house!

    I think it's called befriending.

    Other volunteering work helps make friends, in places you wouldn't expect xxx
  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Thanks for your comments, I do try but find some don't answer the phone when I ring, and yes I do chat to people but its only day to day stuff what I was trying to get across was a real friend who would want to go places with me or ring for a chat that sort of thing
  • lisalouise999lisalouise999 Member Posts: 17 Listener
    edited March 2017
    I know what you mean Kenny. You want a friend, not an acquaintance. I have very little in the way of friends and feel that even family keep me at arms length. They may not be unkind, but just don't see me in the same light. I'm not in my wheelchair all the time and I know that I experience this. I'm 30 this year and feel quite down that people just don't want me as a close friend it seems. If i see for example a family members friend at a family party, they always gravitate towards me to enjoy a good chat about anything and everything. They genuinely seem to really enjoy my company, but then after the party they almost ignore me. I wish I had a solution for you, if you find one maybe you can share it with me :)  
  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    Yes what you say is true, people chat to me I'm sure they like me, but not many invites come my way, and I am on the outside looking in! If only people knew how much a phone call or invite would mean to us!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
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  • Zec RichardsonZec Richardson Member Posts: 155 Pioneering
    I think it's a problem that many of us have. 

    I used to have a lot of friends but slowly over the years they have stopped calling or visiting. This is likely down to my unreliable life now, I cancel often because I'm having a bad day or it could be that I have actually changed. 

    I have always spoken honestly, but over the last few years I have adopted a 100% truth policy. It's often not popular with people but I am so much happier now I don't say what I think people want to hear. 

    Pain also has made me an old grumpy *insert word* and so I don't blame people for not wanting to be around me. I manage to appear fairly normal on social media and I have some good friends on various social networks and so for now that is where I socialise. 
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Member Posts: 418 Pioneering
    There are several reasons why people don't want to associate closely with the disabled.
    They think you will be bitter and boring.
    They believe you will hold them back while getting anywhere.
    They don't want life's "bad stuff" to get close to them.
    They don't want to see how fragile their own existence is.

    The lies bother me too. "Oh sorry I've not been, I just don't know what to say."

    It was much worse back before I was in remission. Tell someone you have cancer and a look of horror and revulsion comes over their face.

    I wouldn't want to meet some pitying do-gooder though. Forums and text chat have been the way for me. Everyone is the same behind a computer screen. It's all about who is inside then and not about the shell.
  • kennykenny Member Posts: 77 Courageous
    I once read that the thing most disabled people would wish for is a friend, a true friend to talk to to confide in go out with etc. Yes we can chat online but its not the same as going out with mates for a pint! I know I won't be asked because no one wants to be lumbered with a wheelchair, or finding a disabled toilet, or fetching drinks from the bar, yes we can pay people to take us, but it is something I dislike. So we sit here watching the world go by!
  • izaiza Member Posts: 467 Pioneering
    edited March 2017
    Hi @kenny

    I read the full discussion here. I have to say it does not matter if you are wheelchair user or not, that stope people to make friendship or uphold the friendship just been before. 
    In many cases people just have very active lifestyle these days. Full times jobs, gym at lunch time. After work- running to empower themselves to entrepreneurs or conference, business or networking meetings. Finally coming home knocked dawn that they hardly can prepare any meal themselves so use microwaves reheated dishes from supermarkets and on top of that if you have family with kids whom scream for attention the old friends seems just to be forgotten. 
    And if you work,  let's say in London and leave outside of city on average the journey one way is over 1.5 hour one way,  so 3 hours  a day (if everything works perfectly) you are spending in train. 
    This  is just lifestyle of  XXI century. If you look now for friendship from people who have similar style of living I  just described above I would not count for it but look for people who are in similar situation and have much slower lifestyle (due to any reasons) they will be the one you should hang too. 

    Have a nice weekend and hope you will feel much better soon and you will find new friends. 

    Iza 


  • Jenny25Jenny25 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I too am a wheelchair user, that feels isolated.  It is hard because people just don't know how to speak to you. I like it when people actually talk to me which is very rare or they say oh bless you can you manage or they can't look at you whilst talking to you.  If anyone fancies a chat I would love it.
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  • feeffeef Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi there I also have trouble with friendships and I can't seem to get people to understand that the person I want to be with is not what they expected from me unfortunately he lives in a care home and his team leader doesn't support our relationship to make matters worse I volunteer there and today I found that they are keeping us apart deliberately I'm so angry and hurt also as he has no speech and can only shout I don't know that he's happy about this either. It's hard to deal with.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
    edited August 2017
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  • feeffeef Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I know that  but unfortunately he has autism and doesn't get that the team leader doesn't have the right to make decisions about who he can see if the team leader told him to jump off a cliff I reckon he would.

    Her reason why are that we are making other people jealous.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
    edited March 2017
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  • feeffeef Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Yeah I could but they could kick me out of my volunteer job which I really enjoy and I would lose all the other friends I have I'm in a tricky position. It doesn't help that the manager has only been there just over a month and doesn't understand what's been going on he listens to his team leaders too much.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
    edited August 2017
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