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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Default Asking about injuries - where are they coming from?

    Since I've broken my ankle I've been on crutches and lately using a cane or visibly limping, which lets people in my environment know I'm injured. I'm young and generally wear work or athletic clothing, so this probably looks "off."

    People, total strangers, frequently ask about my injury - "how did you do that" or "what happened?" This is without any prior discussion or contact.

    Where are they coming from? Why are they asking?
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  2. #2
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Some people are like that

    Maybe they think they are being sympathetic. I used to get that when I had to use crutches when I had surgery on my feet.

    I still get concern from people when I seem to be having trouble sitting down or getting up, or need to stop and rest while walking because I still suffer pain from time to time.

  3. #3
    Ginkgo
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    It serves as an easy conversation starter, for one. People tend to seek connection with others. I can understand your confusion and perhaps paranoia, if you have any, since you've grown accustom to being injured by now, while everyone else sees you as a peculiarity.

    On the other hand, for those who are extremely familiar with injuries, I would say they feel it's part of a code of conduct, or a mode of sharing.

    People like to share interesting experiences.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    I'd imagine most people would respond with "I'm just trying to be nice", except that I find it extremely irritating.

    I can understand the desire to bond...but randomly asking people to recount the details of how they injured themselves seems like an especially obnoxious way to do that. Why?

    Because you're asking me to tell you a story. You, a stranger, when I'm doing something else, a story.

    Now if you made a comment like "that looks like it hurts" well, depending on how you said it, I'd find it neutral or amusing or still obnoxiously pitying (most common), but at least all that I have to do is shrug or say "yeah" or something like that. I don't mind unsolicited advice (quick and plainly delivered) for the same reason - it's take it or leave it.

    But asking me to tell you a story, much less a story about something that was potentially traumatic? Now I'm either left with 1) ignore you 2) tell you to go away or 3) go along and tell you something and then I'm at your whim. Now I'm forced to expend effort to explain myself, without having any reason to believe it's going to be of any benefit to me at all, and in all likelihood it's going to open me up to pitying which I don't want in the first place.

    People I know, I'm ok with that, random person while I'm doing something else? Frustrating and tiring.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  5. #5
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    I'd imagine most people would respond with "I'm just trying to be nice", except that I find it extremely irritating.

    I can understand the desire to bond...but randomly asking people to recount the details of how they injured themselves seems like an especially obnoxious way to do that. Why?

    Because you're asking me to tell you a story. You, a stranger, when I'm doing something else, a story.
    I share your irritation at such comments. If the other person wants to bond, perhaps they should find someone else who shares that wish, rather than attempting to do so with every random stranger who has some unusual "feature". I actually make a point not to ask about someone's injury, until I have got to know them enough to feel comfortable asking what is probably a personal question.
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  6. #6
    garbage
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    Curiosity, sympathy, or both.

    While I'm not always shy about sharing personal stories, I usually try to think of a 2-3 word answer that I can spout off whenever I don't feel like talking about it. It satisfies curiosity with minimal effort and with minimal further discussion; and often it (intentionally) signals "--and that's all the explanation you're gonna get."

  7. #7

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    I guess it is just interesting. Curiosity. Injuries attract attention and your injury is the type it is acceptable manner wise to ask about. As opposed to for example "How did you get that massive scar?"

  8. #8
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    Since I've broken my ankle I've been on crutches and lately using a cane or visibly limping, which lets people in my environment know I'm injured. I'm young and generally wear work or athletic clothing, so this probably looks "off."

    People, total strangers, frequently ask about my injury - "how did you do that" or "what happened?" This is without any prior discussion or contact.

    Where are they coming from? Why are they asking?


    I don't mind queries from strangers based on neutral curiosity/concern. That's natural, I guess, even if the pity aspect can feel a bit cloying. Some people are more forward than others, & that's fine. It's really the delivery/context of the situation that makes it more or less acceptable for me, personally.

    I don't mind if people make somewhat amusing commentary. Like when my old ISTP roommate had foot surgery the same time I did, & we were both crutching round the Boston Museum of Science, some guy observed us passing, & asked, "ey, you two get in a kick-fight or somethin?" To which we nodded, & moved on.



    Other people.. their commentary isn't out of concern or to try to make light of an obviously unpleasant situation, it's sheer obnoxiously inconsiderate behavior. Like conscious disregard for how the other person might feel, almost.


    - When I had bandages on my face from disfiguring infections/had surgery to correct it, etc, I'd gone to a grocery store (I mean, I still needed food, even if I felt like a monster)- & this chick at the register just asked outright, "OMG DID U GET IN A CAR ACCIDENT OR SOMETHING?!"

    I was self-conscious enough as it was, y'know.. what a stupid fucking thing to say. I just wanted to buy my strawberries and go the fuck home. The person behind me was at-attention & curious at that point, too. I just stared at the cashier & responded in deadpan. "I wish."



    -A woman I had to sit beside on a flight last year also asked me before takeoff, almost disgustedly, like she was afraid she'd catch something off me, "what happened to your FACE..?" I was too tired to give a shit, but on principle it was like.. wow.. you exist. Wow. I think I muttered something about surgery and then feigned sleep for the next four hours.


    In short, some people are simply nosy and retarded, & don't care if they're going to make you uncomfortable.
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  9. #9
    WALMART
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    I had a customer with burns on about every part of his body. I'd always been curious, but never asked. Finally one day he brought up the subject, so I asked him what happened. Turns out he was involved in a friendly fire incident in the 80's =/


    I've quoted this like a trillion times on these forums, but Romero once said people like these types of things because we are deeply concerned about human frailty.

  10. #10
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    ^ I think that is part of it. There is a natural concern about injuries, even for strangers..

    And there is a natural curiosity. I am forever a slave to being curious, even when parts of me are scared/terrified/apathetic to the situation.. If I saw a young guy walking with a cane, and I didn't ask, I'd make up some elaborate story in my head that makes the situation that probably actually happened seem..

    But ... Every so often, you're rewarded for being curious.. because sometimes you get very amazing, interesting stories from the person. Stories of love, and adventure, and excitement.. the things you read about as a kid--they're living it! and showing living proof of it! It's pretty awesome to find a story like that--and since it usually doesn't hurt to ask, I tend to ask.
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