It’s true that we all inherit character traits from our parents and absorb them from spending time with our peers, but what if the character traits we have are there because of a condition we deal with?
I was always considered to be lazy at home and in school. It didn’t matter what I did, or how hard I tried, I failed to make the grade. My parents sadly never talked about the fact that I was falling behind in school.
It was inevitable that I would struggle emotionally, physically and academically because of cerebral palsy, but no one took the time to understand or ask questions that would help them understand ‘me’, why I presented a certain way and what I had to deal with. The things I struggled with didn’t tie in with people’s expectations of me.
Some people without a disability will have traits that are annoying to others, but many of those traits are because of learned bad habits. For those who deal with a disability, they will present and may have certain emotional character traits, because they don’t have the capability to behave in any other way.
There are also many other conditions which have a similar effect, such as bipolar syndrome, dealing with memory loss and dyslexia, indeed any condition where the brain has been affected in some way. It is very easy to fail to understand why people behave in the way they do and then assume. We genuinely need to stand back and be more accepting of people and what they deal with.
One thing is certain, we would be much better placed to begin to help others if we set out to understand, instead of assuming why someone presents a certain way and we still get that wrong. We must ask and simply not assume.