Every person with a visible disability knows what it feels like to be patronized. It happens so often that one of the biggest challenges of having a disability is trying to figure out who among the people around you can be trusted to treat you normally and be a true friend. Unfortunately, there are people who attempt to befriend those with disabilities to feel better about themselves, to make themselves look good by other people or in the worst cases to manipulate and take advantage of those they perceive to be less capable.
Understanding this reality, here are ten characteristics to seek out in potential relationships with others.
1) Honest Communication
The right kind of people to be around are those who prove they are truthful, sincere and straight forward in their communication. Honest communication is not simply always telling you what you’d like to hear. When difficult conversations must occur, a good person will focus their communication not to harm or belittle but rather to inform. Sometimes this kind of honest communication isn’t easy to hear but when conveyed fairly and respectfully it can often lead to extremely helpful realizations.
I personally think reliability is the biggest indicator of a quality person. If you can count on someone to be where they say they will be and to fulfill their promises on a day to day basis then you’ve likely found the kind of person who truly cares about you, your time and your well-being.
This trait is often talked about but perhaps isn’t as understood as it should be. Respect isn’t just about being nice or simply saying the right thing. It’s an action that shows a person is willing to modify their behavior and their decisions based on an appreciation of your past experiences, your feelings, your privacy and your differences.
4) They’re Willing To Try New Things
A quality person isn’t closed off to new ideas and experiences. They may not want examine all the stamps in your collection or collect butterflies with you. But, a good quality person will want to learn and possibly become involved with the things you enjoy while at the same time extending that same courtesy to you based on their interests.
5) They Make Time
Personally, I’m immediately suspicious of anyone who tells me they don’t have time. All of our lives would be pretty painful and awful if we didn’t make time to see those close to us while also doing the things we enjoy. Anyone who tells you they don’t have time either has a very unbalanced life or they’re just not that into you.
Anyone who has to make things up or lie to get your attention should be avoided. If it feels like someone is trying really hard to impress you they probably aren’t being truthful about their intentions or they are misrepresenting themselves. Be careful around those who boast excessively or keep promising things that don’t happen. Odds are good they aren’t all they appear to be.
7) An Encouraging Attitude
Good people see possibilities for their friends and encourage them to be all they can be.
8) Calculated Helpfulness
The right kind of friends don’t try to do the things for you that they know you’re capable of doing. As these people get to know you, you’ll notice them because they’ll be the ones who will help out at those crucial times when they know the help is truly needed and often you won’t even have to ask them.
9) They Expect Equality
People who respect others also respect themselves. As a result, they will not be taken advantage of and will expect those involved in their lives to give as much as they get in the relationship. Of course, there are periods of time in relationships when it can’t always be equal but a quality person will remove themselves from a relationship if they feel they’re being mistreated or taken for granted.
10) They Challenge You
Quality people will challenge your way of thinking and present new ideas to you. If you’re being lazy, a whiner or a complainer a quality person will often be the first to kick you in the butt and inform you of your need to adjust your attitude.