Lauren IRL: How To Handle Nosy Strangers

In real life (IRL), we must face our differences head on. I want you to follow me on my journey to do just that through this “Lauren IRL” video series and learn something about your own journey along the way.

This site has promised to be a unfiltered and real resource for those with disabilities and other life struggles while bringing awareness to those hurdles that have influenced who we’ve become as people. There’s no doubt that Cerebral Palsy, and any other disability, will impact our professional endeavors in some way, shape, or form. I’ve written about overcoming these obstacles many times in the past. But CP is not something that can be turned off once you get home. I deal with it every day. I usually write about disability, but very rarely do I publicly post about it in video form. Recently, I had a conversation about expanding my coverage on this very topic, then this happened.


After an all-to-common encounter with yet another inquisitive stranger at the grocery store, I was at a loss for words (shocking, I know)! I always welcome the questions I get from the public about my disability, but sometimes, their immediate reactions leave me feeling uncomfortable and unsure how to proceed. This man became extremely sorrowful after I answered his questions and I instantly felt the need to comfort him in aisle four. I’d like to explain that my disability is a blessing and a positive influence in my life, but I don’t feel like the dairy aisle at Aldi is the proper time or place for such loaded words. So instead, I proceeded to word vomit and make everything awkward. Here are my initial reactions to this event.




Who else has experience in this area? How do you deal with strangers who take pity on your story and still remain positive about the encounter? Let me know in the comments below!


Have a topic you’d like me to cover? Head on over to “Ask Lauren” and type away!

About The Author

Lauren Hamer

Lauren is the brains behind CaPABLE…and Beyond, founder of LaunchPoint Resume, Cerebral Palsy have-er, and constant chaser of the ‘good life’. Money and Career writer at The Cheat Sheet and occasional freelancer for career, money, and organizational development topics.