Social Question

janbb's avatar

Was it rude to ask this question?

Asked by janbb (55237points) 2 weeks ago

I was in outpatient PT today and the therapist was working hard with someone who had obviously been going there a long time. The woman could barely walk and was using two canes to get around. At the end of the hour, we were sitting near each other and I asked the woman if she had had a stroke. She said she had Cerebral Palsy.

She didn’t seem offended and I would not have a problem with someone asking what had happened to me but I am left wondering if it was rude to ask.

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15 Answers

ucme's avatar

Pesky social etiquette dictates your niggling self doubt.
It does you credit & so with no harm done, rest easy.

raum's avatar

At the grocery store, possibly rude.
At a center for PT, seems fair game.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

You were both in the PT’s office so that kind of question isn’t as bad as if you were out shopping and asked it randomly.
She didn’t take offense, so i wouldn’t sweat it.
I often use a cane and have been asked all sorts of stuff.People never have a mean or rude tone of voice when they ask and I haven’t been offended even if I think it is a bit on the nosy side.
In fact, they often seem embarrassed to have asked when I tell them my “problem”. :)

janbb's avatar

I’m not sweating it really but did think it worth bringing up as a question. Thanks for responding guys.

canidmajor's avatar

I agree that the context here is important. At the PT place, not inappropriate at all.

Zaku's avatar

I wouldn’t consider it amounted to “rude”, which I’d say is a personal call anyway.

But I might choose to start by asking a person whether they mind if I ask them about their case or not.

flutherother's avatar

I find that people recuperating from severe illnesses are usually keen to talk about their experiences rather than keeping quiet about them. Suggesting someone is showing symptoms of a stroke is maybe taking a chance. If they haven’t had a stroke they might find it offensive. What they are suffering from will probably come up naturally once you start talking with them.

kritiper's avatar

Not rude. It’s possible you could have come up with the answer you sought by getting around the exact words in another way. Like asking if she had been in an accident.

filmfann's avatar

I know you are well intentioned.
It’s just the words; it’s the inflection, body language, facial expression…
People have a low butt-hurt threshold. I’m glad it was well received. It could easily have gone the other way

jca2's avatar

I wouldn’t start out by asking the other person what their ailment was. I would start by saying something about myself. I’d say something like “Therapy is so tiring it’s nice to sit here for a minute and take a rest. My ankle really hurts today. I was hiking in Guadalajara with my family and I fell and broke it.” Then I’d see if the other person offers what happened to them. If they don’t, then I’d assume they don’t want to tell me or they don’t feel like talking. If they do, then we have a conversation.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Well, it was in keeping with the place and the moment so it’s all good.

mazingerz88's avatar

IMO not rude just normal curiosity. I’m still trying to formulate in my head why the person who was asked might find it rude. The person’s mood at the time might play into it?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

You never know WHO might find some random thing rude / offensive / insensitive in today’s Facebook world.

Sagacious's avatar

I can only say I would not have asked.

Inspired_2write's avatar

If it was she would had told you outright.
The fact that she didn’t meant that she was OK with it.

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