The Blindness Quadrant: Making Friends, Sighted or Blind, As A Blind Person

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe. I feel like bringing a new topic into the Blindness Quadrant today!

How to Make Friends, Both Sighted and Blind, as a Blind Person!

Disclaimer: This post is based not only based on response and opinion but also a real life experience. Please respect what I’m about to say on this since I have an opinion of what I think should be important!

I may not be the Princess Twilight Sparkle but tis post is based on something that happened to me recently and I wanted to make this post. Being visually impaired may cause some people to be more isolated or even alone and don’t have any friends until they either go to college or a Vocational Rehab Center or even start their job somewhere. There are some tendencies that can happen that can make others feel awkward or not and these tips can go either way and this is what I came up with!

Don’t Mention What You and Your Significant Other Do behind Closed Doors: Okay, this was part of my meet up with this one guy and it made it feel awkward and that is mentioning what he and his girl do behind closed doors. So, let me tell you the first part of the story and that on Facebook two weeks ago I believe I get a friend request from this one guy and accepted it since he was a mutual friend to some of my blind friends I knew from the past and today and then on Messenger he messages me about how he was doing a flag football thing with disabled people and responded with, “Hey that’s awesome!” And left it at that. I’m in my and Gondras’ room watching YouTube since I was kind of exhausted from work since I do wake up early every day for it. I get a call and it was him and answered to be polite and we talked and one of the things he mentioned how he and his girl had threesomes and that caused me to think:

Dude: “Me: I and my girl do this! How about you!?”
Me in Thought: What!?
Me in Response: Okay…what kind of phone you use?

I felt like in Mass Effect but with two responses where one goes in my head and then I say something else and what this guy was talking about made me feel awkward. I understand that there are times where a blind person can be an open book but we can’t always be an open book as in not everyone wants to know what you do behind closed doors! Not everyone is comfortable when it comes to talking about sex and I admit I had the same thoughts as my parents with it when I dated my ex ayes ago and about to be with Gondras and I became more mature as time goes on and just keep the stuff we do to myself and if I did talk about it my friends would be really uncomfortable if we first met. As in, please keep this stuff to yourself because we don’t want to make anyone feel awkward even with friendships.
Keep Sexual Orientation Under Wraps Unless You’re Comfortable to Mention It: A lot of people tend to come out of the closet but others have a hard time doing it and not everyone is too keen on others mentioning it on the first meet up. I don’t even reveal mine to friends I first meet unless I feel comfortable later but first time meeting this guy I did tell him because he revealed as we talked on Messenger his girlfriend’s sexuality and I was like and going with Mass Effect with my responses here:

Paragon: Really? Are you sure you should be telling me this?
Renegade: Why do I need to know this!?
Sarcasm Me: Great, now I feel like the spotlight is on me!

So, my tip is to keep this under wraps unless you’re more comfortable when the friendship continues. I have really great friends that supported me for the longest time especially with my personality and my disability and things like this when I meet someone new I don’t want to scare them off and that was how I felt! I felt scared and uncomfortable with this guy because this was a private thing like the first tip above because we don’t know each other. Just be nice and be on your merry way!
If you’re going TO Invite People, Just invite them To a Place Familiar Not Your Own: What I mean is that don’t invite people to your place right away even if it has awesome items like a hot tub or pool. I know that doesn’t make sense but hear me out. At first it felt like this guy wanted me to hang out for bowling at first and flag football meet ups even in the Messenger chat. I was cool with that but at the same time you know I’m busy with Nerdy Shique Universe whether it’s a video or a blog post and sometimes straightening up some stuff in our apartment, even now with our closet which is my latest project. I tried saying I might hang out and then he mentioned his place! As in wanting me to come over to cook for me and possibly swim in his pool at his complex and so on. I felt the red flags guys because after the first two tips I felt as though they may do something I may feel weird about. This kind of goes hand in hand with the next item but I feel that this was weird and getting too close and claustrophobic for me. When I met any of my friends we tend to hang out at bookstores, malls, and other places even after we first met because it would feel weird if we show up at first at their place. For instance, when we first met Tobi he just used the bus to get home and also we dropped him off at his dad’s place until he felt comfortable to let us visit once we got to know each other. We do have some of those friends that want to hang at their place on the first meet up but most of the time we have to head home from where we hang out at. Which brings me to the next point!
Understand that When Someone Can’t Hang Out Means They Can’t: I know this sounds disappointing but some of us are grownups and understanding that things do come up or someone has to be at work early in the morning the next day and that they can’t hang out or hang out until a certain time. Or if they get sick which does happen! For instance, when I first went through a bad allergy attack years ago, I couldn’t go see Skyfall with Gondras because I was sick! So, I had him take Nerdy Shirts with him instead. So now to fast forward with the story to Saturday night after having dinner at a newer Japanese place since our fave place in Orlando closed down. So, dude messages me again on Messenger and he asked about Sunday with the flag football thing and said that I will be busy and same with Gondras so we can’t make it. He sounded so immature in my head that he was just joking that he may cry or something. Our friends understand that we can’t hang out if we either got sick or if we’re at a convention and so on because we know each other long enough that things can happen or we’re really busy with work. Heck, I can’t answer messages as much at work every day from my own friends until I have a break in between. Heck, with understanding not wanting to hang out, heck I had another friend that I had to end a friendship recently but when I got back to being friends with them years ago he wanted to hang out but this was when I had family over for the summer and couldn’t hang out with him and his girlfriend at the time. This is a different person by the way! Anyways, also this dude tried to invite us to Disney too when we’re going to be in Orlando for RangerStop. I tried explaining that when we do press were busy and I told Gondras about this part since I asked for advice about this dude and we agreed that we only have the money for bills for November and going to RangerStop as in for food, probably some merch to pick up if we can, and of course our hotel room since we’re staying at the same place where the convention is at and plus our feet will be hurting at the end of the night like with every convention. Trust me, when I was at Omni and got back to our room I was out like a lamp! Even though dude tried pleading somewhat I said, “Can’t! Busy that weekend!” Since he and his girlfriend are going to be at Disney for holiday parties starting that weekend. If this was Tobi and Vivi, they would understand more since they know our schedule during conventions is pretty hectic. But nope, this is where the next point is important!
Know Your Boundaries: So, after talking with Gondras I had to put my foot down because I felt like my boundaries weren’t being respected by this dude. I felt like I was about to freak out and not kidding. I was glad I didn’t save his number when he tried calling mine after asking for it since I did have the Unknown Numbers to Voicemail thing on with my phone at the time due to telemarketers. Plus, he also tried asking for my photos since he was able to see some of my features and apparently he liked what he saw and wanted more, I only stuck it to one and that was when I knew I had to put my boundaries in place! Next morning I sent him a message on Messenger telling him that I have my guy and he has his girl and I have my life and he has his and that I felt uncomfortable with things and that we were also not into sports. So, I was taken out of the Messenger Group Chat and apparently he thought we were not on the same page since all he wanted was to hang out. Which I felt with the conversation Friday things were getting too much! My friends know that people do have boundaries and respect those. I remembered being a teen and I always wanted to talk to people on the phone so much I felt I annoyed them and did grow up out of it and now I respect their boundaries. I do ask my friends for advice but of course I only talk to them on and off since we do have our jobs or things we do on a daily basis. I did mention that I’m also busy and can’t always answer messages until break time.
The Mute Button Is Your Friend: If someone can’t take the hint that you want space, the mute button on Messenger, Twitter, and other places can be your friend. I had to block some annoying people myself on Messenger, even one recently that didn’t take the hint that I can’t talk due to taking a shower and need to get to bed. This dude I have talked to that weekend I had to mute him because he didn’t really take a hint of boundaries need to be made. I did mute him after seeing a message asking about my week when I had my allergies catch up to me and had to miss work. I know it was mean of me but I felt as though I would feel uncomfortable if we talked again. Sorry!
If It Gets Too Much, Let Them Go: There are times if the friendship goes downhill or gets too much it means it’s time to let that person go. I will use that one other guy as an example because he did say something really bad and that he wished he was blind like me! As you all know I don’t wish my eye condition on anyone even my own worst enemy! Being blind is not easy and the adjustment period is sometimes hard for some and easy for others. When this guy said that I felt like he doesn’t know what I go through despite having everything as in a fiancé that takes care of me, press opportunities, even a college degree but I worked hard to graduate, there are times where getting press can be hectic, and my fiancé has been with me since I revealed I was going blind and that was a true test. Now GOndras and I have been together for thirteen years and we’re living together. When I let him go as a friend, this guy by the way, it felt well actually because losing a friend is not easy but if they get too toxic then letting them go would be the best option. I have done better letting this guy go and people just find it awful that I had to hear that statement since they know my story even if it’s inspirational. Still, if something bad happens then letting them go is the best option.

Well guys that is it for this post. It felt good to get things off my chest and having friends is pretty important and I keep the friends I have closer to me for the longest time. There are boundaries when it comes to making those friends and understanding that you can’t always hang out due to other obligations. I hope some of you take some of these tips to heart and be careful with who you meet because they may end up acting like this dude above that I met recently so please just know some of us do have lives. Next post will be another book review! Stay tuned!

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