How do you deal with hecklers

Hi, sorry haven’t been on here in ages, hope your all doing ok, I have a question about hecklers, After a huge bout of depression last year I started getting my courage up to use my power chair if we were out, its just proved easier than me scrabbling about like Bambi on ice and I get to keep up with everyone and enjoy my time out instead of ending it early and regretting it for days after.

Last Sunday I had a great day out and we just got back to the car, and I got off my scooter to get in the car, when a group of lads yelled across the car park " oy lard#ss if you can walk what the hell are you doing in that".

I was mortified and over the last week my confidence has just hurtled to the ground, I can’t stop crying and haven’t been out on my scooter or chair since. I used my crutches yesterday and today, absolutely exhausted now but I couldn’t cope with any more comments, I think I would have just burst out crying.

I feel like I’m right back to square one, why does it seem that people accept you on crutches if it looks like your struggling, some sort of justification for your blue badge but smiling and enjoying the day in a wheelchair is being lazy, especially when I dare to get out of it and step 2 metres to the car. Really haven’t got the energy for this rubbish, I can’t help being able to walk a small distance, surely that should be a good thing or does that make me a benefit cheat.

How do you deal with this, I just don’t know if I have the energy to pick my self up again.Think I would rather stay home

Best wishes to you all xxx

Hi BC,

I know it’s easier said than done, but please don’t let them win.

What are you doing, handing your life to a group of thickos you don’t even know? You’ve just gotta feel sorry for them really, and tell yourself that’s what youth and ignorance do for you, and hope they’ll never come to find out their error the hard way.

The chances are at least one of them will - not necessarily from MS. People are living longer, but not in such great health, so a lot of people who sneer now are going to find out what it’s like one day.

It’s just ignorance, it really is - they don’t understand the nature of disability, and that you don’t have to be completely paralysed to need a scooter or a wheelchair.

Do you think they’ve given it a second thought since? Meanwhile, you have put yourself through hell trying to make do with crutches, and spent a whole week crying! WHY? Was it a trusted person you really respect? No! So why are you giving such power to a bunch of losers?

You know you’re going to have to get out on the scooter again - you can’t become housebound over one nasty comment - deep down, you know that, don’t you? Their remark says everything about them, but nothing about you - they don’t know anything about you!

I don’t know how you would feel about this, but if you really can’t overcome it, I would suggest you approach your doctor - possibly about counselling. You can’t stop people saying stuff, but you CAN change your reaction to it, and you could get help with that.

I’m not suggesting the problem lies with you. It clearly lies with the people who say such things. However, you’ll never be able to change stuff other people do, but you can change what you do, and not give them power over you.





So sorry that you’ve experienced this. I do think Tina has hit the nail on the head.

Somebody once said “Why give people space in your head that you wouldn’t let in your house” I’m probably guilty of that one myself but it’s good advice.

Please try and see these idiots for what they are and don’t let them stop you getting about. They’re really not worth it.

Anne x

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Tina is spot on with the advice shes given you,i know its not easy,but dont let these lowlife make you feel bad,you should feel sorry for them,ive had awful remarks made to me over the years,but after a while i learnt to let it go over my head,its the only way,give yourself a few days,then pick yourself up and think to yourself,you dont have to justify yourself to such mindless idiots.

J x

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It could have been ginger hair, black skin or any other physical feature that would draw the taunts of idiots. My son in law of the bright red hair was bullied unmercifully as a youngster - it still happens now but he’s bigger and stronger so not so much I am sorry that you made the leap to benefit cheat (damn the culture that makes disabled people feel like this) To be affected by a judgement you have to respect the judge. I agree 100% with Tina. You don’t respect these cretins so don’t give them power over you.

You don’t need to explain or justify yourself to anyone. If using a wheelchair makes your life easier it’s got f*** all to do with anyone else. Quite honestly the more of us that get out there with our wheels the more normal it will seem. Dust off your batteries and please get out and about again. (My late dad once gave me a good tip after an incidence of heckling when I was younger. He told me to stand in front of a mirror and practice saying “bugger off” until I could do it without thinking. Armed with my quick fire retort I was able to face the bullies with a measure of confidence.)


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Do you think they’ve given it a second thought since? Meanwhile, you have put yourself through hell trying to make do with crutches, and spent a whole week crying! WHY? Was it a trusted person you really respect? No! So why are you giving such power to a bunch of losers? [/quote]


I’m not in a chair or scooter but do tend to be very wobbly when walking, and I do have a blue badge and when anyone says anything mean I either ignore them or if I am in a bad mood, tell them f off :stuck_out_tongue: its not worth getting upset over comment from strangers.

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Another good response you can practise is:

“Does your mother know you’re out?”

preferably without any eye contact (tells their friends that you don’t think they are even worth looking at).


Just say to them “each day I wake up and there is the hope I may have a good day. You, on the other hand, are going to wake each day, look in the mirror, and see a total arse*ole staring right back at you”. I generally find that works. Mind you, I usually have my 6’6" son standing next to me when I say it.


Thank you all for your replies, I know your right and I will practise a response, that’s a good Idea. I’m letting one bad experience ruin all the good ones I have. Just a little shocked at how thin my confidence is, I thought I was better. Need to work on that.

I think I am going to use " your parents must be so proud". Thank you for your sound words, just needed my wheels putting back on track.

Night Nght xx

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I would have said “surprised your parents let you out isnt it past your bed time” lol…and just laughed and shrugged it off. Or another good one, “you jealous cos I expect you couldnt handle one of these lol”

Youth of today well a lot of them sadly are ignorant little SOBs…they are rude and nasty. Take no mind.

What it does show you though you are still fragile, and like you said you need to work on it.

You did a brave thing going out, and you enjoyed it. These little darlings will get theirs one day you can guarantee that.

Now you get yourself back out there, head up on your scooter and go and enjoy yourself. Sticker on back. Warning I take no prisoners lol…

I love going out in mine with my dog. I am so lucky i have never had this.

Possible because i am older i dont know.

now big hugs. Go get em tiger. x

lts when l am out on my Tramper - with my dogs - and a group of ramblers or cyclists call out ‘That’s cheating!’ or ‘that’s a good idea’. l just smile and carry on. But would love to say that l would much rather be rambling or cycling.

My two Rotties put stop to any heckling from yobbos.

I’ll echo was everyone else has said, good luck with developing that thick skin. :slight_smile:

It’s not just ignorant kids who seem to think scooters are solely for people who can’t walk though. I had a somewhat disturbing conversation with one of the drivers from the volunteer car service that takes me to hospital, and this guy is a very pleasant retired gentleman who transports people with mobility problems all the time! He said, if he was in Tesco’s and he saw someone in a scooter get up out of it and get something from the top shelf, he’d be thinking, “if you can do that, why are you using that scooter”.

I think people look at scooter use from a too immediate perspective. They don’t step back and realise that the scooter enables the person to get to the supermarket in the first place. That without it they’d possibly be housebound, because while they might be able to walk, they can’t go very far. A scooter doesn’t mean someone’s lost the use of their legs. : /

Why do people think its a lifestyle choice? Really do they honestly think we would ride about on one of these things if we didn’t have to. I really miss my 10 mile walks and would give anything to be able to do them.

Good on you for getting out there and enjoying yourself. I haven’t got a wheelchair or scooter yet but it’s getting to that point.

Im still plucking up the courage.

Mags xx

How horrible, to be subjected to such unpleasantness. As Charles Dickens almost said: pity their ignorance and despise them.

Amen to all the good advice you have had on here.


Some people deal with their insecurities in aggressive ways.

Hecklers aren’t doing what they do to insult or offend you (although it is an obvious consequence of their actions). They do it in order to impress a desired image upon their audience. I would bet that someone receiving a negative comment from a lone individual is a rare thing.

The sight of a fragile / frail / less than fully able person can evoke a sense of sympathy; something which is wrongly perceived as a weakness in todays’ ‘hard as nails’ world. And so this emotion of awkwardness is instantly tuned into one of ‘strength’; e.g. in the form of aggressive accusations.

Considering the stunted intellect of those who are so powerless to their emotions, or so devoid of rationale, that aggression is preferred to sympathy, there is little point entering into an exchange with them.

Arguing with stupid people usually only makes you feel more stupid. Meanwhile, the aggressive little twonk would probably appreciate some form of bite back, as they’ve already assumed the moral high ground; after all… you are the lazy, work shy, wheelchair / scooter abuser.

Take heart in the fact that you exhibit more courage by getting up and out, than they even know exists. Heckles from the back row, when surrounded by allies is nothing to be proud of and thus nothing to be acknowledged. Unless it makes you feel better to lash out at them, i would try to retain one’s dignity by assuming no one had said anything, because that is precisely who they are… no one.

The very best of luck.

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it depends what mood i am in,but i find just a goodl old f*** off makes me feel

i have an up yer kilt sticker with two tarten fingers on the back of my scooter.

J x

As everyone else has said… they’re just trying to impress someone, and don’t fall for it. A less-than-polite response might not make it feel like the moral high ground is yours, though… so something politely sarcastic like “when you’re in my head you can make judgements”, a rueful grin and “I don’t think Usain Bolt has anything much to worry about from me!”, or failing that, blind em with sarcasm and wit. Tell them to go and pick on someone their own size. Or if you’re not bothered about politeness so much…“and the horse you rode in on!” might do the job!

You may have noticed that I’m not much good at diplomacy… But you still have a better brain than them, even if it’s not really at its best - and there are many ways to use it. Get out there and do what you do… and sod the lot of the small-minded idiots.

There is an old expression i like, from the limitless wisdom of a Mr Henry Rollins…

“If someone offers you a 5hit sandwich, you don’t have to take a bite. Just walk away.”

Some may choose to replace ‘walk’ with ‘roll’, but the sentiment remains the same.

All the very best to you.

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Personally, I go along with the idea that you shouldn’t give ignorance the satisfaction of a reply. Better to develop a thicker skin and treat their abuse as the worthless rubbish it is.

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
― Mark Twain



You could try & catch them off guard & cheerfully reply with ‘Because I’m a benefits cheat!’, which won’t be something they’re expecting. It’s a response I’ve got saved up in case I get any heckles, and I’m intrigued to know how people would respond to it.

But as others have said, they’re ignorant. However, as tempting as it can be, I don’t think insulting them back will do anything to change their ignorance. So what you could do is say ‘If you’d like, I can tell you why.’ I doubt they’d take you up om the offer, but you never know. Starting dialogue with people like that feels like it would be more constructive than aggression.