Ok, but we can also take some pressure off people by doing some research on issues as well. There are people already talking about their life experiences, and their stories are out there for the reading: What is it like to be black in America? What is it like to be a donor conceived child? What is it like to be ____?
Some people stare or back away from me as if I’m infectious. (They think I don’t see them, but I do.) There are also people who overcompensate in their kindness. Once, I asked this woman for directions, and she proceeded to lead me, step by step, to the front desk of where I was going. When she tried to take over, I had to tell her firmly that I was fine and that she should go on with what she was doing. Her intentions were good, but overweening kindness is almost as insulting as people who flinch.