How to Stand Up For Yourself When a Disabled Person Asks For Your Seat on the Bus

There’s nothing fun about confrontation. Oftentimes it can be difficult to stand up for yourself, but it’s an important thing to do. You deserve respect just as much as anyone else, whether or not that person is physically handicapped, pregnant, or super old. Just because you’re not a disabled person doesn’t mean you’re not a person. So the next time some Sicky or Preg-Preg asks for your seat on the bus, keep these tips in mind and you’ll find it much easier to stand up for yourself while sitting:


Don’t put other people’s needs before your own. You work hard! You have just as much of a right to sit down in the “Please give this seat to a disabled, elderly, or pregnant person” seats as anyone else does. Having crutches doesn’t make someone better than you! Hell, you have more of a right to that seat: You haven’t gotten to walk around on crutches all day!



Use “I” statements. “I” statements are powerful and help you sound right. For example, instead of saying, “You can’t push me around and you can’t sit here, you asshole!” Try saying, “I have value and I matter. I feel less-than when someone asks for my seat. I will not be getting up. I feel one of us is an asshole, and it’s not me.” They’ll certainly walk away from you!


Speak strongly and make eye contact. When defending yourself, just look directly into the disabled person’s eyes, use a big voice and tell them “NO.” If they’re blind, just look at their foreheads, and if they’re deaf, you don’t have to do anything different because you’re already yelling. Remember: You deserve this.


There is no need to apologize or make excuses. Standing up for yourself isn’t a crime and you have nothing to be sorry about. You don’t have to apologize to that woman, or her nurse.


Don’t let the bus driver push you around, either. Just because he’s a man he thinks he can push you around? If the bus driver has the gall to get up and intervene in a situation THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM, don’t be intimidated. Stand your ground. You don’t need to cave in to his patriarchal bullshit.


Being assertive and standing up for what you deserve will raise your self-confidence and your overall wellbeing. And once you give yourself respect, others will start respecting you more, too. Scream at one differently abled person just once, and the rest of the bus will think twice before asking you to give up your seat.