As there are up to 10% of all men colorblind, you definitely will bump into one sooner or later. Or you just found out, that your old buddy is colorblind and you didn’t know it for that long.
To prevent you from putting your foot in it, I will offer you the top five questions you should never ask your colorblind colleague, partner, friend or neighbor. Why shouldn’t you ask those questions? Simply put: They just make you look like a fool and also make your buddy look like a fool.
Those five questions are not irrelevant. You should know the answer to those questions but don’t get them while asking somebody. Therefore I will not only list those five questions and leave them up to you but also will show you, why you shouldn’t ask each question and in the same breath answer them for you.
Color Blindness: Top 5 Questions Not to Ask
#1: What color is this?
Don’t ask this question, just don’t do it. This is something you make a colorblind person feel like a fool and you can’t take any profit out of it. Somebody suffering from color blindness doesn’t see other colors, they see less colors or maybe some colors closer to each other, because they see fewer differences in hue.
And if you would think about it before asking this question you will find out yourself: No answer given to this question will help you to understand how a colorblind persons sees the world. And that is actually what you want to know.
#2: Do you see only shades of gray?
There are very few people suffering from monochromacy. Those people only see in shades of gray. But they also have problems with bright light and need to wear often sunglasses.
This kind of color blindness is very very rare and there is only a tiny little chance, that your buddy will suffer it. So every other person suffering form color blindness sees colors, but less colors. With normal color vision you can distinguish more than 100 different hues. A colorblind person might only be able to distinguish 20 of them, but still can see colors.
#3: Which colors do you see then?
All colors, many colors, less colors. Nobody suffering from color blindness can answer you this questions correctly. Some may see more, some less but none can tell you which colors, because a colorblind person doesn’t know how you see the world.
If you nearly close your eyes your vision is comparable to colorblind vision. Also in the break of dawn the visible colors can be compared to what somebody suffering a color vision deficiency sees.
#4: Who buys your clothes?
Me; who else? Yes; going shopping for a new shirt and tie isn’t the easiest thing for a colorblind guy. And it’s sometimes embarrassing, not to know if the chosen colors fit together and fit into your wardrobe. This is something that accompanies you for your whole life if you are colorblind.
There are different strategies to handle this. Either you ask somebody else, every time until you just know the pieces which fit together. Or you adjust the colors you wear to colors you know that they will always fit together.
#5: Hey; you shouldn’t drive a car!
I know, this isn’t really a question. But it transfers to the question in your mind: How can a colorblind person distinguish between the red and the green at the traffic light?
Usually this is not a problem at all. The chosen colors for traffic lights are enhanced to make them more visible to colorblind people. Some extra orange and blue are mixed in, so everybody should see the difference. An other clue which helps a lot is the arrangement: Red at top/left, green at bottom/right. All this together minimizes the problem for somebody suffering from color blindness almost to nothing.
So don’t put your foot in and make yourself a fool. Try to ask some interesting questions which can get you into a nice and interesting talk about color blindness. I’ll have a look at such intelligent questions in a future post. Stay tuned.