I react negatively when someone offers to help with shoe tying because every physician I have seen since my stroke 11 years ago reaches down to untie my shoelace during a physical exam. They do this quickly without giving any advance warning because they know it was not appropriate for a male doctor to undress a female patient. This is humiliating. I do not know how old I was when I decided my clothing is a part of my personal space, but it was a long time ago. I stopped doctors by hiding the free end of the lace (see arrow). Now when I see a physician staring at the floor I know he or she is trying to figure out how to untie my shoelace.
I have yet to convince strangers and friends they cannot tie my shoes for me. Even telling my friend I can tie my shoelace faster one-handed than she can tie her lace with two hands was not a deterrent. My friend replied "I could tie your shoe at least once so you will not have to." My next strategy to handle this interaction more gracefully is to say "Can you tie a shoelace that has only one end free?" See the photo on right. If this stops the angel from trying to help me I will say "Thank you so much for offering."
I tuck the free end in to form a mock bow shown in the top right photo.