Jul 29

"There's nothing wrong with you!" How to talk to your family about cosmetic surgery

Here’s a typical scenario. You’re considering facial plastic surgery to take care of a bump on your nose, a droopy tip, or a sagging jaw line. The feature may be subtle, but it’s definitely there. And you’ve been thinking of doing something about it for so long.

You’ve finally worked up the courage to tell your husband/mother/sister/brother/best friend (insert loved one here) about it and, instead of unwavering support, you hear something like “Your nose is fine. Why would you mess with it?”. Other reactions are “Whatever makes you happy, honey” or, “I was wondering when you were gonna take care of that honker”. But, the overwhelming #1 reaction is the first one.

You’re crestfallen. You start to second guess yourself. You think “I’m not imagining this. There is a noticeable bump on my nose. Why doesn’t anyone else see it?” Well, the answer is, they do and they don’t. They can see the feature you’re pointing to just as well as you can. The human eye is capable of incredible feats. Our eyes can discriminate between two objects down to 1/25th of an inch or about 1 mm. So, if we show you a photo of your nose and another photo with your bump shaved down just one millimeter, you’ll be able to see the difference every time. And, we all also have a built-in, hard-wired aesthetic sense of proportion, symmetry and ‘belonging’ness when we compare one feature to the rest of the whole. So, they know deep down that the bump is there.

But, your family or friends may not “see” what you’re talking about because they don’t wish to and they don’t attach the same level of importance to it as you do. They care for you as you are, as they should. And, they’re afraid for you. Afraid of the risk, even if it’s very small. And, afraid that you’ll change too much. After all, you may want a subtle change or a dramatic change, but they don’t necessarily see what you see.

Some of our patients who are REALLY close to family and friends and look to them for advice are really freaked out by this. We’ve even had a few patients recently who’ve nearly psyched themselves out of their decision. The important thing here is not to try to force your loved one to feel about your proposed surgery the way you do. Family are never quite as enthusiastic as you may be. Instead, you should let them know how important this decision is to you, and how much better you’ll feel if you have a positive outcome. That will often turn them around because what’s important to you is often what’s important to them. The decision to have surgery is a very personal one and is ultimately yours. You can reassure them that, if you’ve chosen the right surgeon, your results will look natural and won’t remove your identity.

What’s interesting is that the most resistant family member or friend is usually your most astonished and glowing supporter after the surgery once they see how happy you are with the change. This is just something to consider when you sit down to have “the talk”.

Be Sociable, Share!
No comments

Comments are closed.