Postoperative Perception by Others

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This is a podcast that continues my series on psychology. This is a podcast specifically about the first week perception by others of you after you’ve had a facial cosmetic procedure. I think the number one reason people are worried about a postoperative recovery is not so much discomfort, which is I mentioned in my previous podcast quite minimal, but how they look to others. And so the question people ask me is, you know, how long is my recovery? Usually that doesn’t mean how long my pain is. It doesn’t mean, you know, how long can I not exercise? All of those topics are covered in each of the individual sections of like otoplasty, facelift, fat, grafting, rhinoplasty, et cetera. But what people ask is how do other people look at me and how do people perceive my appearance because they don’t want to look weird or different. So I want to talk to you about this .Usually what I’m talking about is the first seven to 10 days. So it could be longer. It could be shorter, but in general, that first seven to 10 days is how other people perceive you. The first perception comment I want to make as a harsh one, which is that I’ve heard even children who don’t understand, oftentimes children are not of the age to do elective procedures that rejuvenate the face, for example, facelift, fat graft, blepharoplasty, et cetera.

And they may look negatively at you and say, mom, why did you do this? I liked you that way. You were better before because they can’t see it through the swelling. For example, whatever harsh words they may have said to you. And I shot a video on this many, many years ago, don’t internalize it. Don’t take it personally. Oftentimes when someone criticizes or critiques you they’re either jealous of you or they’re don’t understand it. Or they just are saying things without much of a understanding. And that oftentimes is something else that I see is there’s a lot of jealousy that occurs when you look significantly better after procedure. And that can be problematic in a way that they may interfere with your social life or professional life because they feel as if you look too good. Now there’s this competition. So there’s a lot of motivation for people when they say things, of course, a lot of people could respond very well, that you just look great refresh and ever seen you this good.

And that’s always great. When you hear a compliment, you feel excellent, but I’m really, again, focused, not on the three months, six months, one year, because most oftentimes the reaction is typically very favorable. It’s that first week where you’re scared to see other people, you’re worried that someone’s going to notice you had something done. And another comment that I mentioned too is, if you’ve had a procedure where you’re worried about someone looking at you differently, either you have several options here, okay? If there’s a little swelling left, even I find that what’s very interesting is when other people look at you, they oftentimes don’t see the swelling or the issue that you do. So oftentimes you still have the longest time period where you feel as if you don’t look right. When other people look at you, they probably feel as if you look pretty good, fast, but if you’re worried about it, what’s going to happen is their reaction to you is going to be different.

So for example, if I’m very nervous around you and I don’t, I’m nervous that you’re going to notice something, I act sort of weird, I start changing my voice, I don’t look make eye contact with you that makes you uncomfortable. And when you become uncomfortable as a person looking at me, then I read that something’s wrong with you. That means must be something wrong with me. I must look weird. Now it could be the fact that you’d look weird, but it also may be the fact that they are just responding to the way you, you react. So a couple of suggestions that you can do to help minimize this issue. One is you can basically ignore it, which is not easy to do, or two is you can disclose what you had done or come up with a white lie. You had something else done yet.

You had some shellfish, you had some swelling from some allergies, whatever it may be. I mean, I’m not saying to lie, but sometimes if there’s some residual swelling and there’s no obvious incisions or anything like that left that are well hidden, like a blepharoplasty is hidden underneath the eyelids. It may make you feel more comfortable to get that out of the way, the early on either to say you had something done, or the fact that you had, you know, some other issue of some seasonal allergies or whatever it may be. And ultimately if you just go out, even if you don’t disclose anything, you just don’t want to do that. If you go out with a lot of bravery in the sense that, Hey, you made a good choice, this is important for you at disposable income to do this.

It’s something that you’ve always wanted to take the eye bags out. You wanted your neck cleaned up, whatever it is, and you feel comfortable with that, then the people respond the same way to you. So if you’re nervous, negative, worried, they’re going to respond the same way. But if you’re happy, energetic, proud of what you did, like your results are ready. Whatever it may be that you feel more comfortable, it’s going to be easier for you to reintegrate into society. And that’s a general truth for any procedure I do. Whether there’s bruising, swelling, discomfort, asymmetry, still, whatever it may be go out there with a good attitude and feel confident that even if someone notices something that you can just tell them what happened. I mean, you may have to do that in the first seven to 10 days and could even be beyond that period of time. So I hope this helps you psychologically during the postoperative period in terms of how other people perceive you.

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