Andrea Leon, BS, CCLS

Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health

Reentering back into the community or school setting can be a difficult transition for burn survivors. Some people may ask questions and others may stare. People often stare because they have not met a burn survivor before. They might be curious or even concerned. Below are some tips for dealing with staring, questions and comments:

  • Give yourself a pep talk!

“If someone stares at me today, I’m going to smile or wave to them.”

“I can confidently approach them and make conversation.”

“They might be staring because they are curious. I can be friendly and tell them my story.”

“I can do this!”

  • Rehearse your response.

“I was burned in an accident. I’m getting better every day. Thanks for your concern.”

“I don’t feel like talking about my injury, but thanks for asking.”

  • Talk to the person who is staring.

“Hi, how are you?” “What’s up!”

  • Have a friend or family member with you for support.

Friends and family can help answer questions for you until you are comfortable.