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Ask Bryn – People keep asking what happened to my face

What should I say when people ask what happened to my face. Find the right words in difficult situations. www.ishouldhavesaid.net.
Ask Bryn

Bryn Connor

Hi Bryn-

I was and really still am a cancer patient.  After 30 surgeries my face is disfigured.  It’s a hurt I experience daily. to simply ask them why do they ask me that?

But when I’m out in public strangers feel the need to comment on my appearance, making me relive my personal tragedy. Normally I think they’re curious- but I’m left with hurt feelings. It goes something like this- “OH MY GOD- what happened to your fave… was it a car wreck… must have been a big one”.

I don’t have a comeback that’s not rude. I have a friend who advises me to simply ask them why do they ask me that?

What are your thoughts? ZOE


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Hi Zoe,

Here are a few comebacks that you can use. I think it is really important that you conserve your energy for your health, you don’t want to put too much energy into standing up to idiots.

You are an amazing and strong person. Most people would not be able to cope with what you have been through. You have no obligation to answer any questions, but I think you should be very proud of how you have stayed strong and been a survivor.

I picked a few comebacks that are empowering if you do feel like sharing part of your journey with people.

  1. My face shows that I am stronger than the cancer that tried to take me down.
  2. Did you mean to be so rude?
  3. Don’t ask me about my face and I won’t ask you why you think it is OK to ask me such a personal question.
  4. You have a right to your ask and I have a right not to answer your question.

If someone is incredibly rude:

  1. Where’s your off button?
  2. I wish I could put some people on mute.
  3. It would be nice if your mouth had a snooze button.
  4. You should come with a warning label.



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