It’s not easy being different, it’s even harder if you have a burn injury
It’s not easy being different, it’s even harder if you have a burn injury; which has left visible scar tissue on your body. I find the hardest situations to deal with are social situations; in particular, new social situations. Whenever you find yourself in a “new situation” there are things that can help, such as techniques to build social skills and self-confidence; there are many different techniques that can put you at ease but also put other people at ease. I find that putting other people at ease and encouraging people to treat me like any other person is the biggest challenge! Being prepared will not only make you want to meet new people but will also allow you to enjoy social situations, like going out with your friends!
Taking control of any situation in which you find yourself is the biggest step you can take towards being comfortable in social situations. I find that the best way to achieve this is by using ‘humour’. Humour is a very important tool because it allows me to change the subject to something other than me, it also allows other people to see that I am “a person”, who knows how to laugh and joke. I find that using humour as an ‘Ice Breaker’ is the easiest way of encouraging new people to engage with me. Another technique I use is smiling, just smiling at people can be enough for them to see that you are a person, with emotions and feelings. It makes other people aware that you are able to engage and it also puts them at ease; this is vital, to enable “normal conversation” to take place.
I find that having self-confidence is important, it will give you the courage to use some of the techniques you have prepared for use in social situations. If you are comfortable and relaxed, everybody else is likely to be. This will encourage people to actually interact with you and not just stare and whisper! In order to aid yourself in dealing with social occurrences; be prepared. There are burns service professionals, books and videos available which helped me to learn the different techniques and find out which ones work best for me; they can help you too!