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Home Blog What to Do When People Stare at Your Prosthesis

What to Do When People Stare at Your Prosthesis

Posted in: Amputee, Prosthetic, Prosthetist

Posted on: by Level Four

What to Do When People Stare at Your Prosthesis

Getting used to your new appearance as an amputee can be a long, difficult process. It doesn’t help when your prosthetic limb draws the stares of complete strangers. Today, we’d like to offer some tips on how to deal with that sort of attention from strangers:

  1. Don’t take it personally.


Most people probably aren’t staring because they think you’re some kind of freakishly deformed monster. Rather, it’s human nature to gaze at something that is unusual or out of the ordinary from what they normally see.


  1. You are in control of yourself.


We’re all familiar with the prayer about learning to change what we can and accept what we cannot. The same goes when it comes to other peoples’ behavior. You cannot control their staring, but you can control your reaction to it, as well as whether or not you allow it to bother you.


  1. Have a response ready.


If the staring is obvious or invasive enough, you can deflect it by having a ready response. For example, you could acknowledge the stare with a “Yeah, 2015 was a rough year.” This lets them know that you know they’re staring, and can help shut down an unwanted gaze. Another strategy is to use humor, “I’m still waiting for it to grow back. I suspect that I may not be part gecko after all!”


  1. Stare back.


If engaging someone in conversation is too uncomfortable, you can always give them a smaller acknowledgment by locking eyes and giving them a friendly smile. They may not realize they’re being rude, and drawing attention to their behavior could be enough for them to break the gaze.


  1. Do nothing.


You’re not obligated to cater to someone’s curiosity or lack of manners. It’s perfectly acceptable to pretend that you don’t see their stares and continue about your business.


Getting used to your prosthesis is going to take some time, and coping with attention from strangers is a part of that. Fortunately, you are not alone. There are peer networks of amputees that can help you navigate this new world. Our prosthetists are also here for you every step of the way. Why not make an appointment with us today?