Telling Your Friends about Major Surgery

It's important that you communicate openly.
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Telling your friends that you're having major surgery can be difficult. It's a conversation that will likely be uncomfortable for you and for them. You can prepare for the conversation by knowing how you want to approach the topic.

1 Appropriate Circumstances

Pick an appropriate location and time to tell your friends about your surgery. A busy restaurant or between classes are not good options. Choose a place that is quiet, allows you the privacy to talk uninterrupted and is comfortable for you and your friends. You might consider inviting your friends over to your house or heading to a secluded area outdoors, such as a park, forest or beach. Also consider if it would be easier for you to tell your friends one on one, rather than as a group. Telling your friends one on one may allow for less distractions and enable you to be more attentive to each friend's questions and concerns.

2 Advance Preparation

It's important that you be knowledgable about your procedure, because your friends will likely have a number of questions about it. Be prepared to answer their questions. Your friends may be worried or upset about your upcoming surgery. The more they know about the procedure, the more comfortable they are likely to feel about the surgery, notes in the article "What's It Like to Have Surgery?" However, share only as much information as you are comfortable sharing. Prior to meeting with your friends, consider what type of information you're comfortable telling them.

3 Your Presentation

Although it may be difficult to have this conversation with your friends, openness and honesty are key. You may want to initiate the conversation by saying, "There's something serious that I'd like to discuss with you that may be difficult to hear." Don't apologize for stating the facts or sugarcoat what you have to say, suggests Karyn Hall, a psychologist and author of "Effective Conversations about Difficult Issues" for Psych Central.

4 A Helping Hand

Your friends will likely ask what they can do to help you during this challenging time. Think of a few ways that they can make your life easier. For instance, it might be nice to have a friend assist you with schoolwork so you don't fall behind, or maybe you'd like someone to keep you company while you recuperate.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.