Expert advice:‘My friend lied to me about having plastic surgery, but why?’

From nose jobs to other delicate social dilemmas, clinical psychologist Jo Lamble answers questions from readers looking for expert advice.


Recently, a couple of workmates and I were talking about cosmetic surgery. It wasn’t in a negative way – we were talking about a friend having a nose job due to a respiratory condition.

One of the workmates there had very obviously had cosmetic surgery, so I asked her about it – thinking it wasn’t a big deal (especially as I’d just been talking about the botox I’d been getting and I think everyone has a right to have cosmetic surgery if they want to). But she denied it, and now it’s so awkward! I just think it’s strange that she lied. Was I wrong to talk about it?

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Jo’s answer:

You weren’t wrong to talk about cosmetic surgery and it’s fine to be open about the botox you’re having. Most people will respect your honesty. But your colleague is obviously not comfortable with talking about the work she’s had done. Many people are secretive about having had cosmetic surgery, or botox or fillers because they believe they’ll be judged.

I appreciate you weren’t talking about the friend who’s had the nose job in a negative way, but perhaps your workmate doesn’t want to be the subject of a similar discussion when she’s not there. Try not to judge her for not being open. She’s clearly not OK with people knowing and is hoping no-one has picked up on the fact she’s had surgery.

As you said, it’s everyone’s right to do whatever they choose and that includes talking about it or not. It doesn’t have to be awkward. It just sounds like the topic shouldn’t be discussed around the office, or at least around this colleague.

Got an issue for Jo to tackle? Send your question to [email protected]