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What Not To Tell Your Loved One Who Self Harms

TW: Mention of Self Harm and Eating Disorders

Saying the wrong things and asking too many questions to those who self harm can do more harm than good. If you know someone who is self harming, here are some things you should not tell them.

1) Do not stare

If you see someone with self harm scars, DO NOT STARE. Don’t project your emotions on them. Don’t stare as they continue to live their lives. Don’t treat them differently. They don’t want to e made uncomfortable in public.

2) Don't talk about it publicly

There are lots of different types of self harm, some more visible than the others. Regardless of how they are, don’t come to a person and tell them how brave they are if you see them. Especially when you don’t know the person.

3) Ask to cover up

If someone’s scars are not covered, do not ask them to cover up or hide their scars. It is disrespectful, triggering and insensitive.

4) Don't emotionally threaten someone

Don’t say things like “I’ll harm myself if you don’t stop”, “You’re a creep”, “I’ll tell you your parents” or make the situation about you or threaten them.

5) Don't offer advice

Unless you are specifically asked, do not offer advice. Once again, it can be triggering and may not help the person. If a person decides to tell you about their self harm, ask them if they want you to just listen to them, offer advice or offer comfort. This helps as you don’t jump to conclusions first.

These are just some of the things to not bring up. If you or your loved ones are self harming, we would recommend seeking help. 

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