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What are some ways to tell your friends your a self harmer( when they think people do it for attention) ?

23 Answers
Last Updated: 06/03/2019 at 5:19am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Danielle Gonzales, PsyD


Hello! My name is Dani, I am a Psychologist and registered Psych Assistant. I have a passion for helping a different types of clients from all diverse backgrounds!

Top Rated Answers
April 9th, 2015 3:45pm
Sit down with them and ask them about how they feel about you. Once they've told you how they see and understand you then tell them about your self mutilation. By allowing them to examine you then understand another point in your life they can over come their idea of what they think it is.
April 23rd, 2015 2:15pm
You get them alone and you tell them what has happened and how long it has been going on. If they are your true friends then they will understand and they will know that you aren't doing it for attention
May 22nd, 2015 12:49pm
Explain them the reason why you harm yourself. Be more open to them. If they think is just for attention, then get rid of them. You don't need negative people around you.
July 14th, 2015 6:16am
Coming out to anyone is such a difficult situation. Nonetheless, we all need a helping hand and someone to be there with us in order to not face our problems in this world alone. You could sit them down and just tell them straight forward. Mention how much it means to you and that should be enough. Those are the good friends you need to be surrounded with.
July 14th, 2015 1:23pm
You can tell your friends that you're genuinely struggling with something and do not have a proper outlet for your feelings and you need help.
July 20th, 2015 12:38am
First you could try sharing some good articles about self-harm on whatever social media site you use. This could help prepare them before you tell them about yourself.
July 21st, 2015 10:41am
It's hard to come to your friends for such important things as this, but this is what friends are for. Sit them down, and have a serious conversation. Chances are you'll get just as much as you are giving.
September 1st, 2015 11:05pm
Self harming is definitely not done for attention.. If your friends think this you may need to explain just why you did this and what your situation is.
September 15th, 2015 8:56am
It is important to make sure you're careful in choosing who to tell, because you don't want someone to judge you, or make fun of you. I think one thing to keep in mind while you tell someone is to be open, and be willing to listen to any sort of comments that they might say. It's also important to give them time and be patient to let them absorb everything. Sometimes talking about things is harder, so you can perhaps write it down and tell it to them, whether it be a letter or in person. This helps you organise your thoughts better and say everything that you want to say.
November 23rd, 2015 11:44pm
I do not self-harm, but if someone close to me started making comments such as this. I would probably say the following. "While I believe you are entitled to your opinion, I do not think that what your saying is necessarily correct. People go through some rough portions of their life, and it is difficult to know what they are going through. I have been a bad place before, sometimes it can feel like the only outlet that one has for their frustrations, anger, and fears."
March 14th, 2016 4:38am
If someone thinks you're a self-harmer for attention then explain to them why you do it. Explain how it may be because of emotional pain or because you feel numb or whatever the reason may be. Also let them know you are currently or in the process of seeking help. Also, do research on ways to help yourself, lotions that may help your scars fade and ways to explain self-mutilation to someone. Remember you are stronger than the problems that face you even in your weakest times.
August 30th, 2016 3:37pm
Self harming is a very hard thing to talk about, especially to those who believe people do it for attention. Hopefully they will know that you don't do it for attention but still, there is the worry. Try explaining what you are going through such as depression. However please understand you don't have to reveal anything if you are not comfortable doing so.
September 13th, 2016 10:37am
In these situations, I simply remember that they are not sources of support and bringing the subject up will likely hurt me in the end. It can be extremely difficult an frustrating to try to discuss a coping mechanism with someone who does not "believe in" it. It may be better for one's own self-care to not disclose to those individuals, and remove oneself from the situation if such a person begins to monologue about attention seekers. They may even take one's input of "I self harm" as validating their viewpoint.
September 26th, 2016 6:45am
Explain to your friends in a quiet and private location how you are feeling emotionally and what has been on your mind leading up to the self harm before you tell them about the self harming. After they understand what you have felt and or been through explain to them that it has caused you to feel that you had to self harm. Self harm is sought after because of released endorphins while doing it but it is never a good fix,last short,causes scarring,and possible infection. Try finding healthy activities that interest you that may distract you from the bad feelings and thoughts. Always go to someone and tell them how you are feeling and acquire helpful and healthy resources such as guides, activity and distraction ideas that are safe and healthy and people who you can vent and talk to that are understanding of what your going through. There are always people who are available to talk to such as Listeners on 7Cups and people whom HAVE been where you are emotionally and or physically.
October 25th, 2016 9:33pm
You may want to explain your situation entirely before telling them that you self harm, for instance describe your depression or anxiety and how it affects you beforehand.
March 20th, 2017 2:26am
Self harm is often used not for attention seeking but to deal with emotional pain. You feel you control something in your life and cause yourself to feel something other than what is truly causing your pain (emotion/spiritual). If your friends are close friends, you may have already shared some of your past life experience- possibly the start of a very painful part of your life. I would start with describing a brief description of the event that occurred in your life and how that made you feel. Was this a time you felt you couldn't control the situation? The self harm behavior is a way you felt you could control something in your life. You don't do it because you want attention- in fact you probably don't want anyone to notice this behavior because of the attention it causes. But being that you are telling people about this behavior, you may get a reaction of surprise, fear, sadness, or anger and this could lead to a path to where you can seek help to deal with these past life experiences and stop self harm.
April 3rd, 2017 2:46am
If it important to inform your good friends perhaps you could ask them as a favor to you to discuss some explanatory article or handout on the condition (that you would select and provide to them) before sharing the details of your condition. Perhaps you might even consider discussing the contents of the article with them before making your revelation.
May 15th, 2017 5:17pm
If you're good with writing, I'd suggest writing short notes/letters to each friend and going into enough detail about your situation that they know you're not someone using it for attention, but not too far where you feel too exposed. I never used this method myself, but two close friends I had did and they said it made the process far easier for them, and it helped us as friends understand that they were engaging in the action because of intense pain; not to "look cool". That'd be my best recommendation.
November 21st, 2017 7:47am
I would say honestly, and, to look them in the eye, and be serious about it. Before you make a revelation, have a goal in mind of what you want from the interaction. If you don't want attention or for the favor, what can your friends do to help? Can you make it specific to each friend, and can each of them help you in a unique way?
December 5th, 2017 1:39pm
I think people that have not experienced what is like sadly can not understand. I think it is important to tell people who you think will listen to you and take you seriously. Have you tried a good counsellor or psychologist. All self-harm matters, however you present (even though I fully believe you!).
December 5th, 2017 1:49pm
you can inform your close friends about your problems, you can mention that you cannot deal with it on your own, and when you try, it gets worse, you begin to hurt yourself and stuff. you can say you want to quit doing so, maybe?
November 20th, 2018 4:23pm
This really depends on how close of a friend this is. If you tell your friend that you selfharm because of your own view of yourself or because it's a way of dealing with anxiety, they are going to take that seriously. You might've heard sometime that your friend has said that they don't like selfharmers because they only do it for attention, but it's a big difference when a friend tells you that they're selfharming themself, than if you've heard some news or rumours of people selfharming. This really makes it easy for a lot of people to claim that selfharmers are attentiongrabbers. Also, when you tell something like this to one single friend it isn't taken as attentionseeking by most people, as it would unfourtunately have been done if someone had shared it over social media or in class infront of the other students.
June 3rd, 2019 5:19am
First of all, you don't have to tell your friends. If you have a desire to do so start by mentioning some of the stereotypes attributed to self harm and explain how your case may be different. Everyone who self-harms has their own reasons why they do it. Explaining your mental health may help them understand your self harm better. Some people self-harm to show emotions. They like to see it for themselves. Others like to feel something for once. Others do it as self punishment. Some do it to alleviate pain. Sometimes it alleviates anxiety. Others may very well want attention and there's nothing wrong with that. A cry for help and attention can be a reason why someone self harms. All in all, we need to figure out why we self-harm first in order to explain it to others adequately.