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Does having scars on show make it uncomfortable for people who do not self harm?

24 Answers
Last Updated: 07/16/2018 at 2:14am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Hope Hadding, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I am a professional therapist with extensive experience working with various mental health disorders as well as sexual issues. I am supportive and non-judgmental.

Top Rated Answers
WhatTheCupcake2
November 30th, 2015 11:46am
Sadly for some people yes, but they are either ignorant or not very well informed on the subject. People who are worth caring about don't usually mind.
ItIsANewDay
July 14th, 2015 7:35pm
Well sometimes. Me personally, I don't mind it. But I guess it can get a little uncomfortable for someone. It really depends on how you stand about self harming and did you have any experience before with it.
Erynn
- Expert in Self-Harm
October 4th, 2015 7:24am
It varies. A lot of people do double-takes, some stare a lot, and some people ask because they can't really wrap their mind around it or don't know what to think or are trying to bring the topic up and are unsure how. I am tend to feel most concerned about how parents feel when children are near, but I feel that they will explain it however they feel most proper for their family, I also worry at times about how loved ones feel, but they have expressed that being able to see my scars and know that they are healed is more comforting than the sadness they feel sometimes about me having hurt myself in the first place. My ability to be open and honest with them now makes them very happy and reassured. So, it varies a lot, but I think your own comfort and the comfort of your loved ones is more important than the feelings of strangers or mere acquaintances (unless your employment depends on that, which might change things up).
Kalulu
December 14th, 2015 2:22pm
It's a large possibility because no one likes to see others in pain. Also they may the presence of your scars may be triggering to some people.
JoyfulForestRain
March 25th, 2016 7:25pm
It depends on the person. Some people don't mind it since they know the struggles of people and their feelings so they understand it. However, for some people seeing scars on somebody is the first real exposure to that kind of stuff so it's kind of normal for them to be nervous or uncomfortable. Just embrace how far you have come and be confident with who you are :D
KyKyleee
January 12th, 2015 11:21pm
Yes and No. Some people may find it uncomfortable just because he/she/they know how they got there. And sometimes people feel really bad and they're not sure what to say/do. Sometimes people don't mind. It really depends.
Anonymous
April 8th, 2015 1:13pm
It shouldn't make it uncomfortable for people who do not self harm as they need to understand the situation and be sympathetic about their situation.
FrenchPaule
May 28th, 2015 12:07pm
Sometimes it does, but sometimes people know they can react because they already know some "self-harmer" and they are used to it. But for the people who are uncomfortable, sometimes they act like they don't see the scars, and it could be a way to protect themselves.
QuietListener
June 3rd, 2015 5:37pm
Self-harm has been a struggle through my life since I was younger, but it has gotten much, much better with the help and support of my friends. Self-harm scars do make people you are not close to uncomfortable at times because often times those people don't understand what one who does self-harm is going through.
iamsodone
June 17th, 2015 9:17pm
It appears to be. But most of the time, people honestly just don't care as they're not compassionate.
Anonymous
August 31st, 2015 3:23am
Not exactly uncomfortable - people just feel concerned. I remember feeling a pang of sadness and feeling upset for the person.
Anonymous
September 7th, 2015 4:56pm
It, depends. Everyone is different and may act in there own ways. I'm not sure that people would really mind but you may get a few looks from people.
Anonymous
September 21st, 2015 3:50am
Sometimes, but it seems to mostly concern them about your well-being, not make them judgemental or scared. If it does make them critical, then it's their problem and not yours.
Anonymous
September 28th, 2015 11:29am
Truthfully, I think that people who have a problem with that need to grow up and realize that the world does not revolve around them. There are certain places where it's not okay to show self harm scars--at a job, for example, it's usually not okay. I follow the tattoo rule. If it's socially acceptable for your tattoo to be seen in a place, you also have the right to show your self harm scars.
jackie1855
May 30th, 2016 10:28pm
No I do not think so for most people. They might feel sympathy but not uncomfortable. Having scars is not a bad thing and you should be able to not have to hide them.
freshLove97
June 13th, 2016 1:47pm
It's more of an understanding thing. Humans have natural instincts to protect ourselves, so self-harm is difficult to understand for healthy people. It may be uncomfortable for some, cause it's kind of like they just learned something "odd" about you.
ZoeLotus
June 21st, 2016 10:14pm
Depending on how much is visible, it is similarly uncomfortable for people who do not self harm as when they see a disabled or autistic person at the grocery. At first, it's unfamiliar and for a child, possibly scary but immediately it goes unnoticed and they move on with their day.
littlemisscurious
June 22nd, 2016 10:43pm
Just one aspect I wanna add: in my experience, most people don't even notice (given that your scars are not very, very remarkable). Surely you are aware of your scars, anxious about what people might think or if they will confront you... it's absolutely normal, I think every self-harmer knows these thoughts. Besides, when you self-harm, other people's scars are much more likely to occur to you. 'Normal' people who don't pay special attention to it might not even become aware. Nonetheless, I think it's a good idea to work out what you're gonna answer in case someone asks about your scars - made me feel much more secure.
Kayleighrose
July 18th, 2016 2:16am
It could. But everybody is different. I've had people stare and not know how to react when they clearly know what it is. A therapist of mine told me when I was younger that I need to learn to just own it. And that has alway stuck with me.
TrannyNamedLuke
February 20th, 2017 7:29am
I would say that it can. It used to be strange to me to see others with self harm scars. But now that I have them, I'm afraid of wierding others out. Yes, it can make them uncomfortable, but not always.
TruthSinger
March 6th, 2017 4:13am
It depends. An acquaintance of mine has many scars on her arms which are often visible. I didn't initially notice them, but upon doing so I had to ask the question. I approached her and excused myself if the question was nosy but asked her to tell me about her experience with self-cutting if she was willing. She didn't have a problem confirming what they were but didn't want to go into it there so I let it drop. Sometime later she gave a presentation to the group (we meet twice a month to share information and healing experiences) about self-mutilation and its causes/cures. She's the only person I have ever known who I know used cutting to handle her stress at one point. But because of her, I have an awareness of it now, occasionally look for the signs and know that if it comes up, I have some idea about how to interact with the person. The biggest discomfort for me now is knowing someone is in that much pain and feeling the urge to help them without stripping them of their own power.
Anonymous
August 28th, 2017 12:06am
Often people will look because they haven't been through it themselves, but you should do things because it makes you comfortable. If you want to show them, go ahead. Being confident in you is more important!
Anonymous
June 5th, 2018 5:50pm
it seems to me that it does make them uncomfortable. I didn't care while I was cutting as much for others to see the scars but I never really wanted everyone to know what I was doing. so I guess it could make people on both sides feel uncomfortable at times. people who haven't cut don't really understand why it's done. it's to kill emotional pain. once you see that the person is actually hurting inside it's not so hard to see it. fresh wounds may be worrisome though.
Anonymous
July 16th, 2018 2:14am
It might if they are cruel and evil humans. Flaunt your scars. Be proud. They show that you've been through so much and still came out on top. I'm proud of you.