Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

What do I say to people that ask about my scars without making them uncomfortable?

215 Answers
Last Updated: 10/28/2020 at 6:13pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Alex DS Ellis, MA, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

Feeling depressed or anxious can be so overwhelming. I want to help you feel better and be able to enjoy life. You are not alone and you deserve emotional support.

Top Rated Answers
April 19th, 2017 8:31pm
You don't owe anyone an explanation that you don't want to give. If it makes them uncomfortable, then that is their own thing to deal with, it's your story. However, if you don't want to make them uncomfortable, just tell them that they are from a cat, or a dog, an accident, any other tale that aligns with the scar appearance.
May 5th, 2017 5:18pm
If you trust them, tell them honestly about the nature of your scars. People are often uncomfortable with talking about self-harm because it's seen as a touchy subject. However, if people are open to talking about the history behind their scars, it gives courage for people to reach out and also offers an opportunity to educate loved ones around you to better support you. It's uncomfortable at first, but the more you put it out in the open, the more comfortable it gets in the future.
May 6th, 2017 2:39am
Most of the time I lie about my scars, and it makes me feel like crap. I wish I had the confidence to be honest to people about my scars but I just don't think I'm ready to put myself in that situation yet. I feel like I'm betraying myself by not accepting my body for what it is, but at the same time I still feel like nobody else would accept my body if they knew the self mutilation that occurred.
May 7th, 2017 1:11am
People are worried about you, be honest and open. If you try to hide it it will only lead them to wondering what it is or thinking badly of you or your situation.
May 14th, 2017 11:01pm
It's best to say whatever makes you comfortable, or the least uncomfortable. It might be good to just tell them that you've dealt with things in the past, but you're passed them/are getting passed them. You don't need to reveal anything you don't want to, even if you just say that you'd rather not talk about it.
May 25th, 2017 2:42pm
Try coming up with deliberately funny responses, say they're marks from rashes or illness or just say that they're old scars and nothing that they need to worry about. If they persist, then quite frankly, it's none of their business. Stay safe.
June 3rd, 2017 2:55am
Well, those would be my scars they are asking about and I'd either tell them I didn't want to talk about or just give them a straight forward brief answer. Because this would be mine to share and it only matters what I feel and how they are making me feel... If that makes sense
June 8th, 2017 10:52am
You can tell them that they are some marks from some difficult times that you have been through and try to make them understand that they don't mean that you are prone to harm others around you.
June 10th, 2017 3:24pm
People should not ask about scars but if they do tell them it has nothing to do with them. If you feel comfortable then you can tell them. you can make up an excuse or try to avoid it
June 10th, 2017 8:38pm
If you are comfortable with discussing the topic, answer them honestly. If you aren't comfortable, simply tell them that you are not comfortable discussing the issue - Or be as vague as you need to be.
June 25th, 2017 4:10pm
You can tell them that you're not comfortable as of now and apologize for it. That shouldn't make them uncomfortable, if they try to pry, say no.
June 28th, 2017 8:03pm
You tell them that these are your battle wounds. That you went through a very hard time in your life and this is proof but it's also a reminder that this was a bad time in your life and that you never want to go back.
July 2nd, 2017 3:57pm
If you feel comfortable enough telling them that they are self harm scars, tell them. Say that those scars were from a time that I felt that I had no where else to go, and that it was a low point in my life. But now I have overcome that obstacle in my life and although it was and still can be difficult, I am getting better.
July 13th, 2017 7:54am
Tell them they're signs of a past struggle, but that you are doing better and always looking forward to moving on and doing better.
July 19th, 2017 12:37pm
Don't try to sugar coat it. People will be uncomfortable, I was also a self-harmer and I told people the truth. I usually told them that I struggle to manage my emotions.
July 26th, 2017 7:48pm
You could maybe say that they are simply a constant reminder of how strong you are and how far you have come. Anybody that feels uncomfortable has the problem and not you, self harm is not something to be ashamed of, we all deal with difficult times in our own ways and your story is unique. No-one can judge you on a battle they have not fought.
August 9th, 2017 2:38pm
You don't have to be honest with them. You can say that you had a bad experience or you don't want to talk about it. Asking about your scars is a personal question, and it's up to you to choose what you want to say. I'm always honest, but if I notice that they're uncomfortable I'll ask why and do my best to help them through feeling uncomfortable. So many people deal with self-harm and it's best to educate people that this type of stuff is common. It's not just you.
August 12th, 2017 10:39am
Alot off people ask me about my scars because there words, and i tell them that for ever scar on my body was a battle i won because im still breathing.
August 13th, 2017 3:11am
Well first decide if them asking makes you uncomfortable. If so you aren't obligated to tell them anything. A simple, "I don't want to talk about it." Should suffice. If you want to tell them then tell them. If they are going to be uncomfortable about it, then they shouldn't have asked to begin with. Don't be fooled, many know the story may not be a good one but they still pry out of curiosity.
August 30th, 2017 12:28am
It really depends on how you feel, do you want them to know how you got them or not? If you do then you can simply tell them that you fell awkwardly on the pavement, that you were cooking and the knife slipped, or simply that you don't want to talk about it. However, if you do want them to know then you should tell them without the worry of them being uncomfortable. Ultimately, you should do what you feel is right.
September 2nd, 2017 8:49pm
Usually it's best to tell them as much as you feel comfortable with. If you can be confident in yourself then it will put others at ease. You don't have to tell them the whole story, just as much or as little as you feel is necessary
October 19th, 2017 8:18am
If you are comfortable, just say they are scars from previous self harm. Honesty is sometimes easier
November 9th, 2017 3:03pm
I just explain how I got my scars and that they are a part of my life that makes me feel proud of overcoming obstacles in my life.
November 14th, 2017 2:21pm
People do not deserve anything from you. It is up to YOU whether you want to answer them. If you do want to answer, be honest. If it makes them uncomfortable, they can get over it seeing as they asked.
November 17th, 2017 4:04am
In my opinion, I think you should just tell them about them. If they chose to ask, then they're putting themselves in a place to feel potentially uncomfortable.
November 18th, 2017 5:27am
Personally, I am straightforward with my story. In my experience, if they are asking about my scars they already kind of know how the scars got there. I am not usually concerned about making the other person uncomfortable because they don't appear to be worried about making me uncomfortable with the question they're asking. If you would like to be somewhat discreet about your situation, I would say "I've been through a hard time, but I am getting better." That should be enough to stop further questions.
November 18th, 2017 11:33pm
I always tell people my scars tell a story. The story of how I battles things in life....but I'm still standing here because I won. My scars show my past. They don't dictate my future or who I am.
November 24th, 2017 7:26pm
That their battle scars, and it's because I'm a fighter and I'm winning the battle. (That's if you've stoped)
November 25th, 2017 1:14am
Change the subject, it's nobody's business what you've been through unless you trust them, it was a rough time and you've made it through the fire
November 30th, 2017 9:32pm
Politely say that they're your life story and how you've had your own battles, your scars are who you are and what you've been through, and while it was rough then you can look back and say "I'm a stronger person now" :)