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Why do other people yell at me for self-harming? Why can't they be more sympathetic?

24 Answers
Last Updated: 11/10/2020 at 8:47pm
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
November 16th, 2015 8:38pm
Well there is really only one answer to this question. Because they are stupid, that's why. I'm very sorry.
May 9th, 2015 11:30am
They are worried. They don't see the real problem, they see it as you harming yourself. Not why you are doing it.
May 20th, 2015 4:04pm
Those people don't understand why you do it and they think you just want attention. some people don't realize that it's an unhealthy coping mechanism for a person who's just carrying too much weight on their shoulders. We all have those times in our lives where it feels like we are overwhelmed and that's OK. In life sometimes we fall down. it can take a long time to get back up. But that's okay. As long as you get back on your feet.
June 4th, 2015 10:15pm
They are ignorant and lack empathy. They can't put themselves in your shoes and imagine that you must go through a great deal of pain in order to choose a coping mechanism such as self-harming. You should be met with understanding and empathy instead of yelling and ignorance.
June 30th, 2015 6:04pm
They don't understand why you would do such of thing, they don't understand what your going through, they want you to stop, listen to your heart, and get help.
October 27th, 2015 8:15pm
Because people who love you don't want to see you hurting yourself and in pain. Sometimes they think it's their fault so they get angry.
June 5th, 2017 2:53am
People really do not understand the reasons behind self-harm. SH scares a lot of people and because of that, they do not react very well when faced with someone self-harming. I know it really sucks when people over react. People will never really understand unless they have dealt with self-harm themselves
January 11th, 2015 1:41pm
Well,some people won't understand you, they will think that you're doing that only for attention or something like this and this is why they will be rude. And another people will yell at you because they care ! Because they don't want to see you hurt.
May 30th, 2015 3:06am
Self Harming is a behaviour that a lot of people have trouble understanding, and when people don't understand something, they tend to react negatively towards it. Sympathy is hard to offer if you don't understand what you're sympathizing with.
September 22nd, 2015 7:42pm
some people can't deal with people that self harm mostly because it brings up bad memories for them
November 23rd, 2015 7:32am
People don't understand self harm. They see the harming aspect of it, but not the relief it gives people. They just don't understand.
December 14th, 2015 3:59am
Because they don't personally understand. They can't wrap their heads around the reason of why you are doing this.
February 1st, 2016 5:37am
People get scared when they see scars because they want you to be happy, and when they see the scars, they are worried about what might come next. When they yell at you, that is because they care. They aren't more sympathetic because they are scared and they want you to stop. As well, many of them don't know why you do it. People are awful to you about self harming because they are scared... And I am sorry you have to live with that
February 2nd, 2016 9:03pm
I think others yell out of fear mainly, fear of something they don't understand, fear that they can't save you and make it all okay. Be patient with and educate them by bring honest when you feel able - tell them how they can help you not add to your issues
May 31st, 2016 12:31pm
because some people do self harming for attention. that's why it's hard for other people to understand whose the real persons who suffers.
October 17th, 2016 3:03pm
It's important to know that other's may not have had the knowledge on how to respond to them. Offering a conversation, aimed to enlighten is often worth trying, but if they continue to disagree, let them be so and understand that they may have their own opinion.
October 18th, 2016 10:38am
It shows that they are scared because they want to help but don't understand it so they be hoping you will snap out of it. Some people will never understand. Best thing to do is focus on yourself and speak to people that do understand or that can help.
January 16th, 2017 11:23pm
Not everyone understands what it's like to be someone who self harms. They assume people who do it do it for attention and think it's simple to switch to alternative methods just like that. It's hard to be sympathetic of something you don't understand but none the less yelling is never the way to go. If you can think of a way to explain the feeling of need to self harm and help them understand it could help them become more sympathetic if they understood the situation better
February 28th, 2017 1:55am
Other people may not understand self-harming and react to it in a fight-or-flight response. You cannot control how other people react, what they say or think. You can only control and count on what you think aobut your own self-harming. It's ok to say "Can you just give me a hug this isn't helping right now?" but beyond being calm and honest about what you need, you cannot control what other people do with that information. You are looking for sympathy. It is posible you can find that sympathy if you keep telling other people about your self-harming. Eventually you will find osmeone who can be compassionate and help you the way you want to be helped. You will not find that person if you give up on them existing altogether. Good luck!
May 22nd, 2017 5:45am
Some people may be worried about your safety and health and that worry can translate into anger. Others may not understand what you're going through and think that you're just doing it for attention. If it's the former, try to keep in mind that you are loved and cared for. If it's the latter, try and educate others on your difficulties so they can be more helpful and compassionate in the future.
April 2nd, 2018 8:56am
People only tend to see the immediate danger of what you're doing and not why you're doing it. Just because they lack understanding it isn't out of lack of caring, just ignorance. Communicating with them could be a great way to help them understand a little more about what you're going through. Self-harming is obviously a very serious issue and can go wrong very quickly. It's always recommended that you speak to your doctor or a therapist, or anybody you may feel comfortable speaking to.
April 23rd, 2018 7:04pm
I think people yell at you because they do not understand why and sometimes it is because they care.
September 25th, 2018 2:31pm
It’s a lot of information for them to take in at once, and that’s a hard topic to talk about. I know that you see it as them trying to bring you down, but try to look at it in their shoes. How would you react if you found something that big out? Do be so hard on them and don’t be so hard on yourself, it’ll get better. They want to see you get better even if it means them being a bit upset. Talk it out, just give it time. And remember you have what it takes to make it. This is just a hard test and you are going to pass it.
November 10th, 2020 8:47pm
Sometimes it can be difficult for people who is close to us to deal with this information. It also triggers a variety of feelings and sensations in them. Ofcourse it is not the best reaction and it doesn't help you to get better, but it is normal that people doesn't always know how to react and sometimes feel incompetent and scared. Yelling at you can be a way for them to deal with the things they feel about it. You can try to talk in a deeper way about it, expressing that you need more empathy and sympathy from them, and acknowledging their feelings too.