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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 10th 2013, 02:56 AM

Hi guys! So I haven't really had any ideas for an article since I got accepted. I've been nervous, I've been lazy... it hasn't happened until now. I got the idea for an article on how to tell a loved one about your self harm. I'm planning the article to focus on parents and partners, not necessarily friends or other relatives like an uncle, a cousin, or a grandparent. I looked in the articles and I didn't find anything on this particular specific subject. I didn't look in Avatar yet - I was wondering if there was a quicker way to look through Avatar without returning to the Archive page every time you're done with one and want to read another.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Does anyone know if this is in Avatar already? Do you think I should include friends in it? I wanted to focus on parents and partners, but I'm putting it out there for you guys to tell me what you think
   
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Re: Article Idea :) - August 10th 2013, 05:19 AM

Hey! Thanks for getting involved.

First, would you mind renaming the thread to reflect what the article will be, just so we can tell what it's about without having to click on it? If everyone posted threads with titles like 'article idea' the whole forum would be a mess.

To answer your question about Avatar, yes, there is an easier way. First, open the issue you want or an issue from the year you want. The URL will be something like, for example, this: http://www.teenhelp.org/avatar_files/2008/January08.pdf. When you're finished reading January's issue, just replace the 'January' and replace with 'February', so you get http://www.teenhelp.org/avatar_files...February08.pdf. If you want to go from December one year to January the next, remember to change both the number after 'files' and the one after the date. Also, be careful as the formatting changes between years. For 2007, 2008, and 2009, it's the month and then the last two letters of the year (eg. March09), but for 2010 and 2011 it's the month and then the full year (eg. September2011). Okay, not sure that explanation made much sense, but basically what I'm saying is that if you just adjust the URL you don't have to go back to the archive every time.

Now, about your article. The closest thing I could find was an article in this issue, but that one's about how to react if someone tells you they're self harming, not what to do if you want to tell someone you are. So I'd say you're all set with that, unless anyone else finds an article I missed. It's up to you how much you want to include. Personally, I think you should either do something very broad (eg. 'telling someone close to you that you self harm', which is inclusive of family, partners, friends, etc), something more specific (eg. just focussing on family, or partners, or friends), or something that includes all of them (eg. have most of it as broad 'telling someone you self harm' information, and then add some more specific details, like a paragraph on each of family, partners, and friends). For now I'd wait and see what Robin, the queen of Mind & Body, has to say.



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Re: Article Idea :) - August 10th 2013, 06:58 AM

I don't know how to rename the thread.
Thank you for your suggestions I'll edit to make it a little broader.
Also, thank you for explaining the Avatar archive thing. It made sense to me, no worries.
   
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Re: Article Idea :) - August 10th 2013, 07:01 AM

If you go back to the Mind & Body forum page, where you can see all of the threads in this section, go to the title of your thread and double click on it. If you're able to rename it (I'm not entirely sure of the permissions in Articles, so let's find out) you'll be able to type up a new name then.



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Re: Article Idea :) - August 10th 2013, 07:07 AM

That doesn't work. I feel kinda dumb.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 10th 2013, 07:15 AM

No worries, I've gone ahead and changed it now anyway.



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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 10th 2013, 07:21 AM

Ah, thanks.
So should I submit it now or wait until Robin shares what she thinks?
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 11th 2013, 02:43 AM

You definitely don't have to wait for my approval with articles. =) If you're passionate about something, and you want to write about it, then go for it! If there are issues with formatting, or if there is information that was covered in a previous article, or if the article needs its focus to be expanded/narrowed, then we can work on fixing it together (along with the rest of the Editors and team!).

Personally, I think it might be better to go with a more inclusive article (telling loved ones about your self-harm). For some people, friends can be as close as family members, or family members may be emotionally distant and no different than strangers... so by changing the focus, you'll be inviting more readers to check out the article. =)





   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 11th 2013, 06:13 AM

I did change it to be more inclusive so do I submit the content in this thread?
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 11th 2013, 06:33 AM

Yep, just go ahead and post the draft in this thread when it's ready.



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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 11th 2013, 06:38 AM

Eventually I'll get the hang of it all.

How to Tell a Loved One of Your Self-Harm
Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, regardless of the form. Letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. If you feel like you’re ready to tell someone, such as a friend, parent, or partner, but you’re not sure where to begin, you’re not alone. Many self-harmers are afraid of how to put it to someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ on them in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.
The first step you may want to take is writing a letter. If you are afraid to approach your loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than walking up and telling them you need to talk to them. In your letter, you can say whatever you are afraid to say, even that you are nervous or afraid to talk to them. If you do not wish to write a letter, pulling your loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step.
The second step is to remain calm. If you are panicking, you may not be able to say everything you want to say because you forgot it or you second guess yourself. If you are calm, the atmosphere is less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to begin and get through. If your loved one has become angry or upset, and the situation is starting to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any farther. Remember, their reaction is not your fault.
If your loved one is related to a reason for your self-harm, you may want to point the finger at them. There are ways to tell them they have a part in it without laying direct blame. Constructive words such as, “I feel like this when you do this,” or “When you say these things to me, I feel this,” are not seen as pointing fingers because it doesn’t sound like you’re saying the person intended to make you feel that way. Expressions such as, “You make me feel this,” “You do this to me,” may not be taken very well. Even if your loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout your conversation may help it to run more smoothly.
Unfortunately, we cannot control anyone’s reactions to what we say. Your loved one may demand to see your self-injury if any is present or to have your tools if you have any. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with what they use. Working with the person will make things easier, so it might not be a good idea to fight them if they ask to see your self-harm or what you’ve used. It is hard, and it is uncomfortable, but if you have recovery in mind (and even if you do not), it is what is best. No matter what, their reaction is not your fault.
It is important that you say what you feel and be honest. It is much easier to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re letting this person in on a very personal part of your life. It is unreasonable to expect it to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive. Working with what your loved one asks of you may be difficult, but if you would like your loved one to change the way they talk to you or the actions they take, you have the right to tell them so. Even though some people will not take learning of your self-harm so well and say hurtful things, it is absolutely not your fault. You are the one hurting, and you are the one in need. It is not their place to insult you or blame you and hurt you further. There are many steps you can take to tell a loved one of your self-harm, but these are helpful to make it easier on yourself and your loved one. It is the right thing to do, but that does not mean it is easy, and it is a step to recovery. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 12th 2013, 06:55 PM

Hey, good job! I've suggested some edits and cleaned up the formatting a bit. There are still some areas I'm not sure about (I read somewhere that it is preferred that articles be written in third person -- I don't know if this is correct or not?), so if others would like to jump in, cool. But I love the idea for this article and I think it's extremely important.

How to Tell a Loved One of Your Self-Harm [Kylie: Underlined title]
By Kyra (Viridian) [Kylie: Unbolded text]

Self-harm is often a private matter, regardless of the form., and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. If you feel like you’re ready to tell someone, such as a friend, parent, or partner, but you’re not sure where to begin, you’re not alone. Many self-harmers are afraid of how to put it to telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ on them in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step you may want to take is writing a letter. If you are afraid to approach your loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than walking up and telling them you need to talk to them. In your letter, you can say whatever you are afraid to say, even that you are nervous or afraid to talk to them. If you do not wish to write a letter, pulling your loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. [Kylie: This paragraph might be able to be restructured a little bit. Instead of starting off telling users to write a letter, perhaps you could say "The first step you want to take is figuring out what to say to the person" and then go on to explore the different options, such as writing letters vs. telling them face-to-face.]

The second step is to remain calm. If you are panicking, you may not be able to say everything you want to say because you forgot it or you second guess yourself. If you are calm, the atmosphere is less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to begin and get through. If your loved one has become angry or upset, and the situation is starting to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any further. Remember, their reaction is not your fault.

If your loved one is related to a reason for your self-harm, you may want to point the finger at them. There are ways to tell them they have a part in it without laying direct blame. Constructive words such as, “I feel like this when you do this,” or “When you say these things to me, I feel this,” are not seen as pointing fingers because it doesn’t sound like you’re saying the person intended to make you feel that way. Expressions such as, “You make me feel this,” “You do this to me,” may not be taken very well. [Kylie: This is excellent advice. However, I'm thinking that maybe this could be worded a bit more clearly, by saying something like: Use constructive wording such as "I feel like [this] when you do [this]" or "When you say those things to me, I feel [this]." This allows you to take ownership of your feelings and leads to a healthier and less hostile interaction. Expressions such as "You make me feel [this]" may lead a person to feel accused and like they need to play up their defenses, which makes it very hard for them to hear your concerns. But that's just an example that I came up with off the top of my head, so feel free to restructure it a bit. If anyone else has any suggestions for this bit here, please add on. ] Even if your loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout your conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, we cannot control anyone’s reactions to what we say. Your loved one may demand to see your self-injury if any is present or to have your tools if you have any. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with what they use. Working with the person will make things easier, so it might not be a good idea to fight them if they ask to see your self-harm or what you’ve used. It is hard, and it is uncomfortable, but if you have recovery in mind (and even if you do not), it is what is best. No matter what, their reaction is not your fault. [Kylie: This is really good, but I feel like it prepares users only for the worst. What are some good possible outcomes that could come of this interaction? What if a person reacts with love and support, etc.? You may also want to discuss appropriate boundaries, such as saying no when you don't feel comfortable showing someone your scars and the like. While giving up tools and having scars inspected may be recovery oriented, I don't think it's necessary unless it is requested by someone who is a therapist or a doctor. Personally, I don't think it's the loved one's place to inquire about those things.]

It is important that you say what you feel and be honest. It is much easier better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re letting this person in on a very personal part of your life., and it is unreasonable to expect it to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive. Working with what your loved one asks of you may be difficult, but if you would like your loved one to change the way they talk to you or the actions they take, you have the right to tell them so. Even though some people will not take learning of your self-harm so well and say hurtful things, it is absolutely not your fault. You are the one hurting, and you are the one in need. It is not their place to insult you or blame you and hurt you further. [Kylie: This seems a little redundant to me. This has already been said in the previous paragraph, and I'm not sure it's necessary to say again. I might recommend removing this entire thing, but I'm not entirely sure. What do others think?]

There are many steps you can take to tell a loved one of your self-harm, but these are helpful to make it easier on yourself and your loved one. It is the right thing to do, but that does not mean it is easy, and it is a step to recovery. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time. [Kylie: I broke this into a paragraph of its own since it seems to be a separate thought from the content above. As for the orange text, I personally would avoid saying it's the "right thing" to do, as there may be cases when telling a loved one is either not necessary or not right for the person. I would word it less judgmentally, such as saying: In many cases, it's important... That makes it a little more inclusive.]

Last edited by DeletedAccount32; August 13th 2013 at 02:59 AM.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - August 24th 2013, 06:17 PM

How to Tell a Loved One of Your Self-Harm
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, regardless of the form, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. If you feel like you’re ready to tell someone, such as a friend, parent, or partner, but you’re not sure where to begin, you’re not alone. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ on them in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step you may want to take is figuring out what you want to say. Once you've done that, the next step is deciding how you want to say it. If you are afraid to approach your loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than walking up and telling them you need to talk to them. In your letter, you can say whatever you are afraid to say, even that you are nervous or afraid to talk to them. A few pros to this choice is that you have more room to pick and choose what you want to say, and more time to think and prepare. If you do not wish to write a letter, pulling your loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. Some pros to this option are that when you are speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on a paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, your emotions, facial expressions, and body language have less of a barrier between you and your loved one, and you have more control over them.

The second step is to remain calm. If you are panicking, you may not be able to say everything you want to say because you forgot it or you second guess yourself. If you are calm, the atmosphere is less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to begin and get through. If your loved one has become angry or upset, and the situation is starting to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any further. Remember, their reaction is not your fault.

If your loved one is a reason for your self-harm, you may want to point the finger at them. There are ways to tell them they have a part in it without laying direct blame. Constructive words such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as pointing fingers because it doesn’t sound like you’re saying the person intended to make you feel that way. It also allows you to take ownership of the way you feel. Expressions such as, “You make me feel [this],” “You do [this] to me,” may not be taken very well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen to you. Even if your loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout your conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, we cannot control anyone’s reactions to what we say. Your loved one may demand to see your self-injury if any is present or to have your tools if you have any. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with what they use. In this case, you may want to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If you feel uncomfortable with something that someone is asking of you, tell them. On the other hand, your loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than we might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way we fear they will. Regardless, they choose how they feel, and in no way are you responsible for how they react, positive or negative.

It is important that you say what you feel and be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re letting this person in on a very personal part of your life, and it is unreasonable to expect it to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive.

There are many steps you can take to tell a loved one of your self-harm, but these are some that may make it easier on yourself and your loved one. In many cases, it's important and may be helpful, but that does not mean it is easy. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 19th 2013, 12:19 PM

Robin (or other Editors/team members), do you have any suggestions? This is coming along nicely, but I'd love some more input.



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our families home again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 19th 2013, 08:33 PM

[Adam: All unnecessary formatting removed. Also, a lot of my edits are to ensure that it's in third person instead of second, not because I dislike the content. ]
How to Tell a Loved One of Your Self-Harm
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, regardless of the form, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. If you feel like you’re ready to tell someone, such as a friend, parent, or partner, but you’re not sure where to begin, you’re not alone.Feeling unsure where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ on them in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step you may want toone might take is figuring out what you want to say. Once you've done that's done, the next step is deciding how you want to say it. If you are afraid to approach yournervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than walking up and telling them you needasking to talk to them. In your letter, you can say whatever you are afraid to say, even that you are nervous or afraid to talk to themLetters have the advantage of allowing expression fully, without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this choice is that you havethere is more room to pick and choose what you want to say, and more time to think and prepare. If you do not wishing to write a letter, pulling youra loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. Some pros to this option are that when you are speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on a paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, your emotions, facial expressions, and body language have less of a barrier between you and your loved one, and you have more control over them.

The second step is to remain calm. If you are panicking, you may not be able to say everything you want to say because you forgot it or you second guess yourselfPanicking will mean that things might be forgotten or "second guessed" whereas i. If you are calm, the atmosphere is less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to begin and get through. If your loved one has become angry or upset, and the situation is starting to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any further. Remember, their reaction is not your fault.

If youra loved one is a reason for yourthe self-harm, you may wantit may seem tempting to point the finger at them. There are ways to tell them they have a part in it without laying direct blame. Constructive words such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as pointing fingersaccusatoy because it doesn’t sound like you’re saying the person intended to make you feel that way. It also allows you to taketaking ownership of the way youone feels. Expressions such as, “You make me feel [this],” “You do [this] to me,” may not be taken very well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen to you. Even if your loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout your conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, we cannotit is impossible to control anyone’s reactions to what we saythings that are said. Your loved one may demand to see your self-injury if any is present or to have your tools if you have any. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with what they use. In this case, you may wantit may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If you feel uncomfortable with something that someone is asking of you, tell them. On the other hand, your loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than we might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way we fear they will. Regardless, they choose how they feel, and in no way are you responsible for how they react, positive or negative.

It is important that you say what you feel and be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’re letting this person in on a very personal part of your life, and it is unreasonable to expect it to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive.

There are many steps you can take to tell a loved one of your self-harm, but these are some that may make it easier on yourselfand your loved one. In many cases, it's important and may be helpful, but that does not mean it is easy. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.


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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 22nd 2013, 10:31 PM

How to Tell a Loved One of Your Self-Harm
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, regardless of the form, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ on them in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing expression fully, without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this choice is that there is more room to pick and choose what to say, and more time to think and prepare. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. Some pros to this option are that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on a paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to control.

The second step is to remain calm. Panicking will mean that things might be forgotten or "second guessed" whereas if you are calm, the atmosphere is less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to begin and get through. If the loved one has become angry or upset, and the situation is starting to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any further.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. There are ways to tell them they have a part in it without laying direct blame. Constructive words such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like saying the person intended to make you feel that way. It also allows taking ownership of the way one feels. Expressions such as, “You make me feel [this],” “You do [this] to me,” may not be taken very well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout your conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reactions to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-injury or confiscate the tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with what they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If there is some discomfort with something that someone is asking of you, tell them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than we might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way we fear they will. Regardless, they choose how they feel, and in no way are you responsible for how they react, positive or negative.

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on a very personal part of one's life should not be expected to easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive.

There are many steps you can take to tell a loved one of your self-harm, but these are some that may make it easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important and may be helpful, but that does not mean it is easy. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 24th 2013, 04:46 PM

Here are my suggested edits. =) Let's see if we can get this ready by October 1st!


How to tell a loved one of your self-harm
[I would like to suggest a different title, ex. "Telling a loved one about self-harm", "Discussing self-harm with a loved one", or "Revealing self-harm to a loved one". I also noticed you used "you" or "your" vs. "one" or "one's" at various points in the article, so I reworded everything to make it consistent. As a result, the title should be altered to remain consistent with the article's content.]
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, regardless of the form, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure of where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ on them in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing for full expression fully, without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this choice is that there is method include having more room to pick and choose what to say, and more time to think organize one's thoughts, and time to prepare for the loved one's reaction. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. Some pros to this option are One advantage to this method is that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on a paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to control express.

The second step is to Remain calm while communicating with the loved one. Panicking will mean that things might be may result in things being forgotten or "second guessed", whereas if you are the self-harmer is calm, the atmosphere is may be less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to begin initiate and get through. If the loved one has becomes angry or upset, and the situation is startsing to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any further.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. There are ways to tell them they have a part in it without laying direct blame. Constructive words statements such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like the self-harmer is saying the person intended to make you them feel that way. It also allows one to takeing ownership of the way one feels. Expressions Statements such as, “You make me feel [this],” or “You do [this] to me,” may not be taken very received well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout your one's conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reactions to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-injury [It might be best to remain consistent and stick with "self-harm".] or confiscate the self-harming tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with what the self-harming tools they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If there is some discomfort with something that someone is asking of you, tell them. If the self-harmer is uncomfortable with a request or demand made by their loved one, they should communicate this with them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than we one might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way we one fears they will. Regardless, they choose the loved one is responsible for how they feel respond, and in no way are you responsible for how they react, whether positive or negative in nature.

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on a very personal part of one's life should not be expected to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive.

There are many steps you one can take to tell a loved one of your their self-harm, but and these are some strategies that may make it easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important to share this sensitive information and may be helpful in the long-term, but that does not mean it is easy to do. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.






Last edited by PSY; September 25th 2013 at 05:01 AM.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 26th 2013, 06:10 AM

Final draft.

Discussing self-harm with a loved one
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure of where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing for full expression without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this method include having more room to pick and choose what to say and more time to organize one's thoughts and prepare for the loved one's reaction. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. One advantage to this method is that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to express.

Remain calm while communicating with the loved one. Panicking may result in things being forgotten or "second guessed", whereas if the self-harmer is calm, the atmosphere may be less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to initiate and get through. If the loved one becomes angry or upset, and the situation starts to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any further.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. There are ways to tell them without laying direct blame. Constructive statements such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like the self-harmer is saying the person intended to make them feel that way. It also allows one to take ownership of the way one feels. Statements such as, “You make me feel [this],” or “You do [this] to me,” may not be received well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout one's conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reaction to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-harm, or confiscate the self-harming tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with the self-harming tools they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If the self-harmer is uncomfortable with a request or demand made by their loved one, they should communicate this with them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than one might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way one fears they will. Regardless, the loved one is responsible for how they respond, whether positive or negative in nature.

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on an extremely personal part of one's life should not be expected to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive.

There are many steps one can take to tell a loved one of their self-harm, and these are some strategies that may make it easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important to share this sensitive information and may be helpful in the long-term, but that does not mean it is easy to do. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 27th 2013, 02:45 AM

I really like this article, and I think it could be very useful. However, I think it could be extended in places, namely:

Paragraph two: figuring out what to say. Maybe here you could mention that it's important to find a balance between being clear enough to allow the loved one to understand, and bombarding them with information. So you could talk about how to make sure you're honest but not overwhelming.

Paragraph two: face-to-face. Maybe here you could add a note about making sure it's at a good time, giving the person time to process and respond, and even how to prepare yourself for this kind of face-to-face reveal.

Paragraph three: keeping calm. Could you possibly add something about how to do that? You could elaborate on how to stop your loved one's reactions affecting you too negatively, and how to keep your cool even if they're not doing the same.

Paragraph four: blame. This isn't essential, but I think it could be good to just make a quick note here about how even if someone's actions/words trigger you, it's your decision to hurt yourself, so you shouldn't blame them anyway. Or something.

Paragraph six: this one just seems a little short, so perhaps you could extend it somehow or add it onto another paragraph.

As I said, overall I like it, and these are just suggestions you're free to take or leave as you please. Thanks for the hard work and quick edits; we should have this ready by October if we keep at it.



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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 28th 2013, 01:50 AM

Maybe final draft.
Chess, I found a way to stick in what you said about blame in paragraph four, but I'm not too sure it flows well. Also, I just stuck the two last paragraphs together and changed the transitioning a little bit, since I think someone made an earlier edit and separated them.

Discussing self-harm with a loved one
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure of where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. It may be best to find a balance between using clear details to allow the loved one to understand and bombarding them with information from the beginning. One might want to consider condensing their points along the way to leave out what may not be necessary. The loved one may become overwhelmed if a large amount of information is put in front of them. Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing for full expression without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this method include having more room to pick and choose what to say and more time to organize one's thoughts and prepare for the loved one's reaction. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. One advantage to this method is that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to express. However, it is important to make sure that it is a good time for the loved one to sit down and have the conversation; if they are stressed or busy, perhaps it is not the best time. Waiting may also allow one even more time to collect their thoughts and run through what they have decided to say.

Remain calm while communicating with the loved one. Panicking may result in things being forgotten or "second guessed", whereas if the self-harmer is calm, the atmosphere may be less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to initiate and get through. Taking deep breaths, using 'self-talk', such as, "Everything will be alright, I am going to get through this, and so will my loved one," and thinking through everything one says before saying it are effective ways to keep oneself calm. If the loved one becomes angry or upset, and the situation starts to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn’t escalate any further. On some occasions, people do not react well to being told, "Calm down, you're overreacting." Only one person can control their actions, and that is them. It is no one else's fault; their reaction is their choice. Keeping these points in mind may help one to cope with a negative reaction and how it affects them.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. Despite this, remember that one's actions are their own decision. There are ways to tell a loved one that their actions have had a hurtful or negative effect without laying direct blame. Constructive statements such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like the self-harmer is saying the person intended to make them feel that way. It also allows one to take ownership of the way one feels. Statements such as, “You make me feel [this],” or “You do [this] to me,” may not be received well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout one's conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reaction to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-harm, or confiscate the self-harming tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with the self-harming tools they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If the self-harmer is uncomfortable with a request or demand made by their loved one, they should communicate this with them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than one might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way one fears they will. Regardless, the loved one is responsible for how they respond, whether positive or negative in nature.

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on an extremely personal part of one's life should not be expected to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive. These strategies, along with the others listed in this article, are some that may help one make having a distressing conversation easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important to share this sensitive information and may be helpful in the long-term, but that does not mean it is easy to do. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 28th 2013, 12:03 PM

I've suggested a few edits but I really like this article. Another idea is to maybe talk more about more ways of telling someone, for example, email, text, etc. and the pro's and con's of them.

Discussing self-harm with a loved one
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure of where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. It may be best to find a balance between using clear details to allow the loved one to understand and bombarding them with information from the beginning. One might want to consider condensing their points along the way to leave out what may not be necessary. The loved one may become overwhelmed if a large amount of information is put in front of them. Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing for full expression without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. [Jenny: Maybe mention about how you could either leave the letter for the loved one to find or hand it to them, and how you could ask for a written response too.] A few pros to this method include having more room to pick and choose what to say [Jenny: Maybe saying something like "more choice of what to write" would sound better here.] and more time to organize one's thoughts and prepare for the loved one's reaction. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. One advantage to this method is that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to express. However, it is important to make sure that it is a good time for the loved one to sit down and have the conversation; if they are stressed or busy, perhaps it is not the best time. Waiting may also allow one even more time to collect their thoughts and run through what they have decided to say.

Remain calm while communicating with the loved one. Panicking may result in things being forgotten or "second guessed", whereas if the self-harmer is calm, the atmosphere may be less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to initiate and get through. Taking deep breaths, using 'self-talk', such as, "Everything will be alright, I am going to get through this, and so will my loved one," and thinking through everything one says before saying it are effective ways to keep oneself calm. [Jenny: Maybe talk about breathing in and out to help calm down.] If the loved one becomes angry or upset, and the situation starts to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn't escalate any further. On some occasions, people do not react well to being told, "Calm down, you're overreacting." Only one person can control their actions, and that is them. It is no one else's fault; their reaction is their choice. Keeping these points in mind may help one to cope with a negative reaction and how it affects them.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. Despite this, remember that one's actions are their own decision. There are ways to tell a loved one that their actions have had a hurtful or negative effect without laying direct blame. Constructive statements such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like the self-harmer is saying the person intended to make them feel that way. It also allows one to take ownership of the way one feels. Statements such as, “You make me feel [this],” or “You do [this] to me,” may not be received well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout one's conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reaction to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-harm, or confiscate the self-harming tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with the self-harming tools they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If the self-harmer is uncomfortable with a request or demand made by their loved one, they should communicate this with them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than one might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way one fears they will. Regardless, the loved one is responsible for how they respond, whether in a positive or negative way in nature. [Jenny: I didn't think it read well before so I changed it and I think it reads better now.]

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on an extremely personal part of one's life should not be expected to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive. These strategies, along with the others listed in this article, are some that may help one make having a distressing conversation easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important to share this sensitive information and may be helpful in the long-term, but that does not mean it is easy to do. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.


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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - September 28th 2013, 07:45 PM

Discussing self-harm with a loved one
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure of where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. It may be best to find a balance between using clear details to allow the loved one to understand and bombarding them with information from the beginning. One might want to consider condensing their points along the way to leave out what may not be necessary. The loved one may become overwhelmed if a large amount of information is put in front of them. Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing for full expression without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this method include having more choice of what to write and more time to organize one's thoughts and prepare for the loved one's reaction. One might leave the letter for their loved one to find, or they might prefer to give them the letter themselves. One might also ask that the loved give them a written response back if the thought of sitting face-to-face is too distressing. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. One advantage to this method is that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to express. However, it is important to make sure that it is a good time for the loved one to sit down and have the conversation; if they are stressed or busy, perhaps it is not the best time. Waiting may also allow one even more time to collect their thoughts and run through what they have decided to say.

Remain calm while communicating with the loved one. Panicking may result in things being forgotten or "second guessed", whereas if the self-harmer is calm, the atmosphere may be less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to initiate and get through. Taking deep breaths, focusing on breathing in and out and timing oneself, using 'self-talk', such as, "Everything will be alright, I am going to get through this, and so will my loved one," and thinking through everything one says before saying it are effective ways to keep oneself calm. If the loved one becomes angry or upset, and the situation starts to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn't escalate any further. On some occasions, people do not react well to being told, "Calm down, you're overreacting." Only one person can control their actions, and that is them. It is no one else's fault; their reaction is their choice. Keeping these points in mind may help one to cope with a negative reaction and how it affects them.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. Despite this, remember that one's actions are their own decision. There are ways to tell a loved one that their actions have had a hurtful or negative effect without laying direct blame. Constructive statements such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like the self-harmer is saying the person intended to make them feel that way. It also allows one to take ownership of the way one feels. Statements such as, “You make me feel [this],” or “You do [this] to me,” may not be received well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout one's conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reaction to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-harm, or confiscate the self-harming tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with the self-harming tools they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If the self-harmer is uncomfortable with a request or demand made by their loved one, they should communicate this with them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than one might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way one fears they will. Regardless, the loved one is responsible for how they respond, whether in a positive or negative way.

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on an extremely personal part of one's life should not be expected to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive. These strategies, along with the others listed in this article, are some that may help one make having a distressing conversation easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important to share this sensitive information and may be helpful in the long-term, but that does not mean it is easy to do. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - October 2nd 2013, 10:56 PM

Discussing self-harm with a loved one
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure of where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. It may be best to find a balance between using clear details to allow the loved one to understand and bombarding them with information from the beginning. [This sentence seems confusing to me. Perhaps something like, "Finding a balance between sharing too little and too much information is important."] One might want to consider condensing their points along the way to leave out what may not be necessary. The loved one may become overwhelmed if a large amount of information is put in front of them initially shared with them.

Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing for full expression without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this method include having more choice of what to write and more time to organize one's thoughts and prepare for the loved one's reaction. One might leave the letter for their loved one to find, or they might prefer to give them the letter themselves. One might also ask that the loved one give them a written response back if the thought of sitting face-to-face is too distressing. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. One advantage to this method is that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to express. However, it is important to make sure that it is a good time for the loved one to sit down and have the conversation; if they are stressed or busy, perhaps it is not the best time. Waiting may also allow one even more time to collect their thoughts and run through what they have decided to say.

Remain calm while communicating with the loved one. Panicking may result in things being forgotten or "second guessed", whereas if the self-harmer is calm, the atmosphere may be less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to initiate and get through. Taking deep breaths, focusing on breathing in and out and timing oneself, using 'self-talk', such as, "Everything will be alright, I am going to get through this, and so will my loved one," and thinking through everything one says before saying it are effective ways to keep oneself calm. If the loved one becomes angry or upset, and the situation starts to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn't escalate any further. On some occasions, people do not react well to being told, "Calm down, you're overreacting." Only one person can control their actions, and that is them. It is no one else's fault; their reaction is their choice. Keeping these points in mind may help one to cope with a negative reaction and how it affects them.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. Despite this, remember that one's actions are their own decision. There are ways to tell a loved one that their actions have had a hurtful or negative effect without laying direct blame. Constructive statements such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like the self-harmer is saying the person intended to make them feel that way. It also allows one to take ownership of the way one feels. Statements such as, “You make me feel [this],” or “You do [this] to me,” may not be received well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout one's conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reaction to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-harm, or confiscate the self-harming tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with the self-harming tools they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If the self-harmer is uncomfortable with a request or demand made by their loved one, they should communicate this with them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than one might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way one fears they will. Regardless, the loved one is responsible for how they respond, whether in a positive or negative way.

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on an extremely personal part of one's life should not be expected to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive. These strategies, along with the others listed in this article, are some that may help one make having a distressing conversation easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important to share this sensitive information and may be helpful in the long-term, but that does not mean it is easy to do. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.





   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - October 2nd 2013, 11:48 PM

Discussing self-harm with a loved one
By Kyra (Viridian)

Self-harm is often a private matter, and letting someone in on something so personal is never easy. Feeling unsure of where to start, even when wanting to tell someone such as a family member, partner or friend is not at all unusual. Many self-harmers are afraid of telling someone for fear of them ‘freaking out’ in the case of a parent, a breakup in the case of a partner, or abandonment if it’s a friend. Here are several steps one may consider taking to help make it easier on the self-harmer and the loved one in question.

The first step one might take is figuring out what to say. Finding a balance between sharing too little and too much information is important. One might want to consider condensing their points along the way to leave out what may not be necessary. The loved one may become overwhelmed if a large amount of information is initially shared with them.

Once that's done, the next step is deciding how to say it. If nervous or afraid of talking to a loved one, writing a letter might be considerably easier than asking to talk to them. Letters have the advantage of allowing for full expression without the risk of getting too nervous halfway through a conversation. A few pros to this method include having more choice of what to write and more time to organize one's thoughts and prepare for the loved one's reaction. One might leave the letter for their loved one to find, or they might prefer to give them the letter themselves. One might also ask that the loved one give them a written response back if the thought of sitting face-to-face is too distressing. If one does not wish to write a letter, pulling the loved one aside and saying, “I have something to talk to you about when you have a moment,” is as good a first step. One advantage to this method is that when speaking face-to-face, emotions can clearly be seen. It is sometimes hard to tell how a person is feeling through words on paper, and by choosing to speak directly to the person, emotions, facial expressions, and body language are easier to express. However, it is important to make sure that it is a good time for the loved one to sit down and have the conversation; if they are stressed or busy, perhaps it is not the best time. Waiting may also allow one even more time to collect their thoughts and run through what they have decided to say.

Remain calm while communicating with the loved one. Panicking may result in things being forgotten or "second guessed", whereas if the self-harmer is calm, the atmosphere may be less tense, and the conversation may feel easier to initiate and get through. Taking deep breaths, focusing on breathing in and out and timing oneself, using 'self-talk', such as, "Everything will be alright, I am going to get through this, and so will my loved one," and thinking through everything one says before saying it are effective ways to keep oneself calm. If the loved one becomes angry or upset, and the situation starts to get heated, remaining calm will help ensure it doesn't escalate any further. On some occasions, people do not react well to being told, "Calm down, you're overreacting." Only one person can control their actions, and that is them. It is no one else's fault; their reaction is their choice. Keeping these points in mind may help one to cope with a negative reaction and how it affects them.

If a loved one is a reason for the self-harm, it may seem tempting to point the finger at them. Despite this, remember that one's actions are their own decision. There are ways to tell a loved one that their actions have had a hurtful or negative effect without laying direct blame. Constructive statements such as, “I feel like [this] when you do [this],” or “When you say [this] to me, I feel [this],” are not seen as accusatory because it doesn’t sound like the self-harmer is saying the person intended to make them feel that way. It also allows one to take ownership of the way one feels. Statements such as, “You make me feel [this],” or “You do [this] to me,” may not be received well, as the person may feel accused and get defensive, which may make it harder for them to listen. Even if the loved one is not the reason, using constructive statements throughout one's conversation may help it to run more smoothly.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to control anyone’s reaction to things that are said. The loved one may demand to see the self-harm, or confiscate the self-harming tools if any are present. Many self-harmers are uncomfortable showing their self-harm, and may not want to part with the self-harming tools they use. In this case, it may be useful to discuss setting appropriate boundaries. If the self-harmer is uncomfortable with a request or demand made by their loved one, they should communicate this with them. On the other hand, the loved one may not act this way. Many people are less judgmental than one might think, and instead will react with love and support. Most conversations do not turn out the way one fears they will. Regardless, the loved one is responsible for how they respond, whether in a positive or negative way.

It is important to be honest. It is much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie, no matter how hard it is. Letting someone in on an extremely personal part of one's life should not be expected to be easy. Breathe, stay calm, and be honest and constructive. These strategies may help make a distressing conversation easier on everyone involved. In many cases, it's important to share this sensitive information and may be helpful in the long-term, but that does not mean it is easy to do. Remember, recovery is a process that should not be rushed, but instead, taken one day at a time.
   
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Re: How to tell a loved one about your self harm - October 4th 2013, 02:23 AM

This article has now been published.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
let our stories turn to
tidal waves that sweep
our families home again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   
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