Dawson’s Blog

Help, My Friend Is Cutting

Help, my friend is cutting.

I have written many blogs on the subject of cutting.  We’ve discussed what it is, why people do it, the consequences, and some possible solutions to the problem.  But, today, I want to talk specifically to the friends of cutters.my-friend-is-cutting

This can be a hard subject to talk about and it can be a very sensitive subject to the cutter so it is important to keep the following things in mind when trying to help.

Someone recently wrote to me and asked: My friend is cutting. How can I get it into my best friend’s head that cutting is not good at all?

She’s right cutting is not good at all, and I appreciate her desire to help her friend.  However, there isn’t a simple answer to this question.  We can’t just throw out facts and figures and think a cutter is going to be instantly convinced to stop.  As I wrote about in Why People Cut, cutters are usually covering up a deeper emotional pain.

Therefore, when talking to a friend about cutting here are some very important things to remember.

  1. Do NOT come across as judgmental.  You may not be aware of the personal struggle they are facing which has led to self-harm.
  2. REALLY listen and seek to understand. Often someone who cuts feels like no one understands them. Do NOT be one more person that saysWhy would you do this to yourself? It doesn’t make any sense.Rather, ask some probing questions with a genuine desire to understand.  Such as: Why do you think you cut yourself?  Do you cut to cover up other pain? How do you feel after you cut? How do you feel the next day? Help them tell them tell their story…if they’re ready. You don’t need to have all the answers. Just listen!
  3. Encourage your friend that you BELIEVE in them.  Tell them you know they will have the strength to stop when they decide to and that you will support them however you can. Offer to be their accountability partner, if they want.  You can be the person they call to distract themselves from cutting when the temptation arises.
  4. Refer them to other resources on the subject of self-harm and read more about it yourself. We have created a link with many helpful resources available all in one convenient place. You could simply text or email your friend this link and say…”When you are ready…” or share it through social media (the buttons are provided on the resource page). You never know when sharing information could impact a life. TheHopeLine Resource Page
  5. Most importantly PRAY for them. God is bigger than cutting!!  He can help them overcome the addiction. Pray that God gives them the strength and desire they need to stop cutting and find HOPE.

Thanks for caring. You CAN make a difference in someone’s life.

Related Posts:
A Door of Hope
Why Do People Self-Harm?
Real Story: Artist Michaela Hatfield
How To Quit Cutting

For more information on how to help a friend struggling with self-harm, check out TheHopeLine’s free eBook.

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
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  • Spyder

    Here is the thing, I don’t cut I strangle myself, cut of the air for a short time. Why do we do this, we do this because the physical pain is far better then the emotional pain. Those that haven’t experienced will never know how hard it is to not do it, the pull is to great to just walk away. I know this sound ridiculous but think about
    it, ask someone that cuts, I am sure they will tell you the same thing

  • TheHopeLine

    Natalia- I am so proud of you for working so hard at healing and for how much you care about your friend. She is blessed to have you in her life. Please encourage your friend to call/chat with a HopeCoach. We can offer real ecnouragement, hope, and resources for your friend. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

  • Christeen Sameh

    I just knew today that my best friend cut herself for the first time 2 weeks ago. She says that she won’t do it again but I’m scared she will. She even wrote in her diary that she wants to die. She is saying that instead of seeing her own blood she sees videos of other people’s blood which make her feel relaxed. I don’t want her to see those videos or cut herself or think about killing herself. How can I help her?

    • You sound like a really caring friend. You came to the right place for help. You can chat with one of our HopeCoaches about how to help her. Just click our “chat now” button. It is free and totally confidential. We also have a free eBook about self-harm and cutting – http://info.thehopeline.com/selfharm Keep on being a compassionate and caring friend and let a trusted adult know what is going on.