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.
Help, 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.
- Do NOT come across as judgmental. You may not be aware of the personal struggle they are facing which has led to self-harm.
- REALLY listen and seek to understand. Often someone who cuts feels like no one understands them. Do NOT be one more person that says why 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 to tell their story...if they're ready. You don't need to have all the answers. Just listen!
- 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.
- 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. You never know when sharing information could impact a life. TheHopeLine Resource Page
- 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.
If you want to know more about breaking free from self-harm. Read this blog that our friend, Amanda Turner, wrote about her personal story.
Thanks for caring. You CAN make a difference in someone's life.