- Tell a close friend or family member and ask them to go with you.
- Realize that you’re in control. Bring along a sweater that you can put on if you start to feel anxious, or wear long sleeves pushed up that you can roll down when you feel uncomfortable.
- Try showing them around strangers first. You don’t know these people, you don’t have to talk to them, they’re not going to notice your scars, and if for some reason they do? They have no reason to comment on it. And, besides, you’ll probably never see them again.
- Visualize showing your scars and having it go well… if you tell your brain that it is going to be ok? Chances are it will start to believe that. And believing that you’re going to be okay is going to increase your chances of actually being okay when you’re in that situation (:
- Think of a few replys you can use in response to any possible questions you might get. If you are worried about someone asking about your scars (which again, chances are most people won’t) it helps to feel prepared by keep in mind a simple answer or two. And remember that you DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER. This is your body, you’re in change, and you don’t have to share anything that you don’t want to. A simple, “I’d rather not talk about it” and then changing the subject is fine. Something I plan to use if anyone ever asks me what happened is, “I got in a fight with myself” and leave it at that. To me that feels comfortable. So find something that will work for you, it can be witty, serious, sarcastic, or maybe your answer is to NOT answer. It’s whatever works for you!
- Before hanging out with groups of your friends it might be helpful to (in a calm, one on one, neutral setting where you are comfortable) explain about your self harm to a few close friends first, so that they’re not surprised when they see them and can be there to help support you when showing them around others.
- Consider hiding or drawing attention away from them. Bracelets, bandages, makeup, jewelry, creative clothing choices, haha whatever it is, might not completely hide your scars but they can make them less noticeable. Do you plan on swimming but have scars you can’t cover up? Draw a stick figure on a different body part. Sure the scars are still there but theres something else for others to look at. Paint your nails! Get a tattoo! Wear an outfit that you feel good in! I don’t know! Just do whatever you feel will make it easier for you (:
- Accept your scars. Yes they’re there. No they’re probably not the most attractive things ever (although I know some people like them). But they show that you have gone through something difficult and made it. You haven’t given up and you’re still trying. You should be proud of that.
- Think of something you enjoy doing, that requires showing your scars, and start looking forward to it! Make plans and think about how much fun it will be and all of the things you’re going to do. Look at the big picture. Your scars are just a small part of that day and don’t need to interfere with the rest.
- Go try it! Take a chance and go somewhere, for a few minutes or a full day and then tell me how it went! (Here’s how my first day of showing scars went) You can feel good about yourself for overcoming such a big hurdle (:
What has helped you to brave the public eye? Why do you want to be able to show them? Or why do you not?