What To Remember If Your Friend Has Social Anxiety By Hailey Lederer

There is a number of people suffering from social anxiety and have to go through all sorts of struggles. Even when a situation doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it can still be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. But it’s important to realize what they’re feeling and some of the ways to help make socializing a little easier for them.

         Be Patient

    Being patient is probably the most important thing you can do when trying to support someone with anxiety. It might take awhile for them to feel comfortable doing or saying something,or they could be worrying about a decision to make, and rushing them often times makes the situation even more uncomfortable for them. Instead, sit with them and try to make them feel relaxed as possible. Ask simple questions to help them figure out what they’re wanting, and try to support their decisions as much as possible. If they start asking the same questions over and over again, don’t get angry with them and just try to make them feel self assured. Sometimes they just need a little time to figure everything out and to feel confident enough to take action, and that’s ok.

         Find out what their thinking

    When suffering with some form of anxiety, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head. You begin to start questing certain choices or worry about possible outcomes and it can get very stressful very fast. If you can see that a friend is physically uncomfortable or is known to feel anxious about socializing, ask them how their feeling. Ask them what’s bothering them or what they think may happen and try to get a specific answer so they can talk about it and help get it off their chest and so it’s easier to help them through it. If it is about what is going on around them, reassure them that things are fine and remind them of all the positive things that can come as a result.

         Reinforce positivity

    Going back on reminding someone about all the good things that can happen, it’s something you should do often in any situation. When doubting themselves, tell them how amazing they are and remind them of all the things they’re good at and have accomplished. When scared about doing something, talk about how you’re proud of them no matter what and they’re going to do good. Even if they seem to be nervous over the smallest things, just be as positive as possible and convince them that the problem probably isn’t s bad as they think it is.

         Avoid avoidance

    Avoiding problems won’t solve anything. It’s something we’ve all probably learned throughout our lives, and most likely going to experience them again sooner or later. There really isn’t a point in postponing the inevitable. No one can avoid socializing for the rest of their lives. They’ll need to do things on their own not matter how nerve racking. This doesn’t mean you should throw your friend into a room with dozens of people or something. You can help your friend feel more and more comfortable by easing them into things. It’s ok to hold their hand in the beginning, and if they fall down when you let go just help them back up and try again. You can’t push them to do things too fast or they’ll just feel even more stressed, so It might take some time for them to get used to things, but they’ll learn to deal with uncertain problems.

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