If you have a loved one with anxiety, you undoubtedly want to be there for them and help however you can. If you don’t understand what they’re going through, that isn’t easy to do. Unfortunately, you might even come across as cold or uncaring.
So, what are some of the things your loved one with anxiety wants you to know? The more you understand about anxiety, the more you can do what’s best for the person you care about.
1. Don’t Talk Them Out of Their Feelings
There may be times when someone with anxiety asks you if their fear is justified. In those cases, you can do your best to reassure them.
Other than that, don’t try to relieve any negative feelings by talking that person out of them. That suggests that their feelings aren’t valid or that they aren’t real. For the person dealing with anxiety, those feelings are genuine and can be overwhelming.
Instead, listen to their feelings, validate them, and work with them to alleviate worries without belittling them.
2. They Can’t Shake the Irrationality
Most people with anxiety have at least some understanding that their fears are irrational. It can feel like a constant battle inside their head between the rational and irrational. Unfortunately, the irrational is hard to get rid of. So, it often takes over.
With that in mind, you don’t need to remind them about that irrationality constantly. Reassurance is one thing. But, telling someone with anxiety that their fears aren’t “real” will lead to embarrassment and could impact their condition even more.
3. They Can’t “Turn It Off”
Some people with anxiety often deal with triggers. There are times when their symptoms might be worse. That doesn’t mean that they’re only feeling anxious around those triggers.
Anxiety isn’t something that can be turned on and off with a switch. People dealing with it don’t want to feel it all of the time — but many do. They’re not doing it to get attention or to make anyone else’s life more difficult. If you ever find yourself getting frustrated or even annoyed by a loved one with anxiety, remind yourself of this fact.
4. They Appreciate Your Kindness
If you don’t have anxiety yourself, there is no way you can genuinely or fully understand what someone with it goes through daily.
When you’re willing to do what it takes to help them calm down, reassurance them, or just be a listening ear, they appreciate it. You don’t have to understand the full scope of anxiety to know how much it’s affecting someone you care about. It can be a very lonely condition, which can boost the fear and worry people struggling with it already have.
By showing kindness, patience, and trying to understand as much as possible, you can make a big difference in your loved one’s life.
If you have a loved one with anxiety, it’s a good idea to educate yourself. Feel free to contact me if you’re struggling to understand what they’re going through. Or if it’s causing you extra stress in your own life, and you need to know how to manage it. Please reach out today.