If you’ve lived with anxiety for any significant amount of time you have probably felt misunderstood on more than one occasion. You may have felt as though no one gets what you’re going through and everyone around you doesn’t seem to know how to help. Well, one way to break this pattern of miscommunication is to tell loved ones and friends (that need to know) how you feel and what you need.
We all have real basic needs and I don’t mean just food and shelter. I also mean things like security, friendship,self esteem, and a sense of connectivity to others. Anxiety sometimes makes it harder to get some of these basic needs met – it just has a way of making everything more complicated, especially relationships. The good news is you can prevent anxiety from ruining your relationships.
For starters, let’s not forget that anxiety doesn’t just make you feel nervous, but it can also make you angry, solitary, self-conscious, and self-centered. And given that anxiety can do all these things it’s no wonder that when we get anxious we can be annoying and cause frustration in those we love. Put simply, anxiety can become a serious strain on any type of relationship you have – whether it’s parents, siblings, or your better half, all of these relationships can be put under pressure.
One way to help relieve some of this pressure is to always keep an open line of communication with your loved ones – especially if you two share a bed if you know what I mean.
You can’t expect for others to just “get” you, especially if they have no experience with severe anxiety. What reference do they have? It’s up to you to tell that person you care about how you feel and what you believe you need from them to help you cope.
Of course, not all of us are great communicators, so it may be difficult to get this out. Maybe you’ve been so embarrassed about being so anxious that you haven’t even admitted that you have an anxiety problem. But even in this case you still have to face the music.
You also have to do more than rattle off a list of phyiscal symptoms. Get a bit detailed and explain not just your phyiscal reactions, but also your thoughts and fears.
Next, explain that anxiety doesn’t just make you (and all people for that matter) nervous, but it also causes you to get cranky, easily agitated, and may cause you to get inside your own head from time to time.
Ask for patience, understanding, and for anything reasonable you think might help you cope when things get hard. Remember, people are not psychic and you can’t assume that other people know what you’re thinking or what you want from them.
If at all possible it would also be helpful for those closest to you to read up on anxiety disorder aswell. To learn about symptoms, about panic, and anything else that you contend with on a regular basis. They have to know what you know.
Lastly, this isn’t a one way street. Given that you know anxiety can cause you to be a pain, act like you know this. Be aware of what you say and how you say it. In other words, don’t use anxiety as an excuse for being a lame friend, lover or family member.
Having these talks, sharing this information, and being open about your condition with those close to you can be of great benefit. The last thing you want to do is have the people you care most about driven away from you because they just didn’t “get” you.
I know personally how important this is because it has strained my marriage more than once. My wife would say things like, “what do you want me to do?” And I didn’t have an answer, which in turn only increased both our frustration.
I suppose that I didn’t feel comfortable asking for a hug, or for one liners like, “It’s going to be alright.” And maybe that’s not what you need to feel reassured or relaxed, but whatever it is, identify it and then convey it as simply as you can to those that need to know.
For those of you that enjoy the podcast stay tuned because I plan to publish a brand new episode very soon.
I also wanted to let you know that my ebook How to Stop Anxious Thinking will increase in price from $9.99 to $14.99 in the next several days. So, if you want to save a little money get a copy while the introductory price is still available.
On second thought, it appears that the economy is still in the toilet. And although this ebook helps to finance Anxiety Guru Dot Net, I know there are people out there struggling with job loss, pay cuts, and truck loads of uncertainty. So, I’ve decided to leave the price at $10 simply because I’d rather have more people have access to this ebook than not.