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Change Your Speech For Someone With Anxiety

If anxiety has soaked itself into the life of a friend, it can be hard to understand what to say to them because you don't want to make it worse. There are certain do's and don'ts specially verbally which can either make them feel better or worsen their anxiety. Showing support for your friend can go a long way and help both of you get a stronger relationship. It is important to understand that even though people have different kinds of anxiety disorders, they all have something in common which is fear. Opening up is really hard for people with anxiety, so if they do so, try not to tell everyone about it and only keep it to yourself. Let's learn what you should say to someone with anxiety.

Don't Say : "I get stressed about ____ too, it's normal"

Something is different between the stress you have vs the stress someone with anxiety might have. They feel as if they are paralysed, as if they can't get through the situation. Someone with anxiety will worry over things you might not even understand. They function differently. Unless you also have anxiety, comparing yourself won't help.

Instead Say : "I'm here to listen if you need to talk to someone"



Don't Say: "Do you do (meditation) or (deep breathing)? I heard it helps"

Even though these activities might have helped you, I am sure your friend has already looked up what helps them and knows what works out the best. Instead of asking them to try something, you should ask how you can help them. Everyone with anxiety have different ways to calm down. Try to figure out what helps them and do that instead of throwing your own suggestions.

Instead Say : "What can I do to help you right now?"



Don't Say: "Stop worrying, it's ok"

Your friend is clearly super anxious right now so it clearly is not OK. Ask them for what might help them and try to take some pressure off. Anxiety cannot really be fixed just by telling someone not to worry.

Instead Say : "Take your time, you got this"



Don't Say: "Just go to a therapist or get some medication"

It's not bad to worry about your friend, never is, but it is really important to tone it correctly. If you tell your friend that they should go to therapy, it might make them feel judged (which is quite common for someone with anxiety disorder) and does not make them feel good. If they need to see someone, they should make this decision by themselves and go on their own pace.

Instead Say : "I'm concerned about your health"

If your friend suffers from anxiety, they may need some friendly help but it is really important for you to know what you are saying or it can cause them to lose trust in you. If you talk rudely to them or say something you do not mean, it can mean the end of your relationship with them so be careful of what you say and how you say it. How do you calm down your friends? Write it in the comments below. Good luck!

Image by Bansi Patel from Pixabay


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