Maintaining Friendships When You Have Anxiety Is Hard
Making new friends when you have anxiety is hard, but maintaining those friendships is even harder. As someone with social anxiety disorder, I struggled to maintain friendships. These thoughts would cross my mind: Will I lose my friends if I refuse to hang out with them too many times? Do my friends actually like me, or are they just hanging out with me because they feel bad for me?
If you have had these thoughts, you are not alone. Anxiety makes us second guess everything -- from wondering whether our friends genuinely like us to overthinking conversations we have had with them.
Why Maintaining Friendships When You Have Anxiety Is Challenging
I have been able to identify certain things that cause anxiety when it comes to friendships. For me, when it comes to maintaining friendships, these are the things I struggle with:
- Setting boundaries is difficult. Often times when I didn't want to disappoint my close friends, I would say yes to them, even if it was inconvenient for me. I've had friends who would constantly ask me to do favors for them and listen to them but showed no interest in my personal life and never helped me. As someone with anxiety, I found it hard to set boundaries and say no to things I didn't want to do.
- Being vulnerable is scary. I used to find it difficult to open up to my friends because of the fear of judgment. Having to explain my anxiety to a friend would cause even more anxiety.
- I'm afraid of losing friends. I used to constantly worry that I might say something wrong or would do something that would annoy my friends or make them upset. This would cause me to avoid hanging out with friends.
However, over the years, I have learned how to deal with my anxiety when it comes to tackling these challenges. Your friendships don't have to struggle because of anxiety. Watch the video below to learn what techniques work for me.
What are your ideas on maintaining friendships when living with anxiety? Share them in the comments.
Dhar, S. (2022, July 25). Maintaining Friendships When You Have Anxiety Is Hard, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2022/7/maintaining-friendships-when-you-have-anxiety-is-hard