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21 Things That Will Help You Understand Your Socially Anxious Friends So Much Better

It's not you, it's me.

1. Social anxiety is more complicated than just ~fearing~ people.

2. There are little stupid things that make us uncomfortable that you wouldn’t even think of.

3. Vague texts like "Hey, can I ask you something?" are a unique circle of hell.

4. We probably won't be the first one to invite you out, but we will drop hints.

5. And you shouldn't stop inviting us to things because we turn down invitations or cancel plans.

Sometimes we just can't. It doesn't mean we won't want to in the future.

6. Talking us into going to a party and then leaving us to fend for ourselves is the ultimate act of betrayal.

7. You probably have more socially anxious friends than you realize.

Socially anxious =/= shy or introverted, so your outgoing friends aren't immune to the struggle even if it's not immediately obvious.

8. We don't expect you to know what to say when we're struggling.

9. But we probably don’t want to hear tips that got you through that one time you were kinda anxious about that one thing.

10. It can hurt. Like, it's physically painful. / Via

It's not just nerves. It can be dizziness, overheating, chills, increased heartbeat, chest pain, rapid breathing, headaches. It can be constant muscle tension. It can be EXHAUSTING.

11. A lot of anxious people also struggle with depression.

12. Surprises and spontaneity probably won't be well-received.


13. Booze can take the edge off, but that doesn't mean we want you to put a drink in our hand every time we seem anxious.

14. Trying to talk us down from anxiety by explaining it's not rational doesn't work, even if you're trying to help.

15. We probably assume you like us less than you do.

16. Don't be weirded out if we take something insignificant personally, because we overanalyze everything.

17. Little things add up, so it might seem like we freak out over nothing sometimes.

18. As a general rule, please don't take it personally.

19. Sharing what we're going through is a big sign of trust.

20. Especially because sometimes we feel so annoying we can't stand it.

21. We don’t need to be treated like we're fragile, but we so, so appreciate small efforts to make us more comfortable.