Here's How To Make Life A Little Easier For Your Socially Anxious Friend
Just being there for them is a pretty good start.
If they bail on plans, try not to hold it over their head for too long. Chances are they're beating themselves up enough for the both of you.
But even if they do frequently bail — don't stop asking them if they want to hang out.
Don't throw around terms like "I'm going to have a panic attack" in a cavalier way.
Sometimes they're going to need to analyze things a little longer than you might, but try to be patient.
If you ask them to a social thing they're not familiar with, try and be open to answering all of their questions.
Since anxiety and mental illness manifest in different ways for different people, don't be afraid to ask your friend HOW you can help.
Sure, sometimes it's funny how "awkward" they are, but if they're already stressing over something they did, try not to add onto it.
If they blush — even if it's over what seems like "nothing" — you don't need to say "YOUR FACE IS SO RED RIGHT NOW!" Trust me, they know.
Be aware that they will always have the sneaking suspicion that you/everyone hates them.
Try to occasionally do a low-key hangout. Think: pizza, wine, and no real pants.
Don't make them feel bad if there are nights they don't want to drink.
Don't leave them alone in situations you know they could feel uncomfortable in.
But mostly, know that just being there for them is enough — even if you don't always understand what they're going through.
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