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18 Things You Should Never Say To Anxious People

"Don't freak out, but...."

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1. “Everybody find a partner!”

Showtime /

Oh, great, the entirety of my teenage anxieties encapsulated into one horrendous orientation exercise. I can’t tell if this is sweat in my eyes, or tears.


3. “Call me.”

DreamWorks /

Just call you? Just dial your number with sweaty fingers, mentally run through all possible rejection scenarios, then go blank when you pick up? Suuuuuuuuure, I’ll call you.

5. “Would you like to say a few words?”

What, me? In front of all these people? Absolutely. But you should know that those words are going to be “um”, “oh god”, and “I’m so sorry about all the vomit”.

6. “Can I see you in my office?”

Disney /

Obviously this phrase strikes fear into every human heart. But to anxious people, it doesn’t just suggest that they’re about to be fired, but that they’re about to be more fired than anyone in the history of firing. Possibly by a firing squad.


8. “We need to talk later.”


OK, you contact me when you’re ready. I’ll just be over here, frozen in place by a) this bitter and endless rush of adrenaline, and b) the exciting prospect of all the sleepness nights and unattractive crying sessions I’m about to experience!

9. “You’d better have a seat.”

20th Century Fox /

If you insist, but I will sit on the very edge of it and jiggle my knees around until you tell me exactly who died and why it’s my fault.


12. “Huh. That’s interesting." (If said by a dentist or doctor.)

Until you tell me otherwise, Doctor, I am going to assume that you’ve found a malignant sentient teratoma, and that the only possible course of action is aggressive trepanation with no anesthesia and a low success rate.

14. “You’re going to feel a little discomfort.”


I know that "discomfort" is medical code for “unbearable pain”, but I’ve also heard that clenching makes the pain worse, so I will at once try to clench and not clench, thereby creating a rip in the space-time continuum. So, you know, sorry about that.

15. “What was that noise?”

That noise outside the tent we’ve erected far away from any police or emergency medical staff? Dunno. Could be a crazed wild man with a scythe. Could be my appendix bursting. It’s hard to be sure.


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