1. “Just Calm Down”
People who suffer from anxiety can’t just “calm down”. If they could, they would. Believe me.
2. “Oh you’re more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash.”
STOP. DON’T SAY THAT. They understand statistics. But when fear takes over, you’re not rational. Logic won’t help a person when fear takes over. Also, that does not make a person calmer when they have to drive to the airport.
3. “Yeah, well, I’m stressed too.”
Trying to talk down someone’s anxiety will just make them more anxious. They will feel like they can’t talk to you if they have a problem because you’ve shut them down before. Also, anxious people can’t always control their stress and that’s why it’s so bad for them.
4. “Anxiety is fake. It’s just inside your head.”
Hahahaha. Wrong. Anxiety is very real.
5. “Just do it.”
Who are you? Nike? I didn’t think so. You should never tell someone to “just do it” because if they could just do it, they would. They aren’t choosing to just be afraid. No one chooses to be afraid.
6. It’s no big deal.
Going to a party? No big deal. Having to present in front of your peers? No big deal. Ordering food at a restaurant? No big deal.
Maybe for you, those things aren’t a big deal but for anxious people it is. They worry about everything, including the small stuff. Something that may seem small to you may look daunting to them.
7. “It’ll be okay.”
Did you really just say that? Everyone says, “it’ll be okay” all the time. Nobody believes it but still people have a tendency to say it. Do not try to comfort someone with words that you wouldn’t believe yourself.
8. “What’s wrong?”
The worst thing about having anxiety is sometimes a person doesn’t know what triggers it. One can have a panic attack without knowing why. When you ask them “what’s wrong,” they freak out more because they can’t always identify the problem.
9. “Stop being a wimp.”
We all have fears so don’t make fun of someone else for having fears.
10. “There’s nothing to be afraid of”
11. “You’re selfish”
No, they’re not selfish. They are truly uncomfortable. You’re making them feel worse about themselves when you call them selfish.
People with anxiety are just like you. We can all uncomfortable, nervous and awkward sometimes. Anxious people usually feel this way and it can be overwhelming. If you know someone who is anxious, make an effort to not say any of the things listed to them. Try to make them laugh or smile. Remove them from the uncomfortable situation. Take them on a walk. Feed them some chocolate, that stuff is magic.
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