Written by 6:47 pm Dating & Relationships Views: [tptn_views]

A letter to a socially troubled friend

I remember a time once I hated it when plans with friends suddenly modified or fell apart. It was such a disappointment as I used to be looking forward to exciting plans and was only met with a way of depression and sometimes also feelings of rejection, loneliness and sadness.

Friendships with individuals who struggle with social anxiety will be frustrating. All the hype you get, checking in, calming down, and particularly those moments while you’re dressed and able to go but get the “I can not make it!” last minute text.

You, friend, usually are not lost because of this of your friend’s social anxiety. Your efforts are noticed, appreciated and what drives us. There is nothing we would love greater than to live as socially as when plans are made. We would love the waves of hysteria to stop over planned and unexpected plans. Without your help, we’d probably be much more isolated than we’re. You are a breath of fresh air that encourages us to maintain trying. You are the buoy we will hold on to, that keeps us afloat. But we all know that regardless that we know the way vital you’re to us, you’ll be able to feel rejected, defeated, and drained at times. It is difficult to take care of relationships with friends who’ve mental problems. It is discouraging to undergo plan after plan knowing deep down that plans won’t come to fruition.

Your friendship is vital to us, so let’s discuss just a few ways you may also help your anxious friend:

Check-in before the event

There is a big amount of anticipation leading as much as social moments. All the troubles of what ifs and worst-case scenarios plague our thoughts. These worries pile up days, weeks, and even months before the event occurs. Of course, rationally all the things might be high-quality. But in our minds, irrationally, all the things won’t be high-quality. And our brain is stuck in irrationality, even when you logically argue with us. Your advice, support and help before the event may be very vital to us.

  • Tip: Act out the various conversations which may be going down, discuss different worries as they arise, plan when to reach and leave, and remind us that we have overcome difficult things before.

“As iron sharpens iron, so friend sharpens friend.” Proverbs 27:17 NLT

Check in through the event

Regardless of how the night goes, check in. We can placed on our bravest face, talk endlessly, and appear comfortable, but we will talk faster than our brains can process. We might be drowning inside doing our greatest to say all the correct things and never embarrass ourselves. We could plan how one can get out of this example and escape. We could analyze the body language and facial expressions of everyone around us and gather all of the emotions within the room.

  • Pull a friend aside for a fast “break check” as often as needed, complete the conversation when you’ll be able to, and be present.

“Therefore encourage and luxury each other and construct each other up as you do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 AMP

Check in after the party

After the event ends, signal the beginning of the fear carousel. Remember how I said we will talk faster than our brains can process? Well, all we will take into consideration is what everyone thinks of us, how embarrassed we’re by the things we have said, or we analyze every facial features.

  • Talk in regards to the ups and downs on the best way home, discuss any worries that arise, and check in as needed on the next days.

“If considered one of them falls, one may also help the opposite rise up. But feel sorry for anyone who falls and has nobody to assist him.” Ecclesiastes 4:10 NIV

Support even when you don’t understand

You do not have to personally understand our struggle to be supportive. You could be a protected person for us by giving us the space to weave through anxious thoughts without judgment or irritation. Help your friend distinguish the reality from the lies. Many times we’re so absorbed or overwhelmed that we’d like someone to take a look at our situation from a distinct perspective or viewpoint.

  • Look together to the Word of God to exchange the lies with the reality and discuss it along with your friend as much as you’ll be able to, regardless of how again and again he/she mentions it.

“Share each other’s burdens, and thus keep the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NLT

Please don’t criticize our fears.

Ignoring a friend’s anxiety could also be an icebreaker, but please don’t. Your friend probably already feels defeated by his own thoughts about his struggles. Please don’t add to the burden your friend is already carrying. How would you prefer to be treated if the tables were reversed and also you were suffering?

“Therefore, in all things, do unto others as you’d have them do unto you, for that sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NIV

Your feelings matter too.

I feel I can speak in your friend once I say we understand that your feelings matter too. Let us know when it’s an excessive amount of or while you need a break. You are vital to us! The last item we would like to do is be a burden or add to the burden you’re carrying.

“Two persons are higher off than one because they may also help one another succeed. If one person falls, the opposite can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in deep trouble. Similarly, two people lying close to one another can keep one another warm. But how can it’s warm alone? An individual standing alone will be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and win. Three is even higher, since the triple braided cord isn’t easy to interrupt. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Unfortunately, I experienced the lack of a friendship attributable to my social phobia. Friendships I never desired to see end, but inevitably did. So, thanks friends who’re still here! Thank you for accepting each of us as we’re. Thank you for not giving up on us. Thank you for selecting to ascertain us out. Thank you for allowing God to make use of you in our fight. We know all too well that this burden is heavy to bear, but we hope how much it means to us that we do not have to hold it alone. We recognize and see the love of Christ manifested through your presence, support and love.

Image credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Tero Vesalainen

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