How to Love Someone With Social Anxiety

There are so many times I have read “How to Love Someone With…” articles and laughed, or rolled my eyes, or just rubbed my temples in an attempt to ignore the sheer frustration these articles can cause me. Why am I writing this article then? Well, that’s simple. Every person with social anxiety is different. This means every person with social anxiety who writes an article is writing from a different point of view, and this is my point of view.

The first and, I think, most important thing to remember is social anxiety is real. It’s not something that’s made up to avoid going out or meeting new people. It. Is. Real. This means if you love someone with social anxiety, it is something you have to keep in mind.

To me, loving someone with social anxiety means having a lot of patience. Patience when they get anxious and refuse to go out. Patience when you are out and your partner grips your hand tightly, stands maybe a hair too close, gets overwhelmed by too much input from what is happening around them.

Loving someone with social anxiety can be a constant exercise in clear, concise communication, combined with the aforementioned patience. It’s discussing with them how to help mitigate the anxiety, listening when they tell you they need you to do something to help ease it. You may be your partner’s safe space, and that means they trust you.

So be patient with your partner who has social anxiety. Listen to them when they try to talk to you about the whys and hows of their condition. They are often communicating what they can, and the rest is learning to read the signs and talking to them about it.

Image via Thinkstock.

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