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14 Things to Say to Someone With Anxiety (Instead of ‘Don’t Worry’)


This piece was written by Kim Quindlen, a Thought Catalog contributor.

When people try to console someone who has anxiety, their intentions are often well-meaning but ultimately useless. Suggestions like, “Just be happy!” or “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine!” may seem innocent enough, but to someone who feels like they are barely keeping their head above water, these seemingly “harmless” statements can often make them feel even more isolated, helpless, and alone. So, for anyone who is struggling to be reassuring to someone they care about, here are some helpful phrases you can use. Remember, it’s not about fixing everything for the person you care about; usually, all you need to do is just remind them they are not fighting this on their own.

1. “I’m here.”

2. “You can always talk to me.”

3. “I’m listening.”

4. “You’re not alone.”

5. “Let’s go somewhere quiet.”

6. “Your feelings are valid.”

7. “You’re allowed to feel anxious, even if you don’t know why.”

8. “I might not understand what you’re going through, but I’m always here for you to talk to me if you need to.”

9. “You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, including me.”

10. “I’ll stay with you for as long as you need me.”

11. “Let me know if there’s something specific I can do.”

12. “Let me know if you just want me to be with you, even if I can’t do anything specifically helpful.”

13. “It’s OK that you feel this way.”

14. “You’re loved.”

This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog.

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Unsplash photo via Clarisse Meyer