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What to Do When Anxiety Makes You Think Everyone Hates You

My anxiety likes to convince me that everyone hates me. It tells me that everyone I’ve met, people I haven’t met and people I’ve been friends with for years secretly can’t stand me. Somehow my brain likes to say, “Hey! Here are some made-up scenarios and worst-case scenarios and they’re all going to come true.”

It can be really hard to prove to myself that my thoughts aren’t rational and are completely untrue. However, I want to share some coping strategies that help me stay grounded and stay truthful during these times.

1. Ground yourself.

If you feel like your mind is spiraling and you can’t stay in a rational headspace, try using grounding techniques like “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding.” You can write down five things you see, four things you hear, three things you smell, two things you’re touching, and one thing you taste. It can help bring you back to the present moment. Then, you can check the facts once you’re able to bring yourself back.

2. Checking. The. Facts.

When I feel like I’m spiraling out of my rational mind, I pull up and read over a list of facts about myself and my relationships that I have in my therapy binder. I read them about five times out loud to myself. This helps me stay grounded and not listen to the thoughts violently swirling around in my head.

3. Reach out to a friend!

In my experience, there’s no better way to prove your facts are indeed facts other than reaching out directly to a close friend. I will text my friend Devin sometimes to reaffirm our friendship is OK and to validate she doesn’t hate me. I then save screenshots of the texts to pull up and read when I feel like I can’t stay in my rational mind.

These are some things that help me combat the cyclical thinking my anxiety leaves me with, and I hope they help you too. You’re not alone in this.

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash