How to support Someone with Social Anxiety

If you have a friend, family member, colleague or somebody else around you who is suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD), knowing how to act can be a blessing for the affected person. In this blogpost, we will get to know some tips that are easy to remember and incorporate the next time you might need them! Putting hands together

Let’s dive into it right away!

1. Get informed

Knowing how it feels to have SAD and which symptoms come with it will make it much easier for you to understand the other person! A step we can all take to support each other is gaining knowledge about other people’s experiences. You can just search the web, get a book or watch some YouTube videos. Asking the person with SAD if she is willing to talk about her/his experience might make her/him feel supported. However, don’t forget to get the person’s consent first!

A website to consider might be the following: https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/signs-social-anxiety

2. Be a cheerleader

Telling somebody that they are doing a great job and that you are proud of them, can never be done too often! Especially for people with SAD. Oftentimes, they are very self-critical and after you might have had a cup of coffee with them, they are replaying the whole event in their head, searching for things they made have done wrong. So, to put it into a practical way: after you had contact with somebody with SAD, don’t shy away from reassuring them! It saves them a lot of energy.

3. Understand their struggles

This is where the first tip comes in handy. When you have knowledge about SAD, you can show better understanding of their actions. People with SAD are prone to cancelling plans last minute. Their anxiety rises and they simply cannot make the plans happen. They should never be blamed; they already suffer from it themselves. No matter how many times it happens, show understanding and help the person through it. Check in frequently with the person and try to find out what might make it easier for them to join. 

We are consciously stopping here, as having a small number of tips might make it easier to actually start implementing them! So, why don’t you grab a cup of tea or your favorite fruit and start researching more about SAD?

Love, @health_anxiety, Taylor Marae <3

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