Unless you’re dating a social butterfly, simple things like introducing your partner to your friends can turn into a problem. If your partner has social anxiety, you can’t blame them for the disorder or get annoyed by their actions. You need to be there for them if you want your relationship to last. Apart from researching the condition, if you’re unsure of what to do when they start stressing, here are a few tips for calming your partner’s social anxiety.
If you ask your partner to attend a party with you, promise them that you’ll stay by their side as often as you can. Aside from taking trips to the bathroom, you don’t want to walk around and mingle while your partner is all alone in the corner, panicking on the inside. Social anxiety can be soothed by having someone comfortable around, so do your partner a favor and stick by their side.
It’s sweet to want to show your partner off to the world, but don’t expect them to be ready to hit the clubs with you right away. Start off with something small, like bringing them to a gathering at your home with close friends. Once they’re comfortable with that, then you can move on to bigger and better things.
It’s healthy to push your partner to get out of their comfort zone a little bit, but you don’t want to harm them emotionally. That means you need to be supportive at all times. Don’t talk down to them or make them feel silly about their anxiety. It’s something they can’t help, so it’s rude to make fun of them and makes them feel even worse than they already do. Undoubtedly, they’re already embarrassed by causing a fuss they can’t control.
There are a few strategies that help people with anxiety calm themselves down. The most common ones are different breathing techniques, so you should learn them when your partner does. That way, if you two are in a stressful situation together, you can help coach them with their breathing.
It’s easy to become angry when your partner refuses to go out in public with you. It’s easy to get upset when you see your partner become upset. However, your partner will benefit if you can manage to keep your emotions in check. Try to keep a positive, logical outlook whenever you can.
Some people with social anxiety hate to talk about their fears because they’re worried about getting made fun of. That’s why you should always offer to listen to your partner’s complaints, and why you should take great care to never say anything that demeans their disorder. That way, they’ll learn to trust you with their thoughts; and be more willing to take your advice.
There’s nothing wrong with a trip to a therapist. If you really see that your partner is struggling, make a subtle comment about how helpful therapy can be. You just don’t want to bluntly tell them to see a shrink, because they’ll take offense and probably won’t obey your orders. You need to treat the situation delicately.
Those with social anxiety disorder are generally embarrassed about their mental disorder and don’t want to seem like the center of attention in a relationship or a fragile flower. Those who are socially afflicted with anxiety have a hard time controlling their fears and only ask for others to try and understand how guilty it can make them feel when they have to decline a party invitation to something they’d otherwise love to go to. When those with anxiety say, “It’s not you, it’s me,” they truly mean it. It doesn’t mean they don’t care.
Are you in a relationship with someone who suffers from the condition? Or are you the one with the disorder? What else have you found that helps with social anxiety?