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A Letter to the Friend of the Socially Anxious

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I remember when I didn’t want my plans with friends to suddenly change or go awry. It was very disappointing when I was looking forward to an exciting project, but only felt disappointed, and sometimes also experienced rejection, loneliness, and sadness.

Making friends with someone who suffers from social anxiety can be frustrating. All the hype you instill, the check-in, the reassurance, and especially the moment you get dressed and ready to leave but receive “I can’t make it!” Last minute text.

Don’t get lost in the wake of you, your friend, or your friend’s social anxiety. Your efforts are seen and appreciated, and that’s what drives us. We want, above all, to live as socially as when the plan was first made. I hope the waves of anxiety about planned and unexpected plans will stop. Without your help, we would be even more isolated than we are now. You are a breath of fresh air that encourages us to keep trying. You are the buoy that keeps us afloat. But we know that even though we know how important you are to us, you can sometimes feel rejected, defeated and tired. It’s hard to maintain relationships with friends.

Your friendship is important to us.

Pre-event check-in

Leading up to the social moment, there is a huge amount of expectations. All the worries of what-ifs and worst-case scenarios haunt our thoughts. Of course, reasonably, everything would be fine. But in our minds, irrationally, not everything goes well. Pre-event advice, support and help are important to us.

  • Tip: Role-play different conversations that might occur, talk about different worries as they arise, plan when to arrive and leave, and remind them of past difficulties they’ve overcome. Please give me.

“A friend sharpens a friend as iron sharpens iron.” Proverbs 27:17 NLTs

Check-in during the event

Check in no matter how the night goes. We may put on our bravest faces, talk endlessly, and look comfortable, but we may be talking faster than our brains can handle. You are doing your best to say all the right things without being shy. You can analyze the body language and facial expressions of the people around you and accumulate all the emotions in the room.

  • Pull your friend aside for quick “break checks” as often as needed, supplement the conversation when possible, and be present.

“Therefore, encourage one another, comfort one another, and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Amplifier

Check-in after event

After the event, signal the start of the merry-go-round. Remember when I said we might be talking faster than our brains can process it? Either embarrassed or just analyzing every facial expression.

  • Talk about any ups and downs on the way home, talk about any concerns, and check in the next day if needed.

“If one of them falls down, you can help the other. Ecclesiastes 4:10 NIV

Support even if you don’t understand

You don’t have to personally understand our struggle to help. You can be a safe person to us by giving us space to move through anxious thoughts without judgment or hassle. Help your friends discern the truth in lies Please give me. Often we become so preoccupied or overwhelmed that we need someone to look at our situation from a different perspective or perspective.

  • Look at God’s Word together, replace lies with truth, and discuss as many times as your friend brings it up.

“Share each other’s burdens and thus obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NLTs

Please don’t judge our fears.

Downplaying your friend’s concerns may be an opportunity to release some tension, but don’t do it. Your friend is probably already feeling overwhelmed by his own thoughts about his struggles. Don’t add weight that your friend already has. If the roles were reversed and you were in pain, how would you like to be treated?

“Therefore, in all things, do unto others what you would have them do, for this sums up the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NIV

Your feelings are also important.

I think I can speak for your friend when I say I understand how you feel too. you are important to us! The last thing we want to do is be the burden you are carrying or gain weight.

“Two people are richer than one because they can help each other succeed. If one falls, the other can reach out and help. A fallen person is really in trouble.Similarly two people can snuggle up and protect each other.The others are warm.But how can one person be warm?A person standing alone can be warm. Can be attacked and defeated, two can stand back to back and conquer. Three is even better. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I sadly lost friendships due to social unrest. A friendship I never wanted to see end, but which inevitably ended. So thank you to my friends who are always there for me! Thank you for accepting us as we are. Thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for choosing to keep checking us out. Thank God for allowing us to use you in our battles. We are fully aware that we must carry this burden, but how much does it mean to us that we do not have to carry it alone? It would be great to know if there is. We recognize and see the love of Christ through your presence, support and love.

Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Tero Vesalainen

Laura Spurlin is a Christian, high school sweetheart wife, mom of children, nurse, author, and the Lord has put her heart into everything about motherhood, mental health, and the Word of God. I am passionate about sharing what is on the

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