Social anxiety is very common. It can be dismissed as ‘just shyness’ but actually it is extremely painful and distressing for anyone experiencing it, causing stress and true panic. If you are the partner of someone with social anxiety, it is bound to be upsetting for you, too.
WHAT IS SOCIAL ANXIETY?
It’s the overwhelming and continual fear of social situations. This takes place before, during and after any event, meaning some people are continually afraid. The fear is of saying or doing something wrong and being humiliated or embarrassed. People with social phobia aren’t just scared of parties and gatherings – they may also be terrified of public spaces or talking on the phone.
THIS DISORDER IS OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD
If you have social phobia you may be dismissed as lazy, aloof, unfriendly or ‘weird’. Sadly, it’s the nature of this disorder to be unable to explain yourself. After all, if you could you wouldn’t have this problem nearly so badly.
BUILD YOUR PARTNER UP
Obviously your partner’s confidence is very low. Try to build them up by paying as many sincere compliments as you can, about how they look, appear, behave and sound. Report anything nice anyone else has said, too.
DON’T NEGLECT BASICS
When you have a major anxiety it’s easy to forget the essential things in life, like rest, exercise and healthy eating. Sugar, caffeine and junk-food (i.e. fast food, that’s full of refined carbohydrate and additives) all increase stress. Time in the fresh air, a light work-out or walk, good nutrition and plenty of sleep are key to beginning to overcome this problem.
Of course you know you need to be patient, but in the event it can be really hard. You are longing to have a relaxing evening with a couple of old friends, but your partner can’t even cope with that! Remember that they aren’t doing this to be awkward. Protect yourself from disappointment by expecting very little, even while you keep opportunities open.
LET THEM ADJUST TO CHANGE GRADUALLY
You may be excited at new opportunities – maybe a house-move or new job, but for your partner this is a torment. Encourage them to take baby steps and point out all their successes. Let them adjust bit by bit and don’t despair when they relapse – talk it through with them.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO GET HELP
You can’t do this alone – professional help is really necessary. However, because of the nature of the anxiety, talking to someone about the problem can be a massive challenge in itself. Hypnotherapy and counselling will help them move on, but the best first step will be to persuade them to speak to one of our calm and empathic Readers at TheCircle. Having had one good experience, they can hopefully build on this and become more resilient.
STEP BACK SOMETIMES
We all have to get through our challenges in life by ourselves, when you get right down to it. However much you help your partner, something inside them has to want to get better. You can’t do it for them, and it would be a mistake to let your happiness and fulfillment rest on them getting over this phobia. So give them space and be self-sufficient.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
You may be bending over backwards to help your partner, but that shouldn’t mean you lose out. Explain the situation to friends and family, as best you can. Make sure you go to gatherings and events, so you can enjoy yourself – maybe you can enlist a special mate to ‘partner’ you for the occasions when you need it. Keep in touch because if you become isolated it won’t help anyone, and you need your supportive crowd.
Sometimes however hard you try, helping the one you love seems very difficult. That’s when you owe it to yourself to get support. Dating Advice and Relationship Advice are available with a few clicks, when you contact us at TheCircle. Our Readers are waiting to help you. Find clarity with your Love issues, get your Relationship horoscope or benefit from Psychic insight. There’s no need to cope with your worries alone – put in a call today
PUBLISHED: 27 JULY 2015