is more common than you think. Everyone has had some experience of it, even if the anxiety was minor.
It is when it becomes crippling, that is where the trouble starts. If relationship anxiety is stopping you from having the relationships that you want…read on…
When the Anxiety is About Friendships
We all need to feel important. One of the ways that occurs for us is in relationship to other people. Have you ever belonged to a group of people, felt the need to leave that group for one reason or another…and because you left the group…people you considered to be friends no longer wanted anything to do with you?
That can be a cause of relationship anxiety when it applies to making new friends (yes, those are relationships that can have anxiety attached to them.) So a person who has been in this situation has difficulty putting themselves forward in new groups because of the memory of the loss of previous friend relationships. Let me repeat that. The memory.
That is why “shunning” is such an effective tool, if you want to hurt people (and I recommend that you don’t do that). Shunning is an act of social rejection and if you have ever had the experience of being shunned in a social situation, you know how painful that is.
When I was a child, I skipped a grade in school. So, all through elementary, junior and high school, I was the youngest person in the class. This led to a lot of bullying, shunning and other things…it wasn’t pleasant. It changed when I went to university at the age of 16 because the people who went there…wanted to be there…didn’t they?
Anxiety in Family Relationships
If you think about it, family are the people that we are supposed to feel the most comfortable with…and yet…sometimes, family can be our harshest judges and critics. Imagine…a family scene where there is a holiday…and everyone is gathered around the table. For some families, it is a time of harmony and love and sharing.
For others, it isn’t so. There may be excessive drinking, criticism, judging, unrealistic expectations or a combination of those. In that type of circumstance, it is difficult…and a person may indeed have developed a defense mechanism, like anxiety, to protect themselves.
At one point in time, that defense mechanism served a good intention. ..and in a way, was a good thing…even though it might not be working now. So you might feel anxiety when you think about going to family events.
Relationship Anxiety with a Romantic Partner
If you are already in a relationship and feel anxiety about it, there could be a few things going on. If you are walking on eggshells in the relationship:
- Ask yourself why? Is there a valid reason?
- Is there any abuse present, verbal or physical? If you can’t see it and someone you trust says that it is there, listen…
- If there is no abuse, is the relationship anxiety internal? Is it a result of how you are talking to yourself, the movies that you see in your mind and the feelings that you feel?
- Pay attention to the messages that you are receiving…
If those anxious feelings have a positive message for you, such as “Get out, you are in an abusive relationship that is destroying your self-esteem”, pay attention…
Whether you are getting back into the world of relationships because of a divorce, a break up, or even if you are a total newbie at it…it doesn’t need to be filled with anxiety. You know what I mean…the heart pumping, blood thumping, hand wringing, sweat filled moments when you even think about getting into a relationship with someone.
You stand there, waiting for the right words to come out and you come up with nothing…or even worse, you croak out a wonderful mishmash of words, a word salad that just sits there in front of you, shaming you…and that is the problem. Attached to the anxiety are other emotions, such as shame, guilt and fear.
The pictures that flash in front of your eyes are not ones of a fantasy filled happily ever after life…no…they are of all of the things that can go wrong…
You are good enough…just because…you are… Tweet this!
Letting Go of Relationship Anxiety
If you have ruled out the possibility of abuse (in any of the types of relationships…family…friends…or romance), there are steps that you can take to help you get rid of relationship anxiety.
- Seek help
- Rebuild trust with yourself and your self-esteem
- Keep your word and promises to yourself
- Speak kindly to yourself and be your own best champion
- Defend yourself because you deserve to be treated with respect…yes…you do…
- Avoid the drama
- Stop “seeing” a future where things go wrong in relationships
Let go of the past…just let it go…and start living in the now…because when you live in the now…you aren’t creating a negative future…because that is all that worry and anxiety really are…a creation of your own mind…and I don’t know about you…but my psychic abilities to forecast aren’t very good…and if you think about it…all those things that you imagined could go wrong…most of them really didn’t, did they…and that imagination can see so much…so why not let it see something good…and then…you can feel better…and you can see that it’s not all that bad…and you can put one foot in front of you…take a deep breath…just like that…and step into that better future…one where relationships can be easy…and peaceful…can’t you?
So when you have made the decision to have relationships that don’t require you to be “walking on eggshells”, you can have just that…wonderful relationships… free of relationship anxiety…happy…amazing…incredible…just like that…
“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner
P.S. If you haven’t read this post about “walking on eggshells”…then here it is…click here!
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