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12 Phrases People With Anxiety Are Totally Fed Up With

12 Phrases People With Anxiety Are Totally Fed Up With

Anxiety is a terrible disease. Not only do those who suffer from it live in a constant state of worry and panic, but they also have to deal with those who don’t truly understand the nature of the disease. Although friends of those with anxiety are, for the most part, attempting to be sympathetic, sometimes their “words of advice” end up doing more harm than good. Even if you are trying to help, you should never catch yourself saying the following to a person suffering from anxiety.

1. “Stop being so negative!”

People with anxiety wish they could stop focusing on the possibility of bad things happening, but they can’t. Their minds are full of what-if scenarios, and will unwittingly latch on to the worst-case outcomes as if they’re 100% guaranteed. For people with anxiety, pessimism and realism are one in the same.

2. “You just like being miserable.”

We’ve all heard people say “you’re just not happy unless you have something to complain about,” but to a person with anxiety, this simply isn’t the case. They don’t like being miserable, but for many of them, it’s the only way they know how to live.

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3. “You’re so dramatic.”

Life isn’t a TV show. People with anxiety don’t sit around writing their lives out in a script in an attempt to make every situation they face as dramatic as possible. They don’t thrive off of the panicky feelings they get, and they certainly aren’t entertained by them. They know they’re dramatic, and would give anything to not be.

4. “You’re being ridiculous.”

Along with knowing they’re dramatic at times, people with anxiety often know their feelings and intuitions are ridiculous, but they can’t help feeling them. Also, by saying this, you put a label on a friend because of an illness that they can’t help. Do you really think that will help at all?

5. “Try not to think about it.”

This is like saying “Stop thinking of purple elephants.” If you tell someone, especially a person with anxiety, to stop thinking about something, all they’re going to do is think abut it (no matter what “it” is). As a friend, the best thing you can do is steer clear of talking about “it” altogether, and bring up just about anything else to the person’s mind.

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6. “Get over yourself.”

Those who don’t understand anxiety might think the sufferer is just throwing a pity-party. If anything, though, it’s the complete opposite. People suffering from anxiety hate being in the spotlight and don’t want to be the center of attention. They’re not making a huge scene because they want people to feel bad for them; they truly cannot help themselves.

7. “What do you have to worry about?”

A person who truly suffers from anxiety will probably answer this question with “everything and nothing all at once.” They know that, for the most part, there really is nothing to worry about, but since they can’t stop worrying about something (usually an intangible, unreachable something), they tend to worry even more. And insinuating they don’t have anything to worry about, of course, only exacerbates the issue.

8. “You just need to try harder.”

Though anxiety obviously creates observable reactions from those who suffer from it, it’s an internal disease of the mind that can’t be seen by others. Saying that a sufferer needs to “try harder” to deal with their issues makes it clear that you have no idea how much they are struggling to keep it together at any and all times.

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9. “It must be horrible being you.”

File this one under “Gee, thanks.” While you might think such a statement is a sympathetic way of saying “I feel your pain,” a person with anxiety is just going to hear “Sucks to be you.” They really can’t imagine what it’s like to not suffer from anxiety, but would do absolutely anything to live life free of chronic worry. They know it’s horrible; they don’t need you to reinforce that.

10. “Everyone feels that way sometimes.”

Again, this is a vain attempt to commiserate with an anxious individual, but all it does is minimize everything the person is going through. Sure, everyone feels uneasy every once in a while, but the definition of anxiety is a chronic feeling of uneasiness. By definition, unless you feel anxious all the time, you have no idea how a person with true anxiety feels.

11. “You’re just lazy.”

At least the rest of the items on this list are attempts at being sympathetic; this one’s just straight-up mean. It goes along with “you need to try harder,” as if a person with anxiety deserves to have to put extra effort into beating their disease. And, again, just because you can’t see how hard they’re trying doesn’t mean they’re not.

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12. “It could be worse.”

Of course it could be worse. But then, once you say that, all an anxious person is going to think about is how much worse it could be. As I said before, those suffering from anxiety tend to extrapolate and predict chains of occurrences that will lead to even worse scenarios. Saying “it could be worse” might be an attempt to let a friend know they don’t have it that bad, but all it really does is lead to them coming up with hundreds of what-if scenarios leading to pain and suffering.

Featured photo credit: Anxiety / Diane Northman via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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