Not only for those who experience severe anxiety, but also for family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Not only to be able to understand without judgment or condemnation what the cause of that fear is, but above all to be able to offer the right help.
1. Sometimes you can’t do certain things
To the outside world, it seems as if you are simply avoiding certain things, such as answering the phone or accepting an invitation to dinner. However, the reality is that fear has a debilitating effect. It can even lead to you canceling planned appointments that you really look forward to. Outsiders could easily accuse you of lack of interest or attention, unfortunately often far from the truth. You really wanted to go to that dinner party, but an overwhelming feeling of panic, fear and fatigue can destroy everything at a glance.
2. You think too much about anything and everything, thoughts that someone without fear does not have
Who knows, it was the way your friend texted you. Would he be mad at me? You read the text over and over again to understand it. You might become afraid of confrontation or of running into him. You may not be able to stop thinking about something your boss has casually said to you. How did his voice sound? Would he think you’re not working hard enough? People without fear probably see your behavior as obsessive, but in reality worrying about anything and everything is one of the biggest side effects of anxiety.
3. You are very tactile and absent; if you are a very sociable person, others may take that personally
You can approach friends because they wonder why you are so quiet. However, you cannot muster the energy to explain to them that you have too much in your head and simply cannot follow what is happening around you. So they think you’re sad, or bored, tired, depressed, and so on.
4. You repeat conversations in your head
You avoid confrontations at all costs, because they only increase your fear. In a dispute or even a conversation that according to the other person is friendly, you keep going on about what was said and done. You can’t get it out of your head and you keep thinking you said something wrong. This can completely eat away at your inner peace. Remember that and remind yourself every time that it is only your fear that speaks and that everything else is fine.
5. You lie to people about how you feel to make your fear go away
People may interpret the sudden abandonment of your plans, your silence, or your lack of interest differently and may ask you if you are all right. You joke an answer by saying, “Yeah! Everything is fine with me!” However, one might feel this as a lack of confidence if you hide your true feelings, when you just don’t want to pay extra attention to the fear that is tearing you up inside. When you’re trying to make a moment of inner fear go away, talking to someone who doesn’t feel fear sometimes doesn’t work, or just makes it worse.
6. When people worry about you, your fear grows even more
When people express their concern about your anxiety, it often has the opposite effect: it exacerbates your negative thoughts or triggers panic attacks. You begin to think that when others are worried about you, then there is something really bad about you, and you should worry even more about yourself.
7. You take everything personally, even the smallest thing
So… your boyfriend didn’t answer your text right away… Now you think you did something wrong. You could have had a perfectly normal conversation without a hitch, but because he doesn’t respond quickly enough for your liking, you suddenly get the feeling that it’s your fault. And that feeling completely drains you.
8. You come across as a slacker, in reality you are a perfectionist
While people might mistake your inability to finish things as laziness, in reality there’s a huge invisible block in the way: fear. You are afraid that someone will not think your finished project is good enough. To avoid this feeling, anxious people rarely finish anything.
9. You get caught up in equations
You see yourself obsessively following the experiences of others, especially your peers, via social media to compare your happiness with theirs, sometimes crying out. That’s not so much a bad quality, though others might think so, but rather a side effect of fear. You find it worrying about yourself that you never feel good enough because you think they have accomplished much more.
10. You can’t let go of your mistakes and mistakes, you keep repeating them
Whether it’s at work or in your relationships with others, every alleged mistake keeps spinning in your mind. Instead of learning from it and growing from it, you pull yourself down and become depressed .
11. There are those days when you can’t get out of bed
On days when your fear manifests itself most strongly, you prefer to hide from life. The fact that people around you just live their lives – having fun, laughing, working well, getting nice things done – overwhelms you to tears. You feel a strong urge to distance yourself completely from it by getting deep under the covers.