Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a good therapist or anxiety life coach, although many of us could use that expert advice and supreme listener, especially if we suffer from chronic anxiety. Having these types of attacks can significantly degrade our quality of life and impair our ability to connect with people and make lasting friendships.
When we can’t get the therapy we need, we have to have someone to turn to, whether it’s family or a trusted friend. But what kind of friend would be the best counselor for chronic anxiety? Let’s look at the top five most important characteristics of a counselor that could be found in a good friend as well.
This one seems obvious, but it’s not. You need someone who is going to listen to you without judgment, without drifting into their mind’s daydreams, and without trying to turn the conversation around. You need to have someone that is completely focused on what you are saying without forming premature opinions and without interrupting you.
An empath is someone who can feel what others are feeling. They are the most sensitive kind of person, but it’s because of their sensitivity that they are able to understand what you’re going through.
Someone who is well-read and/or has personal experience with anxiety and other psychological conditions would be a big bonus; however, not everyone has this. The more intelligent and well-read a person is, though, the more likely they will be able to provide sound advice or suggestions to help you through a troubled time.
A gossip is not someone you need. There are a lot of people in this world who will pretend to want to hear your problems, only so they can talk about them with everyone else to make themselves feel better. They will listen just to use that knowledge against you. When looking for a friend to confide in, choose someone you know you can trust, someone who has proven that trust to you before.
Accepting and Forgiving
We all yearn to be accepted in life. The friend who will likely be able to act as the “stand-in counselor” is the one who will love you for the person you are rather than the person you pretend to be when hiding your anxiety. They will see behind the mask of a smile.
This person will accept every little thing that makes you anxious, even if it seems silly and inconsequential. They will forgive any outbursts you have, and are not known to hold grudges against anyone.