“Just Because They Don’t Understand Doesn’t Mean They Don’t Love You.”
Anxiety sufferers (especially health anxiety sufferers) often feel that most people, including their family and friends do not understand what they are going through. It is however important to remember that resenting those who are close to you for their lack of understanding your anxiety will not make matters better. It may in fact cause things to become worse.
It is up to the person going through anxiety to find ways and means to communicate with their loved ones about their anxiety and make them understand their state of mind and body better. It is also important for you to understand what others are feeling. A few points that can help better communication between anxiety sufferers and those close to them are discussed below:
Avoid taking everything personally
It’s quite hard to not take the lack of compassion or response by an individual towards your mental state personally, but you the truth is you must avoid falling into this trap. Taking things personally will lead to a loss of power over your situation and leave you vulnerable to the opinions of others.
It is important to note that others do what they do because of themselves and not because of you. Each of us live through our own desires and dreams and their world can be completely different from your world. Even a direct insult cannot be considered a personal remark, because that insult is nothing but their opinion of you. Hence, it is best to not take things personally irrespective of the happenings around you.
Lack of understanding does not mean they do not love you!
When you try to talk about your feelings and emotions to those close to you and it does not yield any response, then it will result in extreme hurt within you. We then immediately conclude that our loved ones do not want to hear about our anxiety because they do not love us and do not care about our feelings.
It is however very important to distinguish between the two things, i.e., lack of response to your articulation about anxiety and the love that your family member has for you. The plain fact may just be that those close to you just do not have the capacity to understand something that is confusing, invisible, and complex and something which they have never experienced.
We must take care to avoid assuming that our loved ones will be there for us and would want to hear about our daily struggles ‘only’ because they love us, and if they don’t, they do not love us!
Refocus energy on people who understand
In order to overcome anxiety, it is important for sufferers to focus on individuals who do understand what you are going through. It is these people that you need to talk to and seek support and comfort from when negative emotions and stress hits you hard.
Just make sure these people are on the road to recovery, not road the road to management
You can take a family member with you for coaching/therapy sessions so that he/she is able to better understand your anxiety. And, maybe in the future, the loved one will be better equipped to offer support to your in your times of need.
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