Having a healthy relationship
First of all, I'm not saying that having a healthy relationship whilst you're struggling with mental health issues is impossible, it's just difficult (at least in my experiences anyway).
I assume because you're reading this then you either have a significant other or you're thinking of somebody who's special to you. I know that even being around that person can be difficult, especially for social anxiety sufferers. What do I say? How do I fill the silence? Do they think I'm annoying?
These are some of the things I did to calm myself down and make both me and my significant other feel more natural and comfortable around each other.
OK I KNOW it's so much easier to say than do but it does help. One of my main worries was filling the 'awkward silences'. Who says they have to be awkward? If you run out of things to say that's totally okay. Just enjoy each other's company until something to talk about comes up naturally. Trying to force it will make it more awkward. Another big concern of mine was being left alone with them. Around a group of people I could make it less awkward by having a group conversation. Remember that this will only last so long. The more you get used to being alone with your special person, the easier it'll be! Just always try and be calm and be honest with the other person. Saying 'Sorry, I'm kinda nervous' or 'I feel kinda awkward' is totally fine. Talk it out with them.
If you still feel stressed about those awkward silences, try to come up with some simple conversation starters. If you're attracted to this person then you obviously have things in common. If you've exhausted talking about what you already know about them, learn new things about them!Learning new things about each other is great and shows that you take a genuine interest in them. Some good conversation starters can be 'How was your day?' Or 'What are you listening to right now?'. These kind of openings allow the conversation to change topics when they're done. They're listening to a band you like? Ask them what their favorite album is ect. I used to always pretend that I was talking to one of my other best friends and that always worked because it made me feel more comfortable and natural.
3.COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
As mentioned before, being honest and open with the other person is really important. Tell them if you feel uncomfortable or awkward and then discuss why. Not only will you feel better but it'll give them an insight into how you're feeling. Your significant other knowing how you feel in certain situations is always important as it helps them to comfort you/improve the situation. Feel like things are moving too fast? Talk about it. Any decent person who cares for you will listen and make you feel more comfortable. You've been feeling down lately? Tell them that you just wanna watch a film or something. Always tell them if you're uncomfortable/feel like you can't keep yourself safe. Of course an adult or health care professional would be best but the main thing is telling somebody who can make you feel better.
PLEASE NOTE THAT I'M USING MY OWN EXPERIENCES TO WRITE THIS AS I FEEL IT COULD HELP PEOPLE WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY/MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.