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You may have clicked on this article because you’ve been struggling. I totally it. When you struggle with friendship anxiety, it’s like there’s never a sense of solid ground underneath you.
You may have asked yourself questions like do they still want to hang out with me? Did they cancel plans because they don’t really want to be my friend? Maybe you get nervous before hanging out with your friends, or you replay the conservations you had the night before because you are worried you said something wrong. These are just some of the thoughts that may have gone through your mind when navigating friendship anxiety. There is good news though – you are definitely not alone, and there are ways out of friendship anxiety.
Friendship anxiety is a form of social anxiety and can manifest in various ways. It can be that constant replay of conversations in your mind, the fear of being judged or rejected, or the unease you feel during social interactions. These swirling thoughts in your mind can lead to avoiding social situations or feeling a constant sense of discomfort when trying to connect with others.
Many times these fears come from a deeper place – that time in your life when you didn’t get the support you needed. Perhaps this was a childhood experience or a teenage experience when you needed support the most.
Friendship is a state of affection and trust between two people. It is a fundamental human need, but not everyone has had the benefit of experiencing this – that’s when friendship anxiety can show up. It’s a fear that is rooted in past experiences.
To overcome friendship anxiety, there are certain things you can do to help yourself. Just like any other relationship, friendships can sometimes come with their own set of anxieties and uncertainties. The best way to navigate these is by practice. Make an effort to engage with your new or potential friends despite any fear, and connect with others.