As a human you were designed by God to pursue and desire close relationships with others. As you are reading, think about the person you depend on most in your life. This might be a spouse, best friend, sibling, or parent. Now think about how you feel when that relationship is in turmoil. It is a dreadful feeling. Even though you desire close relationships it does not mean they are always easy to maintain. Anxiety can affect how you communicate, sustain and connect with your most valued relationships.
If you have struggled with anxiety you know how it can overwhelm how you feel, think, and act. In close relationships it is common for you to experience anxiety. Right about now you may be asking-”Why”? A few reasons are because the thought of losing that person, their affections, approval… can bring you great amounts of physical and emotional distress.
Two ways anxiety can manifest in your relationships are becoming overly dependent on that person or distancing yourself from them. These actions are on two different ends of the spectrum but are both unhealthy ways to cope with the unknowns in your relationship.
Being overly dependent on a person can look like many different things. You might be feeling as though you could not live without this person’s love and support. Here are some examples you may be able to identify within your own relationships:
- Replaying past conversations in your head
- Wanting constant communication and feeling lost and desperate when you don’t get it
- Need for excessive reassurance
- Unable to be alone and at peace
- Planning for the worst case scenario
On the other hand, your anxiety might motivate you to distance yourself from a close relationship. The common underlying belief is that the less you are deeply known the less you can be deeply hurt. You might feel as though you are the only person you can depend on. And although a big part of you may want to grow closer to that person; the fear of getting hurt stops you. Here are some signs that you may be avoiding intimacy.
- Not wanting to be vulnerable about your inner thoughts and feelings
- Fear of and refusal to make a true commitment
- Making important decisions alone
- Sending mixed signals
- Withholding love and affection
This is Me .. HELP!
If you feel like you just read a blog about you I want you to know there is hope. Maintaining close relationships can be challenging; especially when you’re experiencing anxiety. The good news is you have already taken at least one step towards better by researching how your anxiety could be affecting your relationships. If you are ready to work through the anxiety and grow closer to the people you love, then reach out today. We can help you uncover the issues keeping you stuck and help you create a path of healing and growth moving forward. A path that includes loving relationships where you are loved and deeply known. We would consider it a privilege to walk alongside you in discovering how to work through the anxiety and strengthen your relationships.
You can reach us at (405) 921-7776 or on the web at NewVisionCounseling.org. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Written by Darby Hargrove and Shawn Maguire, LPC. Shawn owns New Vision Counseling and Consulting and has trained a team of therapists who consistently help their clients achieve life changing results. Because of their success in helping clients heal and come alive they are currently the top rated and reviewed counseling practice in Oklahoma.