How To Help A Friend Struggling With Anxiety, From A Psychologist


Helping is being supportive by being a good listener and accommodating her within reasonable limits. Enabling is going beyond “reasonable limits” and prioritizing the other person’s needs over yours, to the point where you actually end up supporting behavior that isn’t good for either one of you. If a friend is constantly super late or canceling plans at the last minute, to the point where you’re (understandably!) getting very frustrated, you might reevaluate how you make plans together. Consider letting your friend know that you’d love to spend time with her, but if actually keeping the plans is too burdensome due to her current situation with anxiety, then you’d prefer to have spontaneous get-togethers when she’s sure she’s up for it.Depending on your relationship with your friend, you might also mention that if her anxiety is making it unbearable to keep plans that are normally part of a healthy social life, it might be time to at least consider talking to a professional, to make sure she’s getting whatever support she needs. 

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