Understanding Relational Anxiety
At Conscious Living Counseling & Education Center, we specialize in all things anxiety, including relational or interpersonal anxiety. Interpersonal anxiety means you become anxious in the process of relating to or bonding with other people.
It’s different from social anxiety or performance phobia- which is more about fear of embarrassment or judgment.
This type of anxiety has deep roots in our relational history. Put in simple terms. Our developmental years can leave a lifelong imprint on how we regulate fear and stress states. Many anxiety disorders develop in childhood and carry forward into adulthood. Experiencing early stress or relational trauma can make it more difficult to tolerate uncertainty.
There is an interplay between stress, anxiety, and our interpersonal relationships. If we’re hyper-reactive to stress or relational shifts, we’re more likely to be struggling with managing anxiety. For some people, leaving this area unexplored can lead to an anxiety condition’s development or perpetual motion.
Counseling for both social anxiety and interpersonal anxiety includes exploring an attention bias toward threats in relationships. People suffering from these anxiety states are vigilant to danger or any slight conveying a threat.
We practice shifting and training the mind to look for positive feedback and connection. In daily interpersonal interactions, most negative stimuli can be ignored without a consequence. Such as ignoring a boss or coworker who is having a bad day or ignoring a negative thought about a person you usually like. Most of these experiences are fleeting, unimportant, and temporary. Shifting the mind to positive bias has a significant impact on your relationships!
We’ll explore your relational anxiety in the here and now.
We also help people learn how to hear another person’s needs and communicate their needs clearly and directly. Relational miscommunication is an everyday occurrence, and there is no sense of urgency for most conversations. Carrying a sense of urgency leads to a pattern of internalizing problems, stress, and more anxiety.
It’s possible to break the chronic pattern of being hypervigilant toward social triggers. It takes work. It takes developing your sense of self and strengthening your support network at the same time.
Is Worry Impacting People You Love?
When we’re young, we look to adults to determine what’s dangerous in the world. This pattern continues into adulthood! We want to share the same fears with the people around us. That can have a negative impact. But it can have a positive effect as well- if we can practice specific skills – we can learn how to be less controlled by anxiety and help others.
In our inner circle, we’re exposed to our loved ones’ fears, and our worries impact them. It’s only human. When we get close to people, we train them to monitor for the things we fear! This is why we enjoy spending time with people who share the same fears. It’s human nature to want validation that something is dangerous, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually unsafe for you.
Is Relational Anxiety a Condition?
At Conscious Living Counseling & Education Center, we’ll encourage you to toss self-labels like “people pleaser” and “co-dependent.” We don’t pay much attention to labels.
We’ll look at your patterns of getting your needs met and strengthen healthy habits. We’ll pay closer attention to what you avoid and what you want to create; versus what makes you anxious. Do you avoid stating how you truly feel because you’re worried about how people will respond? Do you avoid getting close to friends because you’re anxious about trusting people? Do you avoid dating because you’re afraid someone will see the real you?
We’ll figure out why you began avoiding these important relational experiences and get you moving toward a life that’s meaningful for you —one step at a time. You don’t need to be in therapy for a lifetime. You will learn a specific set of skills that you can apply to most situations.
We’re a private practice, and we strive to deliver premium counseling services.
Your privacy is our primary concern.
As you’re exploring the site, please keep in mind, you don’t need “a reason” to schedule. If you believe you would benefit from talking to another adult, privately and confidentially, about what’s happening in your life, that’s enough.