Managing Relationships When You Have Social Anxiety Disorder

Coping with Friends, Family and Relationships When You Have SAD

Relationships can be tough to navigate when you suffer with social anxiety disorder (SAD). From going on dates to living with a partner, social interactions are woven into the framework of every adult's life. Even if you suffer with SAD, you can thrive in your adult relationships—with a bit of research into how to manage your disorder.


Individuals with SAD may find it easier to meet people through work.
Work encounters can be a chance to meet potential mates. Getty / Tom Merton

Are you trying to find someone special to share your life with? Dating can be particularly challenging for those with SAD. This article offers a list of ideas for meeting potential romantic partners including through friends/family, community groups, volunteer organizations, at school and online.



Planetariums offer a fun experience for a first date.
A trip to the planetarium can be a fun first date. Getty / Hill Street Studios

Planning a first date with someone doesn't have to be nerve-wracking—in fact it can be downright fun! This article offers a list of potential ideas for activities on a first date, including going to the planetarium to sit under the stars, attending a play, or going to the aquarium to admire the dolphins.

A fantastic first date will keep both you and your love interest occupied and give you an awesome shared experience that you can discuss when the second date rolls around.



Having SAD may make asking someone on a date nerve-wracking.
Asking someone on a date doesn't have to be hard. Getty / Joe Regan

Are you too anxious to ask someone on a date? Here you will find a sample script describing how to introduce the idea of a date into casual conversation.

Although there is no guarantee that the person you are romantically interested in will respond favorably, the act of asking someone on a date will give you practice and courage to try again in the future.



Weddings can make social anxiety worse.
Getting married can be stressful if you have SAD. Getty / Daniel Sheehan Photographers

Planning a wedding when you have social anxiety disorder can be stressful. This article has links to helpful information on a variety of wedding-related topics including bridal showers, saying vows, giving speeches, and mingling with guests; each is written with the person with SAD in mind.



An evening out can be a chance to make new friends.
People with social anxiety need to work harder to make new friends. Mike Harrington / Getty Images

This is a step-by-step guide about how to make new friends. Some of the tips offered include how to improve your self-esteem to make friendship easier, where to meet new friends, how to stay in touch with friends, and how to hold on to friendships.

Tips are also offered about how to be a good friend and how to have healthy boundaries in your friendships.



Offer to help a friend with SAD.
Being a friend to someone with SAD means offering understanding. WANDER WOMEN COLLECTIVE / Getty Images

This article is written for those who have a friend who suffers with SAD. Ways to be a friend to someone with social anxiety disorder include staying in touch, avoiding criticism, learning more about the disorder, helping others get help, and working through denial.

These tips will be of value if you know someone with SAD or have a friend whom you suspect suffers with social anxiety.



Open body language will make a person with SAD feel at ease.
Use open body language to communicate with someone with SAD. Westend61 / Getty Images

If you know someone who is socially anxious, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to speak to that person.

This article offers tips about how to get the person with social anxiety disorder to open up, including telling stories about yourself, asking open-ended questions, leaving enough time for the person to respond, giving compliments, matching body language, and making plans to speak again.



Be good to yourself to help someone with SAD.
Maintain outside interests when helping a friend with SAD. Hero Images / Getty Images

Friends and family of those with SAD often have difficulty coping themselves. This article offers tips to take care of yourself while helping a friend or family member who suffers with social anxiety.

Some ideas include keeping up outside interests, setting aside guilt, and seeking counseling or a family support group.


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