When you see the world through an anxious lens, it can be tough to know what’s worth worrying about and what isn’t. It’s why you might feel insecure in your relationship or shut down during tough moments. You might even start to have thoughts like “my partner is making my anxiety worse“ and become even more disconnected and distrustful as time goes on.
1. Avoiding Conflict At All Costs
All of that said, anxiety isn’t always “in your face.” It might also cause you to shut down and stop talking to your partner, in a way that definitely isn’t beneficial to your relationship.
“People who tend to be more anxious tend to think disagreements are a bad thing,” Elizabeth Su, a life coach and relationship expert, tells Bustle. “We are often people-pleasers and worry that if we have a disagreement with our partner, it means our relationship is doomed.”
Anxiety makes it difficult to understand that arguments are actually a good thing. “Usually what results is an important conversation about something that has been brewing between one of you, or both,” Su says. So try not to let your anxiety get in the way of a productive chat.
2. Catastrophizing Small Problems
As Sedacca says, “Anxious partners tend to catastrophize situations, blowing things up to mean more or appear more threatening than they really are.” It’s one reason why, even when something small happens, before you know it you’re having a huge argument with your partner.
3. Struggling With Jealousy
Similarly, anxiety might cause jealousy to rear its ugly head, Rosalind Sedacca, CLC, a dating and divorce coach, tells Bustle, possibly to the point you become suspicious of your partner’s every move. Even though it’s stemming from anxiety, this habit can still impact your relationship and cause your partner to step away. But that’s just one more reason to look for ways to control anxious feelings and thoughts, so they don’t become overwhelming.
4. Doubting The Relationship
If you always think your relationship is “doomed,” anxiety may be the root cause.
“People with anxiety have negative self-talk, which can cause them not to trust that they are loved,” Tina B. Tessina, PhD, a psychotherapist, tells Bustle. “This doubt can frustrate a partner, and eventually cause them to give up on the relationship.”
5. Getting Super Angry
“Anger can come when we are feeling panicked, trapped, and unheard,” Kester says, which is reality for pretty much every anxious person, particularly when arguing. Instead of listening or hearing what your partner is saying, your anxiety kicks in and you lose control of your temper. Not good.
6. Being Passive Aggressive
7. Refusing To Try New Things
Relationships need to grow and evolve in order to remain healthy. But since change can be incredibly scary for someone with anxiety, try to remain aware of moments when you feel yourself saying “no.”
While it may soothe anxiety in the moment, sticking to a predictable path “can make your relationship stale over time,” DePompo says. “If this is you, make a point to try things regardless of the certainty you will like them — let it be about the experience and shaking it up over the perfectionism of ‘the right’ choices.”
8. Refusing To Open Up
Unchecked anxiety might also impact your desire or ability to open up and talk to your partner. “You may be concerned about the ‘consequences’ of what you say,” DePompo says, which can in turn create a sense of disconnect. To counteract this symptom in particular, focus on sharing honestly and truthfully, particularly in the moments when you really don’t want to.
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