How To Improve Your Social Anxiety Around Family | 9 Ways

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Whether you live with your family or only see them on holidays, it sucks to have social anxiety around your family.

social anxiety when family is around

I used to have the worst anxiety when I was at home, and I thought that was supposed to be my safe place. It was so frustrating!

It took me a while, but I have found some of the best ways to improve my social anxiety overall, and that extended to my family.

If you want to feel at home and at peace at your family home, then keep reading because I believe this is the best advice you can get!

This post is all about social anxiety around family!

Why Do You Feel So Anxious Around Your Family?

There are so many reasons that you, in particular, might feel social anxiety around your family, but here are a few that I can articulate.

First, you might feel high expectations from your family. If you have successful family members or not, you can feel like you are never living up to their expectations of you. When you feel like you haven’t achieved enough, then that can trick your mind into thinking that your family thinks negatively of you as well. You might have family members who tell you you aren’t amounting to what they expect. Especially with someone you look up to or who has influence in your family, it can feel like you will never amount to enough if they disapprove of you.

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Next is past trauma and conflict. When growing up, you might have experienced a collective trauma with your family or because of them. Or you might not get along with your family. Conflicting beliefs can be a huge reason you feel anxiety around them. You may not feel comfortable to speak your thoughts and opinions. Certain people can bring up memories that are hard and cause you to feel negative emotions. You have likely known your family your whole life, so they have been through everything with you. You may associate any of your trauma with them or their reactions to your life.

There might also be a lack of understanding within your family. If family members don’t understand or respect someone’s boundaries, interests, or lifestyle choices, this can make family gatherings a source of anxiety. I always think of when parents disagree with the way that you are raising your children. This can cause conflict and can be super frustrating trying to relay why you are doing what you are doing. This applies to so many things, like your gender and sexual identity, where you live, what career path you are in, and your political beliefs.

You may feel criticism from your family for many of the reasons stated above. When you choose to live differently than your family (in any way), this may cause them to poke fun at or even outright insult you for your choices. There is always going to be someone, a family member or not, who thinks that you should be doing more in some way. They may think that you should be making more money or giving your family more money, etc. It usually boils down to money, and I say try to keep family and money separate for as long as you can!

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Families often have shared norms and values. When someone feels different from the rest, whether due to their beliefs, lifestyle, or personal choices, it can cause anxiety. Going against the grain is going to be tough when it comes to family members who you have known and grown up with. They may start to talk down to you or simply criticize you for your life and lifestyle.

9 Ways To Improve Your Social Anxiety Around Family

1: Grow Thicker Skin

This is the one thing I would tell people if they have social anxiety around family, and that is to practice, practice, practice!

To tolerate hateful or critical family members, you have to be really confident in who you are and what choices you are making. To do this, you should really start journaling and mindfulness. Learn how to be intentional so you know when you act that you aren’t being rash.

It might be hard to hear, but some of your social anxiety can be solved by critical thinking and talking yourself down. As you practice this, you will get better at

2: Learn How They Best Communicate

3: Don’t Try To Change Them

4: Love On Them Whenever You Can

5: Keep Up Communication When You Are Apart

6: Work On Yourself

7: Practice With Friends (And Talk To Mentally Mature Friends)

8: Be Able To Laugh At Yourself

9: Admit When You Are Wrong Or When You Don’t Know Something

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