Tip #86: Instead of apologising for your anxiety, show gratitude.
The why: When you have anxiety, everything you do can feel wrong. Like the teeniest tiniest mistake can suddenly send your head reeling and make you the world’s worst person.
Does this sound like you?
“I’m so sorry I can’t come tonight, I feel too anxious.”
“I’m sorry I cancelled so last minute.”
“I’m sorry for that thing I said eight years ago that you’ve forgotten about.”
Essentially what you are saying when you apologise these kinds of things is:
“I’m sorry for being myself.”
If you apologise for your anxiety, that tells the world, and yourself, that it’s something to be ashamed of, something you can help, that it’s your fault.
In fact, a few days ago I decided to conduct an experiment and found I apologised a grand total of 50 times in one single day!
I even apologised to a sign. An inanimate object.
This creates an internal cycle of negativity.
You should not apologise because that implies blame, and you are blameless for your mental health.
One way of challenging this cycle of negativity is instead to talk to yourself, and the people around you, in a different why.
Instead of apologising, show gratitude.
Try instead saying:
“Thank you for understanding why I can’t come tonight.”
“Thank you for allowing me to be myself.”
“Thank you for reassuring me that I didn’t annoy you with that thing I did ten years ago.”
This new way of looking at the world reinforces positivity twofold.
Firstly, the people around you will greatly enjoy being thanked for their friendship and care, because let’s face it, everyone likes feeling appreciated!
But secondly, it will change the negative record that’s gotten stuck in your head to a more upbeat, positive one.
One that says that your anxiety isn’t your fault, and that you’re going to stop apologising for your feelings, but you’re going to thank the people who stick around.