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How can I stop feeling anxious when I am out with friends?

12 Answers
Last Updated: 07/26/2021 at 6:41pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Halayma Khatun, M.A Theology(U.K, UAE), Diploma With Distinction in Counseling, Certification trauma abandonment


Compassionate, patient, experienced depression counselor. I use Psychodynamic counseling techniques. My counseling experience is +8 years, I counsel women.

Top Rated Answers
February 20th, 2017 8:09pm
Try to focus on what's happening and ground yourself in the moment. Focusing on listening to what your friends are saying and allowing yourself to be drawn into a conversation can help distract you from your anxious thoughts and feelings. Even just paying attention to sensory details, like the sounds and sights around you, and what you can feel (the sun being warm, the texture of a chair, etc.) is also a great way to pull the focus away from your anxiety.
January 30th, 2017 5:41am
Try to focus only on your own mind. If you are focusing only on how you feel on the inside, nothing on the outside can harm you. Also, when an anxious feeling or thought comes up, try to step back from it once you feel it and say "this is just a feeling, and it's not who I am. I can control how I react to this". Practice mindfulness in public by yourself and with friends.
May 18th, 2015 2:39am
Make sure you have a fallback option like your phone, or maybe some item that you got from a family member or someone close to you, almost like a lucky charm. This will help you in times so you can discretely look in your pocket, wallet, purse, or bag to see something that will calm you down. hoped this helped!
May 24th, 2015 11:22pm
Well to stop feeling anxious around people and your friends, you can control your emotions and figure out how you think you can cope. From my experience, I was told to create a "Worry Period". This is a part of the day (lets say 5:00-5:20) where your allowed to worry about everything on your mind. You can stress your feelings in this period of time, and such. This needs to be the same time every day, so that all your worries and anger can be committed to that time zone. This lets you rest and have a worry-free day. I also suggest you create a worry list, and instead of worrying about something in that moment in time, jot it down, and leave it for your "Worry Period". This helped me a lot, and from the feedback I've been given, its helped a lot of other people too! If you ever go out with friends or such, you know it will be worry-free as that isn't the time of your "Worry Period". If this doesn't help, and the anxiety carries on, I suggest you see your local GP or counsellor, to discuss your problems with you.
August 15th, 2015 7:32pm
Realize that you don't enjoy it like they do. It is okay to be antisocial sometimes, as long as you don't become a recluse to the point that you don't enjoy people at all. People are a blessing. Sometimes difficult, but a blessing nonetheless.
May 24th, 2016 11:10pm
Know that if they are your friends, they will accept you for being you and nothing else. They will protect you from anything that might harm you!
September 27th, 2016 3:51am
express how your feeling! if you are uncomfortable be honest about it. your real friends care about you and your feelings
October 7th, 2019 3:15am
I think it is important to remember that your friends are human too - if you are feeling anxiety in social situations, they might be feeling that way too (even if they don't show it!) We are all in this boat together, and it is OK to make mistakes. That is part of being human. And good friends would understand that you are human as well. If you are worried about the way your friends might perceive you, or how you may come across, it helps to remember that you are only responsible for (and can only control) your own actions and thoughts, not other people's.
May 19th, 2020 10:28pm
When feeling anxious when I am out with friends I do the four step breathing. No one has to even know you are doing it. You feel anxiety come on and just take a moment in a bathroom or off to the side of an event. I breath in for four beats, hold for four beats, and breath out for four beats and hold again for four beats before breathing in again. It focuses my anxiety on a simple task that I can accomplish. Try it! Just repeating the process about 5 to 10 times can really reset one's anxiety to a calmer state.
August 18th, 2015 7:06am
Use breathing techniques. People who suffer from social anxiety often find themselves in situations where their panic gets the better of them and they have difficulty breathing. In this situation, one of the best ways to regain control and calm your mind is just to focus on your breathing.
March 19th, 2018 1:04am
When you are out with friends, to stop yourself from feeling anxious you can take deep breathes, or even bring a fidget spinner with you to help you.
July 26th, 2021 6:41pm
Explore why you're feeling anxious. What exactly is it that you're worried about? What would need to change for you to feel better right now? When does the anxiety tend to come up and go away? It's important to explore these questions because as you can imagine, it's very different if your anxiety peaks on your way over to meet your friends and goes away once you start chatting, versus anxiety about saying the wrong thing that steadily escalates throughout your interactions. Either way, you can counter these feelings of anxiety using cognitive techniques. Your anxiety automatically fills in the worst case scenario, but challenge yourself to consider the best case scenario or the most likely scenario instead.