Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I'm struggling with anxious thoughts"

Dear Carol,

I struggle with anxiety. I worry that my friends dislike me: I constantly am asking for reassurance that they aren't upset with me. How can I reassure myself that people like me and aren't talking about me behind my back? Right now, it feels like a million voices are attacking me inside my head and saying that no one wants to hang out with me.

- Anxious Mind

Dear Anxious Mind,

We all get anxious and insecure, but I hope a counselor can help you quiet down those mean voices and raise the volume on more encouraging ones. Meanwhile, it's best if you don't keep asking friends, "Are you mad at me?" or seeking reassurance. Some say, "Fake it 'til you make it." I don't quite agree, but it's true that if you can act more relaxed, others will relax around you—and that's ideal for growing friendships. Texting "That was fun! Tell your mom thanks for the pizza!" is better than "Sorry if I said anything dumb. Sometimes I say stupid stuff." Since you need to remind yourself that you are awesome, how about writing yourself a fan letter? I'll give you a prompt: "Five things I like about myself." Ready, set, go!

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by GL | 6/3/2022