We've all met them, the person who seems to not know how to engage in a conversation without it containing a complaint, criticism, or gossip.
It's exhausting to be around and even though they won't tell you, it's exhausting for them too. And it's not because they're a negative or toxic person. It's more likely because anxiety is running the show.
And, let's be real. I have been that friend. That wife. That colleague.
Anxiety doesn't just make us shy and withdrawn. It can make us negative, defensive, and seemingly hard to please (because anxiety puts us in a perpetual loop of wanting more).
Here's how that has shown up for me.
After graduating from my masters program and saving up for over a year my husband and I went on a road trip through Australia.
It was cold and rainy. I complained the whole time. I felt duped.
My expectations and reality did not match. Learning to accept that is an important skill and something I’ll delve into at another time...
But what really robbed me of enjoying what really was an incredible experience was my anxiety.
You see, I was upset not because it was raining. I was upset because my anxiety had me believing things never worked out for me. And the rain was evidence of that.
This is why addressing our anxiety is crucial. It can significantly alter our ability to enjoy our lives. And if we are operating from a place of fear, doubt, and sadness that will spill into our relationships.
I have so much compassion for people going through this because not only did I feel disappointed with the situation, I also knew my mood was impacting my husband and I internalized that too. Yay, more stress and self-doubt.
But the story doesn't end there. And yours doesn't have too either.
Because we have a choice.
We can choose to let anxiety rule our lives, or we can step into the drivers seat.
And when we step into the drivers seat we make more room for joy, trust, confidence, and love.