Any anxious person will tell you that, no matter how clearly something may be said, what an anxious person hears and what's actually being communicated are two entirely different things. Even the most innocent of phrases have the possibility of being construed into something absolutely life-shattering. To help mitigate the communication issues, though, BuzzFeed Australia created the perfect video to help us all understand just how the anxious mind translates simple day-to-day conversation. In the video, a (rather cute) guy is going about his day at the office. Casual conversations with his co-workers take a turn for the worse in his head. He thinks he's getting fired, the world is ending, and someone is pregnant — yikes!
The video goes to pretty hilarious extremes, but some of the scenarios aren't too far from the truth. Any time your boss asks to see you in her office your first reaction will be, "Oh no. I'm fired. It's over! Is that frozen yogurt place by my house still hiring?" Not to mention the cryptic "we need to talk" text seen in the video, which are capable of unleashing some of the most serious existential dread known to man.
Here are just a few of the things an anxious person might hear instead of what's actually said. Scroll down to watch the full video — it's definitely worth it!
1. When Someone Says, "I'm Fine."
You hear: "I'm not fine, actually. You're making my life a living hell."
"I'm fine" is essentially one of the worst things you can say to an anxious person. Even if you happen to be totally fine, it's ambiguous enough to set someone's mind racing. The negative possibilities are endless!
2. When Someone Says, "Nice Haircut!"
You hear: "Nice haircut! It distracts from your hideous face!
Compliments can so easily be interpreted as a disparagement. Today, the barista at Starbucks told me she liked my glasses and all I could think was, "Why am I so blind?!"
3. When Someone Says, "We're Going Out For Drinks, You Should Come!"
You hear: "We're going out for drinks, but we really don't want you there."
This one seems obvious: if someone invites you out, it must mean they want you to be there, right? But when your anxiety is talking, it probably means they just feel bad for you and are inviting you out of pity, but deep down inside they definitely don't want you there.
4. When Someone Says, "Can You Meet Me In My Office In Five?"
You hear: "You're fired."
You can love your boss from here to the ends of the Earth, but any kind of private discussion with them will easily trigger panic in someone with anxiety. Even getting fired looks rosy in comparison to other possibilities.
Watch the full video below: