Having a crush is complicated enough. Adding anxiety to the mix, however, is a recipe for confusion, panic, and maybe a little sweat. As someone who lives with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I can confirm that life only gets more chaotic when I’ve got my eye on someone. Needless to say, it gets confusing for everyone involved. In an attempt to make things slightly clearer, here are 7 signs that someone with anxiety likes you, from my own personal experience.
1. I Need Your Reassurance
If I like you, I care what you think and how you feel about me. The last thing I want is one-sided affection, so I’ll want to make sure everything is as it seems. Just like everyone else, I’ve been hurt in the past, but my anxious brain is convinced it’ll happen again and again. Even little misunderstandings can get blown out of proportion if I have enough time to think, so reassurance can save a lot of stress if I feel comfortable enough to ask.
2. I Pay Very Close Attention
Anxiety keeps me alert, so I tend to be very detail-oriented in every area of my life. Especially when I care about something, I’m more than willing to spend time and energy diving as deep as possible into the subject. The same goes for people: if I’m interested I’ll listen closely to whatever you have to say and I’ll make a point to remember the things you like and believe in. I sometimes worry that I pay too much attention or that I come across as desperate because I make such an effort, but I know that my attention to detail is simply part of my love language and how I communicate to those I care about.
3. My Words Don’t Come Out Quite Right
When I’m around someone I like, I can turn into a stereotypical nervous wreck: I fidget, I sweat, and I can’t keep words in the right order when I speak. I know what I am trying to say, but even I get confused when listening to myself talk sometimes. It never happens the same way either— sometimes I pronounce a word wrong but other times an entire sentence is mixed up. This tends to happen to me in a lot of social situations, but never quite as noticeably as when I’m talking to someone I’m interested in…naturally.
4. I’ll Tell You When I’m Anxious
While I’m open about my mental health, I’m still very private about it, especially in the moment. I’m much more likely to excuse myself and ride the anxiety roller coaster alone unless I truly want you in the picture. Please don’t take it personally if it takes weeks or even months to open up; anxiety leaves me in a vulnerable state that not everyone reacts well to. It’s easier to be alone, but I’m willing to work to let someone in if they show me they’re willing to work too.
5. Sweaty. Hands.
Modern media can romanticize mental illness until the end of time but the truth is that anxiety is not pretty. My face burns red and I sweat like crazy when I’m stuck in fight-or-flight mode, and honestly, it’s embarrassing. I can’t focus on anything else and I fear that others can notice it too. I get preoccupied with whether my flushing is giving away my anxious state, but I usually work myself up over nothing. Everyone gets nervous sometimes; more often than not I’m not the only one with sweaty hands.
6. I’ll Push Myself Out Of My Comfort Zone
It isn’t often that I cancel plans or take on something new. Routine soothes my anxiety more than any pill or conversation, but I’d rather spend time getting to know someone I like. This can even turn anxiety into curiosity on a good day. Trying new things can be exhausting, but I’m much more willing to go out of my comfort zone if someone I like will come with me. A little excitement can be incredibly motivating!
7. I (Over)think, Therefore I Am
While this may not be a quality that others will notice—in fact, I hope they don’t notice— my mind is working constantly. I lose sleep over the everyday worries that cycle over and over in my brain, so you can imagine the kind of chaos that ensues when I care about someone that may or may not be interested in me. I ruminate over every word I say, every word you say, every gesture you make, every question you ask…it never ends.