I have a partner with social anxiety. I’ve always known this about him. I’d even say that, while I obviously wish for his sake that he didn’t have it, his anxiety is also part of what makes us work. I’m the opposite of anxious. He’s always amazed at how I stay calm and collected in the middle of chaos. We’ll leave a party or some other scenario where there are lots of people, and my partner will list all of the dynamics that were causing him stress. And I’ll say, “Huh, I didn’t even notice that.” And I didn’t. Then I’ll tell him about all of the fun or endearing interactions I had, totally disregarding whatever he’s freaking out about, and he’ll laugh and say, “You’re good for me.”
In our regular life, we just understand each other. I pick up on his moods. I know how to prevent potential anxiety-ridden situations for him. I can usually tell what’s going on with him. But, like I said, that’s in our regular life. There are some out-of-the-ordinary situations when my partner’s anxiety can really flare up, and I don’t feel I have as much control to help him. Being around my family, particularly when we all travel together, is definitely one of those situations. Every year my dad takes me, my sister, my brother, and each of our respective significant others on a ski trip. It’s very generous of my dad. And what could go wrong, right? Well we all know that family dynamics can be tricky. Our family isn’t always who we’d choose to hang with, if we had a choice. So when we’re all stuck in one house together for a few days, that can be particularly stressful on my partner who has social anxiety. Here’s a look at that.
The room selection
Checking into our AirBnb and deciding who would stay in what room was a whole ordeal. Even after everyone assured and double assured us that they were all happy with their room assignments, my boyfriend pulled me aside to say that he feared someone actually wanted our room and wasn’t saying anything and would resent it all weekend. So I had to go confirm, again, that everyone was definitely okay with the room arrangements.