Why does one person cause me anxiety?

In this blog we will answer the question “Why does one person cause me anxiety?”

We will also discuss what you can do if you find yourself anxious when it comes to a certain person and how you can set healthy boundaries.

Why does one person cause me anxiety?

If there is one person in your life that makes you anxious and uncomfortable it is most proabbly because of the lack of clear and healthy boundaries betwene you and the person. 

This means that you are allowing the other person to take up much space in your life because of a few key behaviors both on your part as well as theirs.

Some of the reasons why this is happening to you include the following:

You are intimidated

The first reason as to why you feel so anxious around this person is because they intimidate you. Not because of something they did to make you feel this way but because of how you see yourself. 

When one feels intimidated, it is most often the case that they view themselves as small or not good enough compared to the person they are intimidated by. 

As a result of which, you might be feeling overly anxious when you have to talk to them or approach them because you see yourself as “not good enough” in comparison. 

They pressure you to do things you don’t want to

Another reason as to why this person causes you so much anxiety is because they are forceful when it comes to making you do things. 

This could be anything from pressuring you to go out on a night you wanted to stay in to pressuring you to drink when you don’t want to. 

While it might be a common occuarnce, people who are vulnerable to anxiety, this can have a severe impact on their lives. You might have the feeling like you need to react a certain way to gain approval from this person or your peers in general.

When someone pressures you to do something, it often can leave you at a loss for control over your own life as it seemingly takes a way you ability to choose what you do and what you want. 

This loss of control can be a very unpleasant feeling to go through and as a result, you associate this negative feeling with the person who has made you feel this way which in turn makes you anxious whenever they approach you. 

They do not respect your boundaries

Another key reason is because they do not respect your boundaries- be it mental, emotional, intellectual, physical boundaries, 

If you notice that this person tends to overlook all the boundaries that you have set out or disregard any of your efforts to create healthy boundaries for yourself, it could be possible that this very thing makes you anxious around them.

When people overstep your boundaries it can also lead to a loss of control over your own life since it disregards any structure you might have made for yourself- this intrun can lead you to associate this negative feeling with the person who has made you feel this way which in turn makes you anxious whenever they approach you. 

They emotionally exploit you

If there is an individual who is making you anxious, examine whether your relationship with them is emotionally exhausting. 

This means that they are probably sucking you dry- emotionally speaking and are most probably toxic in your life.

If you notice a pattern where you are being used emotionally- where they always seek you out, demand support, disregard your needs, and are never there for you when you need them- it mean s that they are emotionally exploiting you. 

Being emotionally exploited can be a negative experience and spending time with negative people can increase your anxiety because the negative stimuli may feel overwhelming.

As a result of this, you might begin to feel anxious every time they come to you because the stress of being emotionally drained makes you anxious and fearful. 

What to do when one person causes you anxiety?

If there is someone that causes you anxiety in your life, the best thing that you can do is to set boundaries between you and them.

This can include creating a physical boundary with them- by not spending all your time with them or by moving out- or by creating an emotional boundary with them where you learn to become separate in terms of how you feel from them rather than being manipulated by them to feel a certain way. 

You have to understand that setting boundaries can be difficult and you will be made to feel guilty about it but it is important that you are stern with your boundaries and be consistent with them in spite of fear of how the person will react.

In human relationships, boundaries help define what is yours to carry and what is not yours to be concerned of. 

Boundaries help each person in the relationship understand where one person ends and the other begins and also helps define- to each other- what one is comfortable with, what their needs are, and also how they would like to be treated. 

Healthy boundaries help maintain the individuality of each person in the relationships and also indicate what they will and will not be responsible for. For example, a person will take responsibility for one’s unhealthy behaviour but will not take the responsibility for the other’s anxiety as a result of the unhealthy behaviour. 

Healthy boundaries are crucial for self-care as setting healthy boundaries can help  people make decisions that are true to themselves and not just to other’s. It helps build autonomy and decreases the risk of resentment and anger which are caused by poor boundaries. 

Here are some steps you can take to set boundaries:

Identify exactly what’s happening

This means that you take some time to examine the relationship you have with them. 

Some of the questions you ask yourself include:

  • Is the relationship equal?
  • Are they emotionally draining you out?
  • Do they respect you?
  • Do they respect your decisions and your inputs?
  • Are they mindful of your personal space?
  • Are they pressuring you?

Asking yourself these questions and exploring what exactly is causing so much distress can be the first step that you can take in setting boundaries. 

Approach the situation directly and assertively

Now, you must be able to communicate your intent to set boundaries and this will require you to be direct and assertive. 

Being assertive means being open and honest and unafraid to ask for what you need. It also requires one to remind yourself that you have a right to be treated with respect, and that your needs are just as important as theirs.

What you can do is to communicate your needs and your rights to the person at hand assertively while also respecting their own rights without the need to please them. 

Use “I” statements

The best way to practice assertiveness is by using “I” statements which help you express your needs without blaming someone else. 

You can take the I-statements to calmly repeat yourself until the other person listens to what you’re saying.

For example, instead of saying “You make me anxious when you do xyz” you can say something like “I feel uncomfortable because of your behaviour. I would like it if you could stop doing that.”

Seek professional support

Now, if you are so anxious that it is impacting other areas of your life, it is important that you seek professional help.

For example, if your colleague causes you so much anxiety that you are unable to work, it is time for you to consider talking to someone about it. 

Seeking professional help does not have to be a negative thing, it does not mean that you are weak or you are incapable.

It only means that you need some support to figure out what is happening and a little help to be able to boost yourself to set these healthy and clear boundaries with other people.


In this blog we have answered the question “Why does one person cause me anxiety?”

We have also discussed what you can do if you find yourself anxious when it comes to a certain person and how you can set healthy boundaries.

FAQ related to why does one person cause me anxiety

Can another person give you anxiety?

No. anxiety is not a contagious disease however, another person’s behaviour can cause anxiety in another person especially when the behaviour is toxic and there are no clear healthy boundaries between the two persons involved. 

Why does my friend give me anxiety?

If your friend is causing you anxiety it is probably because you feel unsafe and unaccepted in the relationship usually because you are constantly judged and your boundaries constantly undermined in the relationship. 

How do I stop taking someone else’s anxiety?

The best thing you can do to stop taking someone else’s worries is to set healthy boundaries between you and them. 

Boundaries help each person in the relationship understand where one person ends and the other begins and also helps define- to each other- what one is comfortable with, what their needs are, and also how they would like to be treated. 

Why does my boyfriend give me anxiety?

The most probable reason why your partner makes you feel anxious is because you feel unsafe with them. Your lack of safety in the relationship could be because you feel unaccepted for who you are as a person and this can lead you to feel intimidated, or not good enough, leading you to feel anxious when you are with them.

Can anxiety be cured?

No, Anxiety disorders are not curable, but the right treatment for your anxiety will help reduce the anxiety to the point you are able to function fairly well. 

Can toxic friends cause anxiety?

Yes. toxic friends can cause anxiety as it can affect your sense of self and identity, damage your self-esteem, and even lead to feelings of depression caused by the sense of worthlessness that one is made to feel when they are part of these kinds of relationships. 


Marissa Higgins. These People May Make Your Anxiety Worse. Bustle. Retrieved on 3rd April 2022. https://www.bustle.com/articles/163536-4-kinds-of-people-who-can-make-your-anxiety-worse

Why does one person cause me anxiety? The Chelsea Psychology Clinic. Retrieved on 3rd April 2022. https://www.thechelseapsychologyclinic.com/therapy/why-does-one-person-cause-me-anxiety/#:~:text=Very%20often%20the%20anxiety%20we,ascribe%20them%20to%20other%20people.

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