My friends brother triggers my fight-or-flight response

I’m gonna have to make this quick lmao, i’m in their kitchen right now

My friend has an older brother, he’s a little older than me but tall. Very tall, compared to me. I’m around 5’3 and he’s … maybe around 6’2?

And his very presence triggers my anxiety and the urge to run. I’ve known the family for pretty much all life, her brother used to be my classmate. We’ve always had a complicated relationship and never spoke much to each other unless completely necessary. Although we did have some unpleasant encounters in the past, regarding my sexuality and his …lack of acceptance of it. It was at a party hosted by a mutual friend and he was drunk. He threw some not so nice comments at me, trying to humiliate me in front of my friend and his parents.

Considering I am over at my friends house a lot, we are bound to run into each other from time to time. We don’t talk, barely look at each other but he still makes me having a hard time breathing when we’re in the same room.

Any potential tips or tricks how to cope and deal with that? Much appreciated, in advance!


how about some grounding exercises? theres plenty of variants out there (not sure if you have some in your toolkit already). you could even excuse yourself to the washroom if you need a moment in private to settle yourself.

on the flip side of that, if youre feeling brave you could ask your friend to have a talk with him about his feelings towards your sexuality, or even the three of you together to really hash it out and put an end to it. you never really know whats going on in someones head unless you ask!


I definitely think opening up to your friend on how he has made you uncomfortable in the past and still now will help. Also Having something on you to fidget with can help as well as grounding exercises. Hope things get better ! <3

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As much as I would like to say “I’ll try that”, I can’t. I’ve spoken to my friend about it before but considering her view on LGBTQ+ is also not the most accepting, I didn’t get very far. She told me to stop dwelling on it, because “it’s all in the past”.
I’m trying my best to just ignore him, but it’s just really fucking hard sometimes.

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