How to Call Out People with Anxiety Issues


I’m going to write this in bullet form to collect my thoughts better, for now at least.

Because this is an actual thing activists/bloggers need to know, and the “well this issue should be anxiety-filled, so suck it up” response is unacceptable to me, especially from any abled activists.

  • If possible, message them rather than reblogging/calling them out publicly.
  • Try not to yell/swear/sound too angry. Generally I don’t care what tone people take, but if you’re dealing with an ND person and you care about their well-being, this is a thing to consider in this case.
  • Explain the issue in an “informing you of something you didn’t know” way rather than “you’re being willfully ignorant.” Because honestly, odds are that we’re not. The last thing we generally want to do is offend/hurt someone. That’s not true of everyone, but I think it’s a generalization I can make, if only because people with anxiety tend to be extremely sensitive to criticism, even constructive criticism.
  • Explain exactly what the problem is and what you’d like us to do (delete the post, edit it, etc.)
  • Make it clear your problem is with the thing we said/reblogged, not with us. I know that’s supposed to go without saying, but for a lot of us, it really doesn’t.
  • People, please add to this if I’m missing something.

As you can see, a lot of this flies in the face of most SJ-type things we generally believe (no tone-policing, etc). But the fact is that the way you talk to people with some ND conditions has to be different from the way you talk to NTs, if you want them to understand and not experience potential emotional damage.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think our activism for others, or our efforts not to be oppressive, are conditional on any abled, marginalized person or people doing these things to interact with us. We (generally) are going to do our best regardless. This is just what you should consider doing if you want to call us out in a constructive way.


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