1. Was 5 minutes late to school so I decided to skip school altogether that day to avoid the awkward class entry.
2. When I was 12, a man in a suit I didn’t know knocked on the door. I could see him through the front room window so I hid behind the chair. Looked up to see if he had gone, made eye contact. Stayed where I was. Wasn’t the last time it happened.
3. I wear headphones all the time. Even if they’re off/not plugged in. I’m so much more productive at work, people at the gym let me be, and people on the street leave me alone on my walk home.
4. Rather than associate with my nosy aunt when I lived with her, I told her I was going out for a while, moved my car up the street, and sat in it watching Netflix on my phone for a couple hours.
5. Getting off the bus at the wrong stop and walking because I pressed the stop button too soon and didn’t want to tell the driver.
6. Going to cross the street, but then stopping and pretending I don’t have too if there’s a car approaching so I don’t inconvenience them.
7. I failed an important test once because I was too scared to ask the teacher for a pencil.
8. The postman was knocking on my door, so rather than answer it, I decided to army-crawl passed the door (so he wouldn’t see me through the frosted glass). Then he pushed open the letterbox, and saw me splayed across the floor.
9. I went to an empty room and stood in the dark for 45 minutes to avoid a team bonding event.
10. Before I got my own apartment, I was sharing one with two other people. I usually spend Saturday nights away from home, but one time I happened to stay home for the night. One of my roommates was gone, and the other didn’t realize that I was at home, so he invited his girlfriend over. I was woken up by the sound of loud sex in the room right next to mine. As I was lying there, unable to sleep, I realized something horrifying – my period has started. I couldn’t leave my room without them noticing that I was there and that I could hear them. I didn’t want them to feel awkward. I spent the whole night lying in a pool of my own period blood, pretending I wasn’t there.
11. Every single day I order Starbucks on the app no matter how inside the store I am. A lot of days there isn’t even a line but that doesn’t stop me!
12. I will hold a cough in until tears roll down my face so people don’t hear me coughing.
13. It’s difficult to think of something interesting because numerous times I just turned around and left which really is the most extreme thing you can do. The stress and anxiety build up in mere seconds and the instant reflexive action becomes to do a 180 and bail. I’ve done it at job interviews, I’ve done it at parties, I’ve done it when just visiting a friend, I’ve done it at therapy appointments. I’ve done it all over.
14. Pissed in a bottle to avoid having to leave my room. Multiple times.
15. Hmmm so many:
Eat lunch in a bathroom stall or in my car every day for my entire college experience.
Purposely tailor my career to be able to work remotely, from home.
Only respond to people through text or email. I recently viewed and agreed to take a new apartment entirely through text.
Shop online, buying pants is hard. I haven’t found a new pair that fits in 3 years.
Pay my brother to do my grocery shopping with a strict list so I don’t have to. Luckily he needs the money.
16. Went to a barbershop to get my beard shaved for the first time professionally. Barber sits me down and before i can even say what I’m looking for he starts spraying my hair with water. Whelp… looks like I’m getting a haircut.
17. In order to avoid a mandatory Christmas social for work, I legitimately took myself to the ER just to get the registration wristband (for proof that I actually went to the hospital) and then left. Wasn’t sick or anything, and I didn’t even see a doctor. I just needed a hospital wristband to prove that I had a reason not to go to the work mixer (so I wouldn’t get fired).
I hated my coworkers.
18. Lived in a loft downtown on the 3rd Floor. The amount of times I used the stairs in effort to not being trapped on an elevator with a stranger is too many to count. One time there was a family moving in. I walked all the way around the building to the opposite side’s entrance to get into the building.
Then they were using the elevators, so I took the stairs, then they were ON MY FLOOR moving shit in. I didn’t want it to look like I was trying this hard to avoid them, so I said, “whoops! Wrong floor” and walked up 2 extra floors and waited 10 minutes before going back down to see if they were gone.
What should’ve taken me 5 minutes took me close to 30 to get in my apartment. That’s when I realized I might have a problem.
19. I use digital pre-bought bus tickets on my phone to avoid talking to the bus driver. The app was down one day so I walked the 2 hours to work.
20. Girl Scouts selling cookies at entrance to Walmart. Note, it’s the north entrance and very near where I parked. I’ll come back to this…
Usually I just motion to my pockets, smile and say “Sorry, maybe next time,” if I say anything at all.
This time, for reasons passing understanding, I blurt out “I’ll grab some on the way out.”
I do my shopping, use self check (because introvert) and get ready to leave. Panic washes over me as I realize they are still at the entrance, I have no cash and I’ve made what is basically an introvert blood-oath to buy cookies.
Again, my car is parked just outside the north entrance. I promptly walk across the Walmart to the south entrance and exit there. I then completely encircle the parking lot on the off chance they might see me, and sneak into my car like an uncoordinated introvert ninja.
21. Telling the pizza guy through a cracked door that I didn’t order pizza just to avoid talking face to face was my low point.
22. I had a huge crush on this guy senior year of highschool. Like, would uncomfortably stare at him the whole class period crush. One day, we added each other on Facebook, switched numbers, and started texting. I have this weird tic where I’ll start to second guess my people skills and will kill off any relationship (friend, dating, etc. ) So I dont disappoint them. Same thing happens here. Thing is, we still had class together. Several months of it.
Every time I saw him, before he could notice me, I would take a separate hallway, wait for him to enter the class, wait till the bell was about to ring, THEN, walk into class. If he was still in the hallway, walk around another hallway, wait for him to go away. Pretty sure I was late a couple times so I didn’t have to run into him. If I was walking to a different class and saw him, it meant I was going to be late to my next class since I was going to be waiting in the hallway until there was no chance of running into him.
THE ANXIETY. i wouldn’t even look him in the eyes because of how nervous I was! So I thought I lost him for good… 2nd year of uni, he texts me out of the blue and invites me to go see Godzilla with him. Turns out, he had a crush on me as well! So 4 years later, here we are, picking out a crib today for a baby that’s gonna be here in 9 more weeks.
23. I’ve never played the lottery before. For the Mega Millions jackpot a couple weeks ago, I filled out the card for 5 sets of numbers. At the top, there’s a spot to mark “draws”. I thought that it was to say how many sets of numbers I had, rather than the number of lottery draws the numbers were good for.
When I paid for it and the cashier rang it up as $50 instead of the expected $10, I just paid as if I was expecting it instead of asking to cancel it or something. So $40 bucks lost in order to avoid an interaction.
24. Took my breakfast into a wheelchair stall at a remote toilet in a corner of the floor that I worked, so I wouldn’t have to talk to my coworkers.
25. Ordered food to be delivered, but my housemates and their SO’s were downstairs. I told the delivery person just to drop the food on the porch and I’d get it. I waited around 5 hours, starving and eating a bag of marshmallows in my room until everyone went to bed to fetch my food.
26. I was at a dorm party in college. I became overwhelmed and hid under my gf’s bed. They looked for me and everything. Once I was able to rejoin the party, strolled back in and acted like I had stepped out. I cringe thinking about it.
27. I don’t go into a shopping aisle in the grocery store unless it’s empty.
28. I walked around a trade show at a conference for an hour pretending to be on my phone.
29. If I notice someone waiting for the elevator when I’m leaving work, I will turn around and go back to my office acting like I forgot something just so I don’t have to endure 15 floors of not talking to someone I barely know. It’s a daily thing.
30. I had pneumonia for a solid week and didn’t go to a hospital because I didn’t want to talk to people on the phone to make an appointment . I was sure I’d “get over it”.
Couple days in my Mom calls and says I sound terrible so she sends a cousin over. He walks into my house with me sweating like crazy, with the heat cranked up, the window near me wide open (Northern Midwest January so it’s fucking cold), in my boxers. He brings me some Gatorade and cold medicine. Choke all that down.
Next day his mom shows up and takes me to the hospital. “Hey, you’ve had pneumonia, you shouldn’t wait like this next time”
31. I dropped a college course when I heard two people whisper my name behind me.
32. I moved into a new apartment and I wasn’t told where the big trash cans were.
At the time I wasn’t producing a lot of trash (I was a student and basically everything I ate came from a plastic bag, which don’t actually take up a lot of volume), so it took over a month to fill the small trash can in my appartment. At that point I went in search of the big trash cans, but couldn’t find them. So I should’ve called my landlady and asked, but I was worried what she would think if I started asking about the trash cans after over a month of living there.
So I just took a bit of my trash with every once in a while, when I went to uni and threw in public trash cans on the way.
I have social anxiety disorder…
33. Ordered flour from Amazon to make my own bread since Amazon didn’t deliver bread.
34. Dropped out of college because I was afraid to tell my advisor/counselor about my struggles in school.
35. I work at a hotel and one of the worst things about it are the really chatty guests. They’ll just stand at my desk and jibber-jabber, completely failing to take the hint. Even saying “Excuse me, I have a lot of work to do” will typically only get them to say “Oh don’t let me interrupt”–but they’ll never walk away.
I’ve learned to call the hotel phone from my cell phone. I answer the phony call and and tell the guest “Excuse me, this is important.” Then I slip into the back and watch them on the video monitors until they fuck off.
36. Saw a coworker from my new job at the bus station. Couldn’t bear the idea of the awkward chitchat so I hid round the corner, figuring I’d get the next bus as I knew I had enough time
The next bus didn’t turn up and I was late for work.
37. Hid under a bed while a real estate agent showed a couple around my flat. Couldn’t be bothered to go out but can’t stand small talk, so decided to lay low.
I had a cup of tea, cushions, a Nokia with Snake on it. I was quite happy under there.
They were 25 minutes late. I guess I was under the bed for just over an hour.
I feared a sneeze.
I was in my early twenties.
38. I routinely cross streets or turn down streets that are in the wrong direction of where I’m going to avoid awkward interactions with vehicles as a pedestrian.
Please don’t stop and give me that “it’s okay to go!” wave when there’s still traffic barreling down the opposite side of the street and you’re the only vehicle trying to be courteous.
I appreciate what you’re trying to do but it would be easier for everyone if you just kept driving.
39. I never answer the door unless I’m expecting someone.
Just today actually, my neighbor was knocking on my door this morning and I didn’t answer. When it was time to head to work I realized I didn’t have my keys. I think my neighbor found them and was trying to return them.
40. I have phone anxiety. I was going to drive 1.5 hours to my college to talk to them in person over the summer instead of just calling to follow up on something.
41. I was getting a taxi back home and must’ve mumbled or garbled my destination because it was quite clear he was going to a completely different place. Like, literally as soon as he turned right out of the parking lot instead of left.
I literally let the guy drive for 15 minutes in the wrong direction, eventually just blurting out “anywhere here will do” and giving him a tenner, and then just walking aimlessly until I found a public transport I recognized and jumped on that. A 10-min cab drive turned into a nearly 2 hour journey home.
42. I’m not as shy and introverted as I used to be, but now I have moods where I do not even want to SEE a single person until the mood has passed. When I was living in dorms in college, I would stand in my closet or bathroom for hours just so I wouldn’t have to see the people talking in my room. I ended up hearing a lot of conversations I shouldn’t have heard because nobody ever knew I was there.
43. My roommate threw a party at my house and I hid from everyone. There’s only one front door and everyone would see me if i left and would want to talk to me. I avoided eating that whole night because I didn’t want to walk by the party to get food. My car was trapped between other cars. I ended up jumping out of a second story window and walking 3 miles to a 7-eleven.
44.Back when I had roommates I didn’t know very well, I’d spend all day in my room without meals to avoid awkward pleasantries. Then I’d get really hungry but the prospect of explaining why I’d spent all day in my room kept me inside. Then they’d text me and ask if I was okay, and I’d say, “Yep! Just keeping busy with some projects.” And they’d ask if I’d eaten anything since they hadn’t seen me, and I’d say, “Yep! Trust me, I’d never go without food!” Then I’d wake up at midnight and steal my own food from the fridge.
45. Sometimes I have an easier time interacting with complete strangers since it’s less likely that I’ll ever see them again.
My neighbor had double parked behind me and I needed to get to work. So I ordered an uber, took it to the train station, rode the train, and took another uber to my jobsite (and then did the whole thing in reverse to get home at the end of the day).
46. Going through the drive through just to park and eat alone in my car.
47. In 7th grade I would hide in the science lab during lunch and recess time and feed and play with the school pets. I would ask to use the bathroom around ten minutes into lunch and then come back in the last 2 minutes, they probably thought I had some real bad bowel issues.
They were two birds, a bunny, and two Guinea pigs. I would feed them carrots and talk to them. Nobody knew that I was there for half of the year, when one of my teachers finally walked in on me I thought I was busted. Luckily she was one of the nicer ones and made it my official “Job” to play with and feed the animals.
48. In high school I didn’t have a car so I walked home. I used to just fast walk to try to beat the crowd of people, but I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore so I would stay in the computer lab sometimes and ask my dad to pick me up a few hours later.
So once the bell rang to go home, I would just stay in class since I had computers last. The teacher would forget I was in there/not even notice me and then turn the lights off, lock the door, then leave… honestly I didn’t mind at all, I got to play video games by myself and one time about an hour and a half later the janitor came in and I guess I scared him. He turned the lights on and literally screamed when he saw me
49. When I was in the military I volunteered for a deployment to get out of going to a wedding.
50. College. Had to attend an out-of-town conference with my classmates as part of the requirements for a course. My professor had booked a block of rooms at the hotel where the conference was held, and people were going to put 3-4 guys or girls to a room and split the cost. My classmates had a bunch of socializing and bar hopping planned, which sounds like my idea of a living hell. Also, all of them carpooled together in groups. I honestly would have rather walked barefoot across a mile of Legos than to be held hostage in a car for 4 hours with people I barely know.
A few people asked if I wanted to carpool with them and what room I was in and I said “Oh, thank you so much! I’m actually staying with a friend in town though, and I’m stoked to see her – I’m going to have to take my own car so I can drive to the conference. I’ll catch you guys there!” so I wouldn’t come off as a weirdo.
But I actually reserved a room at another hotel way across town, attended the bare minimum of the conference, and enjoyed as many coffee shops, art museums, downtown shopping trips, and nature trails as I could.