10 Social Situations That Aren’t A Big Deal But Give Me Anxiety


A while back I discussed six social situations that aren’t a big deal but give me anxiety and because there are basically hundreds of thousands of ways to stress me out, I figured I’d share ten more of ’em.

1. Incoming calls from ‘restricted’ or ‘blocked’ phone numbers.

Something about the terms ‘restricted’ and ‘blocked’ reeks of eeriness that make me feel like the call is coming from someone who’s currently watching me not answer as I stare at the screen stressed out. Hey, phone, if you aren’t able to identify the caller, maybe just don’t accept it. Also incoming calls from phone numbers we don’t know. Also just unplanned incoming calls in general, actually.

2. Anytime anyone knocks on my door*, ever.

Do they know I’m home? Can they see me hastily tiptoeing to a hiding place out of fear that they’ll catch a glimpse of me through a tiny gap in my windows blinds?

*I have a burglar screen door which, even when gently tapped by a dainty hand sounds like heavy artillery being fired rapidly. And sadly, that’s a feasible concept in my current neighborhood.

3. Being sung “happy birthday” to.

Why is this a thing? There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s and there’s no right way to sit there being serenaded by a group of people who have the voices of the worst, cringe-worthy but funny auditions typically seen on the first few episodes of every American Idol** season. Do I laugh? Do I smile? Do I sing along? Most importantly, what do I do with my hands?

**The only episodes I ever watch.

4. When public Wi-Fi isn’t working for me, but everyone else seems to be fine on their laptops.

I assume that these people on Macbooks and iPads aren’t doing activities off of the internet, so surely they’d be looking around confused like me*** if their connection wasn’t working, right? Did I go to an inappropriate website and get banned? Did the bandwidth decide that my web habits weren’t as worthy of fulfilling as everybody else’s? Racism? Hey, you can’t disprove that technology doesn’t discriminate!

***I do this on airplanes too. Any turbulence or loud noises and I look around to confirm or deny my suspicions that we’re about to die. Typically everyone is still sleeping or calmly scooping peanuts into their mouth, which is oddly comforting.

5. Showing someone something I find funny or entertaining or beautiful.

If they don’t enjoy it or don’t think anything of it at all, I’m slightly offended, despite having nothing to do with the production of the comedy sketch or song or graphic. This goes for both sides of the spectrum really. The person being shown stuff has a significant amount of pressure to laugh or cry or feel something or at least pretend with a courtesy response for the sake of the shower.

6. Using other people’s valuable belongings.

Your iPad is cool but I don’t want to touch it because expensive. Your baby is adorable but I don’t want to hold it because human life at stake.

7. Entering a door that isn’t clearly labeled ‘PUSH’ or ‘PULL.’

As I approach I instantly sweat bullets when the correct method of opening said door isn’t described in large font for me. Yes, I have a 50/50 shot yet I never manage to get it right.

8. Ordering fast food in the drive-thru with multiple cars behind me.

Whatever patience you have in your typical daily life is cut in half when in a fast food line. Knowing some of the harsh things I’ve thought and said about customers in front of me taking longer than 15 seconds to complete their order only adds to my concern.

9. Running into someone I know at the store, chatting, saying goodbye, then finding myself on the same aisle as them moments later.

The hummus is just right there but I’ll have to face further interaction because of course you’re standing there, carefully evaluating every last wheel of cheese which I honestly can’t blame you for. If I walk past you, surely I have to at least acknowledge your existence, right? Do I have to speak again though, because there was already a drought of words in the awkward silence filled exchange we had a second ago?

10. Crosswalks.

I have trust issues because of those God forsaken signs with the walking figure silhouette indicating that it’s okay to proceed, which inevitably turn into an orange rejection hand while I’m still in the middle of the crosswalk. Betrayal. I’m never gonna cross again, hurried feet don’t trust that system.