Let me preface this by saying that I have suffered from some pretty serious social anxiety in the past and still battle with it today.
I get super uncomfortable in social situations...I analyze every aspect of the situation...I feel my every move and action is being judged...and I walk away from every social interaction, replaying it in my mind wondering what others were thinking of me and wondering if I could have managed an interaction better. The phone is a nightmare...it takes hours of pacing and rehearsing before I actually get the courage to call someone and anytime anyone I dont know calls, it always goes to voicemail. I am totally serious! It has effected my life in so many ways. I have always had a tiny group of friends and have been referred to as a homebody, recluse, and even a snob because of my anxiety. My wedding day was one of the most terrifying of my life...not quite sure how I made it through that one! Things are a bit better now. Having a Coastie husband, I am constantly meeting new people and attending functions with groups of people and that has helped to take the edge off but I still battle everyday. I have learned to put on a very good, brave face though I am terrified and conflicted with every interaction. I find that consistency and routine really help so I literally do the same things all the time because I am comfortable.
Dont get me wrong...I love people! I love to be out among people...I love to people watch...I love seeing what people do and create...just from a safe distance...lol.
I also have serious issues with conflict. I avoid it at all costs and when I cant I do everything I possibly can to remedy it as quickly and easily as possible...many times to my own detriment.
Fast forward to today...
I am a couponer...I love to coupon! I love the rush I get when I get an awesome deal or find things for free. I love that I can help my family financially and still be with my kids.
Because of my anxiety issues, couponing can be a challenge. I spend tons of time checking and cross checking deals making sure everything is aligned, all rules and policies are followed and everything is organized and in order so I can get in the store, get what I need, rush through check out and be on my way with as little interaction as possible. I tend to get anxious and get the sweats just from carrying my coupons with me as I can feel the eyes and know the stigma that is associated with couponers. I also avoid aisles with large concentrations of people.
I went out couponing today at a new store I had never been to before. I snuck through the store trying to conceal my couponing habit. I even walked away from the Coastie and the Dude #1 so they wouldnt see my crazy new methods. I spend alot of time afraid that the things I do will also cause them to be judged and they may face embarrassment or ridicule because of the things I do. I know this is not true and I give the Coastie mad props because he is always cool as a cucumber and nothing I do ever really bothers him.
I finally get to the check out line, feeling the eyes of others burning through my flesh because I'll be the one holding up the line with my silly coupons. I get up to the checkout...place my things on the counter, hand over my coupons and it happens...
The associates start questioning me, telling me my coupons were not valid, that I can only use certain ones, the everything I am trying to do is against their policy. I know they are in fact wrong thanks to the tons of research and fact checking I have done. They honestly had no idea what they were talking about, but instead of communicating this like a sane adult I panic. I get the shakes, my cheeks turn bright red, I get the sweats, and I start to feel the tears welling up. Luckily for me, the associates were super nice, caring, and spent way too much time trying to figure out their own policies and determine that I was right.
Ohh how I wish I could have been casual and shrugged off the whole situation instead of having a major panic attack in the middle of the Kmart but I didnt and that just makes the problem even worse.
I did get complimented on how awesome my dudes were through the entire ordeal and my knight in shining armor the Coastie was there to swoop in to help calm me and communticate what I was trying to convey in normal non-crazy human English...he really is fantastic.
- When couponing, always have a copy of the stores coupon policy for instances when the associates have no clue whats going on...it took 4 to get throught this one
- Just always go to Target...it is a happy place...and they understand coupons...and theres Starbucks...lol
- I have awesome kids and a great husband
- Couponing still rocks! Thanks to double coupon week, I got all this for $8!
Any tips or tricks for dealing with serious social anxiety and confrontation issues welcomed!