People With Social Anxiety Share The Dumbest Things They've Done Due To It

Ashley Hunte
A woman with her hands covering her face.
Unsplash | Baptista Ime James

People tend to not realize that social anxiety is a pretty debilitating thing. Sometimes, it's so hard being around other people that you end up doing some... pretty ridiculous things to get out of it.

Everyone feels anxious sometimes, but Social Anxiety Disorder is a real thing and it can result in some strange ways of coping.

Redditors were asked about the stupidest things they'd done because of their social anxiety, and I'm not gonna lie, some of these are pretty relatable.

"I literally just didn't do projects in school that involved presenting in front of the class. I preferred failing the assignment over presenting because I was that afraid." - aquaticmoon

Several multicolored books stacked on top of one another.
Unsplash | Kimberly Farmer

Nobody likes talking in front of a room full of people, but this is more extreme than most of us would do.

"Back in middle school, I was waiting in my car while my dad picked up pizza. My science teacher was there dining on the patio." - chemistrybro

Jim from the Office reclining in a car seat.
Giphy | The Office

"Instead of waving or saying hi, I climbed from the front seat into the back of my car and hid until my dad got back. My sister still makes fun of me for it to this day lol."

I feel a little bad for laughing. Can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing, though...

"Forgot my keys once so couldn't enter, was too socially anxious to ring the other tenants and didn't want to annoy the place I just visited (father)..." - petrichormemory

A blue car parked in front of a building.
Unsplash | Grahame Jenkins

"...so I slept in the freezing cold in my car for 20min, then had to drive around/start my car again to warm up my car again etc.."

I'm sure OP's own father wouldn't have been that annoyed, but that's what happens when the social anxiety hits.

"I go away from home, when I know many people will be invited over." - Drev92

A man running down a rural road.
Giphy | 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

"Sadly I still do this. I rather go out and try to stay away as long as I can, even if I'm tired and I should go home."

I don't like when there are a lot of people I don't really know in my house either, but I'd probably just stay in my room tbh.

"Urinated in an empty plastic bottle because I didn't want neighbours who were sitting outside to hear me in the toilet." - Gods_of_Sourdough

A clear, empty bottle.
Unsplash | charlesdeluvio

I think the best solution to this is to keep random people as far away from bathrooms as possible, because I think most people would agree that the thought of someone hearing you pee is pretty stressful. Maybe not to this extreme, though.

"Fail a night college class because I had to drive a town over, was regularly 15 minutes late..." - moofpi

A test with a large, red F on it, being turned on an angle.
Giphy | P!NK

"...and sometimes when I'd get there I'd have too much anxiety to get out of the car and walk into the relatively small class."

I totally understand not wanting people to stare at you when you walk into a class late. Being socially anxious really sucks.

"Not buying something at the self checkout station at the store because the item wouldn't scan and I was too nervous to ask for help." - MinorThreatCJB

Maggie Simpson being scanned at a grocery store checkout.
Giphy

Cashiers may seem scary, but they're usually happy to help you (if you're nice enough). It's nice when they offer, though, instead of you having to ask them.

"Didn't eat for 2 full days because I was too afraid to leave my dorm room in case I bumped into one of my housemates." - Purple_wolf8

A shadowy person hiding behind a wall.
Unsplash | ammar sabaa

I can't even begin to imagine how horrible that must feel. I'm sure most of us like avoiding people we don't know that well, but this is so much more than that.

"I applied for a management position at my job and when I was told about my interview, I walked out, laid in my car in a fetal position until the time had passed and never spoke to anyone about it again." - PregnantCactus

Elaine from Seinfeld with her hands in her hair, visibly stressed.
Giphy | HULU

On the plus side, it doesn't seem like OP's workplace held it against them. Still, I'd probably have a hard time showing up to work after that.

"One year in high school I couldn't figure out how to work my locker (the combination they gave me very well could've been wrong)." - oneconfusedwriter

Several school lockers in white, blue, red, orange, or black.
Unsplash | moren hsu

"...so instead of asking someone for help, I just carried my backpack, all my books, and my winter jacket with me to all of my classes for the whole year."

I mean, it could've been a lot worse, I guess.

"Avoiding checking my school email and missing important information." - joenotgoldberg

The Gmail screen on a laptop.
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I used to hate checking emails. Honestly, even now, when I get a work email or something important, I get a little stressed out. I think some stress is pretty normal, though.

"Missed my friend’s birthday party because I arrived to the restaurant 20 minutes late. Sat in the parking lot having a panic attack and then drove home." - rickfrompg

Helium balloons in different colors with strings attached to them.
Unsplash | Adi Goldstein

"The next day everyone was asking what had happened. I just made up some lie that I could [sic] make it."

It's kind of funny how some people will always be late because being too early might make them anxious, meanwhile others will just not show up to places because they got there late.

"Had gum in my mouth during an SAT prep class that started tasting gross but I didn’t want to get up to throw it away so I stuck it to the knee of my pants and then it never came off." - amazoniancouch

A girl blowing a bubble with chewing gum.
Unsplash | Marlene Bauer

I'm kind of surprised this person stuck gum on their pants instead of the desk. Most people would've chosen the desk, I think. Or swallowed the gum.

"I once climbed out the window of my own house to avoid unexpected guests." - crowislanddive

A person opening a window and then jumping out of it.
Giphy | #Impastor

I wonder if the guests ever noticed this person climbing out of their window and running on the yard or whatever.

"I was too embarrassed to go find my room on the first day back to dance class so I hid in the bathroom until it was over. I'm on the main team. It was 5 hours." - midnight-dancer

Person standing with head resting on bathroom wall.
Pexels | arma─čan

I think what's interesting about this is the fact that they were anxious about finding the right dance classroom, but not about being on the dance team.

"Rented a car and drove 1,000 miles home even though I hate driving because there was an indefinite layover and I didn’t want to be around all those people for an unknown amount of time." - ghostslikme

The road in the evening as seen through a car windshield.
Unsplash | Samuele Errico Piccarini

To be honest, just reading that is stressing me out.

"As a teen I had a doctor ask me, 'do you wanna see our psych about your social anxiety?' I was so anxious that I said no and left lmao. Started treatment 3 yrs later." - DlVlDERE

A person lying down on a chair as a doctor writes on a clipboard.
Giphy | Epitaph Records

Sometimes you get so anxious, it's hard to actually get help for your anxiety. I'm glad this person was able to seek help eventually.

"Whenever there's a big movie release and I want to see it, I always buy 3 tickets even though I go alone. That way I have 2 buffer seats between me and other people." - wolfgang187

Man in movie theatre eating popcorn.
Pexels | Cottonbro

"The last movie I did that for was Avengers Endgame. Completely sold out and full theater, except the 2 seats next to me. Probably not the dumbest thing I do, but its [sic] certainly a waste of money."

I'm not gonna lie, I kind of want to do that. I hate sitting next to strangers for hours at the theater. Other people are so annoying.

"Didn’t take my garbage out to the street because I didn’t want to take the risk of having to small talk with neighbours." - annonymous1122

A woman taking out the trash, but having the garbage bins fall over.
Giphy | The Office

And then your neighbors think you're rude because you don't say hi or talk to them. It's a never-ending cycle.

"I walked 5 miles to work recently when my car was in for repairs because I would rather spend 2 hours outside by myself than spend 15 minutes making small talk with an Uber driver." - KB_Turtle

Olivia Rodrigo walking down the street.
Giphy | Olivia Rodrigo

I don't know what's more stress-inducing: having to make small talk with the driver, or just driving in complete silence.