Crowds make me anxious.
They always have done, but since the pandemic, that’s doubled.
Case in point: today my local supermarket was horribly busy for no discernible reason and I had a major freakout and had to go and sit in the car. Luckily Mum had come with me so I could go and panic in peace, but even the car park was stressing me out. People were circling looking for spaces and it was honestly worse than Christmas.
I’m not sure why they make me anxious, aside from the fact they could give me a nasty illness (I always mask up when I’m out regardless of the crowd size and regardless of where I am). I’ve never liked being somewhere busy, and I think it might be because if I can’t see an escape route, then I panic.
‘Escape route’ from the crowd and also if there’s a fire or other calamity. I’m one of these people that if I go somewhere new the first thing I do is check out the exits and if I can easily get out.
I dunno. I don’t not like people, but I intensely dislike crowds. Give me a nice quiet forest over a crowded shop any day.
When someone speaks to me, that I do not know, it immediately makes me anxious. I am not sure why but as I’ve grown older it has worsened. COVID didn’t help the situation with a year of only talking to family.
My job is customer service so I have to do this every day but I very much understand why it makes you anxious. I find that imagining they’re an old friend that you’ve known for years helps, even if they’re a total stranger. A former manager from my retail days taught me that trick, and I find it’s very useful!