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Old 03-01-2010, 03:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Grocery Shopping

Why is it so hard? I have to psych myself up every week to go. It always feels like people are watching me in the isles. I always go late at night hoping no one else is shopping. If someone is in an isle I will usually go to the next isle, then come back around once they are gone. The check out is the worst part. I always think that the cashier is going to say something(besides hi) or that people in line are looking at what I am buying. I realize that these are silly fears and that even if people are looking, why should I care?
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Wear headphones, that is what I do. It makes the experience almost enjoyable for me. And go when its less busy.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by whiteWhale View Post
Why is it so hard? I have to psych myself up every week to go. It always feels like people are watching me in the isles. I always go late at night hoping no one else is shopping. If someone is in an isle I will usually go to the next isle, then come back around once they are gone. The check out is the worst part. I always think that the cashier is going to say something(besides hi) or that people in line are looking at what I am buying. I realize that these are silly fears and that even if people are looking, why should I care?
I used to feel pretty uncomfortable shopping, too. I felt that everyone was watching me, and that they were judging my purchases ("You don't need those Oreos, fatty!"). In the end I realized no one cares what anyone else is doing.

One exercise that helped me was to keep aware of when I had anxiety and felt myself tensing up...then I'd make every 'clenched' muscle go loose and take a deep breath. When you're all seized up from anxiety, your anxiety skyrockets, and then the old habits of thinking everyone is staring at you comes back.

I also forced myself to talk to cashiers. Before all I'd say was: "Hi. Debit. No cash back. Thanks you too." I'm now trying to expand on this. They all wear nametags, right? They're telling you their name, so use it. "Hey there Rick, you guys are awfully busy today. Am I missing out on a sale or something?" Make it lighthearted; usually you'll get a chuckle (fake or genuine, who cares?) and a few seconds of BS banter. Saying something first drops the stress of the cashier asking YOU something and puts the ball in their court. They work at registers for 8 hours a day scanning barcodes; I'm sure they'd love someone like you to talk to them for a minute.

Oh, and if they make you feel uncomfortable? Pay and leave. That's why grocery stores are awesome for exposure therapy...you decide how long you want to be there.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I am exactly the same. These are my reasons.
I always feel like eyes are boring into the back of my head in the queue at the checkout. I hate people being behind me, especially while I'm emptying my trolley. I often go red, drop things, behave like a complete lunatic on my bad days.

I'm always paranoid my card will be refused, even though I KNOW I have enough funds. It's only happened to me once, but I'm now scarred for life apparently.

I wear sunglasses inside during the day cause I hate the silly eye contact with strangers that goes on when perusing the aisles.

I never linger and I need a grocery list when I go in otherwise I become easily flustered and leave without items I need.

I hate seeing people I know. A few weeks ago my college teacher was in the other checkout. I just had a stupid smile on my face the whole time I was unloading my trolley. Did not acknowledge her, but I thought the smile was needed in case she thinks I was being totally rude.

I've shopped mostly at night but have changed my pattern again because I had an embarrassing episode with a checkout guy who was asking me personal questions 2 weeks ago. Like what I did for a living? Why did he want to know that? I felt sick, so I've avoided him since, and yes, I was rude and just shook my head when he asked, and he said 'okay, you don't have to answer'. A W K W A R D!

Did I mention that grocery shopping is on the top of my list of anxiety triggers?
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I completely relate to you guys. I find it really stressful and feel 'watched' all the time even though I know that's an irrational thought. I also think people will be judging my purchases.

I also have that fear of my card declining so I ALWAYS check my balance at the ATM before I go in, even if I already know I should have enough money.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I actually don't mind food shopping. I guess the only part of it that makes me nervous is when I have to checkout at a place that doesn't have self-checkout. Trader Joe's is very nearby, so we go there a lot. They don't have self-checkout. Luckily, all of the cashiers are very friendly, so that helps with the anxiety a bit.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I usually go with my mom. It makes it a whole lot easier. I am always afraid I will run into someone I know at the store and will have to talk to them. Most of the time with strangers I feel like they are focused on something else besides me. I have the fear with the card declining issue. I know that there is money in the account but I just get nervous that it will be declined and I will be mortified. I like to pay in cash if I am able to.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I don't mind the grocery shopping experience, except for the lines. I too feel like I'm being watched when I'm in line and it really bugs me. It's such an irrational thought...weird. I do almost all of my shopping in the morning anyways so it's not that big of a deal most of the time.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I used to absolutely hate grocery shopping, but now I...well, I wouldn't quite say I love it, but I don't mind it.

The absolute worst part, like other people mentioned, is the fear of having my debit card decline. I have that fear whenever I use it, even if I have a $10 purchase and I KNOW I have much more than that. Luckily my bank has a no-fee ATM right by the grocery store that I go to, so I usually stop there first for money. Problem solved!

Try to find a grocery store with a self-checkout if you can. They're easy to use, the lines are usually shorter, and--best of all--there's no cashier to judge you!

Also, grocery lists come in really handy for avoiding people. If you see someone you know before they see you, look down at your list, look like you forgot about something, and go in a different direction to get that thing you "forgot".

Granted, these are only avoidance techniques, but it's better than having an anxiety attack in the produce aisle.

I'm still kind of scared that people will think I'm some pretentious, fanatical health nut if they looked in my cart. I'm allergic to gluten (protein found in everything delicious) and casein (dairy protein), so pretty much everything in my cart is either a fruit or vegetable, soy-based, or has a huge "GLUTEN FREE!!!!!" advertisement on it.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by tony0306 View Post
There are self checkout aisles now?

My mom and sister have shopped for me for about the last 15 years. I have no problem in Home Depot because I go thru the self checkout.

I should go to the store and get a box of Little Debbie Star Crunch's and do the self checkout!
The self checkouts at Home Depot are awesome. The only other store around here that has them is Albertsons and the few times I tried using those, they didn't work properly. That was when they first installed them though, I haven't been there in while so I don't know how well they're working now.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I used to hate going grocery shopping -- many times I would get to the parking lot and just turn around and go back home. Now, I don't mind it so much, I actually kind of like it. I'm not sure what changed. Maybe I just mellowed out as I got older. And yes, as Sheri mentioned, Trader Joe's is great and they are always friendly.

It's funny how many people mention going when there's the least amount of people, I would always go when it was relatively full, that way the attention was not on me. I was just an anonymous part of the crowd.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineKitty View Post
Wear headphones, that is what I do. It makes the experience almost enjoyable for me. And go when its less busy.
I've tried that before and it just makes me more self conscious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sda0 View Post
I used to feel pretty uncomfortable shopping, too. I felt that everyone was watching me, and that they were judging my purchases ("You don't need those Oreos, fatty!"). In the end I realized no one cares what anyone else is doing.

One exercise that helped me was to keep aware of when I had anxiety and felt myself tensing up...then I'd make every 'clenched' muscle go loose and take a deep breath. When you're all seized up from anxiety, your anxiety skyrockets, and then the old habits of thinking everyone is staring at you comes back.

I also forced myself to talk to cashiers. Before all I'd say was: "Hi. Debit. No cash back. Thanks you too." I'm now trying to expand on this. They all wear nametags, right? They're telling you their name, so use it. "Hey there Rick, you guys are awfully busy today. Am I missing out on a sale or something?" Make it lighthearted; usually you'll get a chuckle (fake or genuine, who cares?) and a few seconds of BS banter. Saying something first drops the stress of the cashier asking YOU something and puts the ball in their court. They work at registers for 8 hours a day scanning barcodes; I'm sure they'd love someone like you to talk to them for a minute.

Oh, and if they make you feel uncomfortable? Pay and leave. That's why grocery stores are awesome for exposure therapy...you decide how long you want to be there.
Those are some good points Sda. I usually ask them how they are doing even if they don't say anything first. I might get brave and try the name thing, I remember a friend doing that once and the cashier had a big smile after hearing her name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D11 View Post
I am exactly the same. These are my reasons.
I always feel like eyes are boring into the back of my head in the queue at the checkout. I hate people being behind me, especially while I'm emptying my trolley. I often go red, drop things, behave like a complete lunatic on my bad days.

I'm always paranoid my card will be refused, even though I KNOW I have enough funds. It's only happened to me once, but I'm now scarred for life apparently.

I wear sunglasses inside during the day cause I hate the silly eye contact with strangers that goes on when perusing the aisles.

I never linger and I need a grocery list when I go in otherwise I become easily flustered and leave without items I need.

I hate seeing people I know. A few weeks ago my college teacher was in the other checkout. I just had a stupid smile on my face the whole time I was unloading my trolley. Did not acknowledge her, but I thought the smile was needed in case she thinks I was being totally rude.

I've shopped mostly at night but have changed my pattern again because I had an embarrassing episode with a checkout guy who was asking me personal questions 2 weeks ago. Like what I did for a living? Why did he want to know that? I felt sick, so I've avoided him since, and yes, I was rude and just shook my head when he asked, and he said 'okay, you don't have to answer'. A W K W A R D!

Did I mention that grocery shopping is on the top of my list of anxiety triggers?
Your first paragraph almost describes me exactly. I usually try to let as many people go in front of me as possible. It is also on the top of my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikebooks View Post
I used to absolutely hate grocery shopping, but now I...well, I wouldn't quite say I love it, but I don't mind it.

The absolute worst part, like other people mentioned, is the fear of having my debit card decline. I have that fear whenever I use it, even if I have a $10 purchase and I KNOW I have much more than that. Luckily my bank has a no-fee ATM right by the grocery store that I go to, so I usually stop there first for money. Problem solved!

Try to find a grocery store with a self-checkout if you can. They're easy to use, the lines are usually shorter, and--best of all--there's no cashier to judge you!

Also, grocery lists come in really handy for avoiding people. If you see someone you know before they see you, look down at your list, look like you forgot about something, and go in a different direction to get that thing you "forgot".

Granted, these are only avoidance techniques, but it's better than having an anxiety attack in the produce aisle.

I'm still kind of scared that people will think I'm some pretentious, fanatical health nut if they looked in my cart. I'm allergic to gluten (protein found in everything delicious) and casein (dairy protein), so pretty much everything in my cart is either a fruit or vegetable, soy-based, or has a huge "GLUTEN FREE!!!!!" advertisement on it.
I have been fighting the urge to go to the self checkout. I figure this is something I need to get over so I haven't used that more than once. The one time I did ****ed something up and ended up having to have someone help me.

Thanks for all the responses I am going to suit up and go to the grocery store now!!
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I don't mind when it's crowded because there are too many people for someone to just pay attention to me. It also makes some people want to hurry up and get out of there.

The thing I hate is shopping with family because it's embarrassing. There's nothing worse than having your mom ask if you like something when there are two hot girls in the same aisle, lol. Also, I'm a little self conscious of the cashiers, so I try to pick the old ladies. You could probably tell that I was single if you saw what I bought, and I don't really have an eye for knowing what good stuff to buy so that is why I choose them, lol.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I love the self checkout lines. One time I set the machine to Spanish just for the hell of it. Bad idea.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by tony0306 View Post
I feared the lines at the grocery store checkout. Feared being stuck in line and becoming uncomfortable (panicky).

You wanna know what my doc told me? "Hey, why don't you do your grocery shopping at night when there isn't a long line."

I said that would defeat the purpose. He said, "No, long grocery lines are terrible and I avoid them too, that's normal behavior."

LOL I'll put a +1 in the win column for the me.
Cool doctor!
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by whiteWhale View Post
Why is it so hard? I have to psych myself up every week to go. It always feels like people are watching me in the isles. I always go late at night hoping no one else is shopping. If someone is in an isle I will usually go to the next isle, then come back around once they are gone. The check out is the worst part. I always think that the cashier is going to say something(besides hi) or that people in line are looking at what I am buying. I realize that these are silly fears and that even if people are looking, why should I care?
I used to find that kind of thing very hard too. And I don't think what you're saying is silly at all. If you're anything like me, ( who had an early history of experiencing lots of negative judgements/behaviours from others - a few of which happened in street situations) then it's not surprising you have these types of fears - even though much of the time they may be unfounded.

What I've found has personally helped me in this respect (to a big extent anyways) is exposure - visiting places like shopping malls and supermarkets at a frequency and pace I find manageable. I still tend to mostly (though not all the time) go at quiet times of the day, tend to shop for a small number of items for the majority of the time and don't tend to stay in places like for longer than I feel is absolutely necessary. So to a certain extent I still find visiting such public places on my own fairly difficult. But one thing I did learn from all that is that other shoppers don't tend to pay much attention to what you do - as they're too interested/absorbed in what they're doing. If anything they tend to ignore you. And I've also found that the more crowded places like that are, the more likely it is. Once upon a time I'd have never believed that - as used to be totally convinced all eyes would be on me in such situations. But those experiences have definitely taught me differently. Also when it comes to shop assistants I've noticed they either tend to be chatty (which takes the pressure of having to make conversation off me anyway as all I have to do is respond to their comments) or else will say hardly anything to you beyond 'do you want a bag' and quoting the required amount of cash - as either they're simply not interested in chatting or else are too concerned with dealing with each customer as quickly as possible - in situations when there's a big queue and they're extra busy.

I hope sharing that helped - at least to some extent.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I'm not extremely bothered by this because I have to do it often, but I can understand what you mean. I hate the long lines and so I try to go when there aren't too many people. I also debate on whether or not to look someone in the eye who is approaching me. I have now settled with: if it's a girl...I'll look and maybe smile if she seems friendly...if it's a guy...I'll look away so that I don't give the wrong impression. I really hate it when I have a lot of things in my cart and there's a bunch of people behind me. I feel like they are watching me as I load the items onto the belt and when I pay. I have no problems smiling or chatting with the cashier as long as they don't get too chatty. Overall, I think it's a good idea to go when it's not too busy because it's just easier. You get in and out faster. I just hate shopping in general and if it weren't for shipping and handling charges, I'd buy my stuff online (except for clothes which I like to try on.)

ooops sorry for rambling on this one...lol
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Black_Widow View Post
I used to find that kind of thing very hard too. And I don't think what you're saying is silly at all. If you're anything like me, ( who had an early history of experiencing lots of negative judgements/behaviours from others - a few of which happened in street situations) then it's not surprising you have these types of fears - even though much of the time they may be unfounded.

What I've found has personally helped me in this respect (to a big extent anyways) is exposure - visiting places like shopping malls and supermarkets at a frequency and pace I find manageable. I still tend to mostly (though not all the time) go at quiet times of the day, tend to shop for a small number of items for the majority of the time and don't tend to stay in places like for longer than I feel is absolutely necessary. So to a certain extent I still find visiting such public places on my own fairly difficult. But one thing I did learn from all that is that other shoppers don't tend to pay much attention to what you do - as they're too interested/absorbed in what they're doing. If anything they tend to ignore you. And I've also found that the more crowded places like that are, the more likely it is. Once upon a time I'd have never believed that - as used to be totally convinced all eyes would be on me in such situations. But those experiences have definitely taught me differently. Also when it comes to shop assistants I've noticed they either tend to be chatty (which takes the pressure of having to make conversation off me anyway as all I have to do is respond to their comments) or else will say hardly anything to you beyond 'do you want a bag' and quoting the required amount of cash - as either they're simply not interested in chatting or else are too concerned with dealing with each customer as quickly as possible - in situations when there's a big queue and they're extra busy.

I hope sharing that helped - at least to some extent.
What you said about the negative judgments and behaviors is spot on. That is the main cause of my SA. I never really thought of it through like this, but I guess grocery stores are a place where that fear would come back into my head.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:03 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Self checkout lines are bull****. So lemme get this straight. On the one hand, they scan the items and they bag the items for me, OR on the other hand, I do that? But I don't get paid? And I pay the same price? Do I also get a name tag? What about health benefits? I mean I save them money by self-checking-out so I should get a discount. I'm so angery. I want my discount. LOL. Am I right or what?
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Self checkout lines are bull****. So lemme get this straight. On the one hand, they scan the items and they bag the items for me, OR on the other hand, I do that? But I don't get paid? And I pay the same price? Do I also get a name tag? What about health benefits? I mean I save them money by self-checking-out so I should get a discount. I'm so angery. I want my discount. LOL. Am I right or what?
You're soo right. That's why I never use them.
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