Scared to take the trash out - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Scared to take the trash out


My social anxiety has gotten worse, especially with quarantine because I dont go out as much. Im scared to walk 4 feet outside my front door in fear people are watching me and judging me and my trash. How do I make this stop? Sometimes I will keep my trash inside for a long time before I finally force myself to take it out, but then I feel even more anxious that people are judging me for having so much trash or being too lazy to take it out. How do I overcome this?

weve moved on now
but if Im honest
I am still
a little bit
in love
with all the ways
we were.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 09:30 PM
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I take it out in the morning when people aren't out majority of the time. I try my best to avoid when many are out, just too awkward.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 10:07 PM
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Yeah early morning or late night. I usually take mine out like 10PM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 11:07 PM
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I go through this too. I leave my house so rarely, particularly since lockdown, that I feel as though all my neighbors are staring every time I step foot out my door. I'd love to go weed my flowerbed but I've convinced myself that they'll all stand at their front windows and watch the show, talking in amazement about how the lady who never goes outside is actually outside. I don't have a good solution, other than not allowing myself enough time to dwell on it and doing it quickly. Taking it out early morning or late night sounds like a good suggestion as well.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
your dads girlfriend
 
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Where I live everyone is awake and outside 5-9am coming and going. At night time Im scared of the bugs lol but usually I have to face the bugs and go out late at night. Just hoping theres a way to overcome this...

weve moved on now
but if Im honest
I am still
a little bit
in love
with all the ways
we were.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
your dads girlfriend
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolLilChickadee View Post
I go through this too. I leave my house so rarely, particularly since lockdown, that I feel as though all my neighbors are staring every time I step foot out my door. I'd love to go weed my flowerbed but I've convinced myself that they'll all stand at their front windows and watch the show, talking in amazement about how the lady who never goes outside is actually outside. I don't have a good solution, other than not allowing myself enough time to dwell on it and doing it quickly. Taking it out early morning or late night sounds like a good suggestion as well.

Wow thats exactly how I feel. Its so strange because I tell myself well I barely ever see the neighbors outside, I dont watch the neighbors why would they watch me? But Im convinced theyre watching me when I go outside.

weve moved on now
but if Im honest
I am still
a little bit
in love
with all the ways
we were.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 06:24 AM
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Or just do it really quickly, I just focus on the trash and don't really look at people if they're out.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
How can You be my treasure if I'm digging for gold
How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
How can You be my future if I've made this my home ~ Love & the Outcome
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 06:36 AM
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I actually had something similar happen recently, I went hardly anywhere for 3 months & I was a nervous wreck one day I had to go into a shop, shaking & everything, it's embarrassing & a negative experience can feed a cycle of fear for the next time, it kinda freaked me out how nervous I got about nothing, I got my mother or sister to pick me up stuff during lockdown mostly, a bad habit.

I find there's no other way only to force myself out, face it head on, otherwise I'd easily become a shut-in permanently, it always feels like you're fighting the tide though.






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Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow,
A poor player that strut's and fret's his hour upon the stage and is heard no more,
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 08:47 AM
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I've been there too!

Nowadays I'm still not too keen about meeting any of the neighbours when getting rid of my rubbish.

Rubbish is kind of something personal! 😂

But, I've noticed the others must feel like that as well!

Whenever I meet someone there, they look at me like as if caught in the act, or at least annoyed and they want to leave the situation as quickly as possible hardly replying to my hello!

Interestingly it's more the younger they are! They seem to find normal chores embarrassing! They usually have the big black rubbish bags only once a week!

The older ones go daily or every second day with the little white or see-through bags not really embarrassed at all, maybe a bit annoyed.

I think, the young ones are so involved in their clean digital new world that they actually become detached from normal real life dirt, we all produce, that they are embarrassed about it. I dunno.

Anyway, in this sense, just do it! 🙂
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 11:10 AM
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Tell yourself nothing scary is going to happen by being outside. Whenever I do anything that gets my anxiety boiling, I take several deep breaths after maybe some meditation or moments or calmness, then tell myself to get it over with so I don't have to think about for a while. If someone should speak with you, just tell them hi and say you're in a hurry atm. I always like squeezing on something like one of those rubber stress balls, but you may have your hands full with the trash, so maybe you can think of something else to distract yourself. You probably should try to acclimate yourself each day-building up over time- to being outside for a period. It will empower you, especially if you can do some walking and perhaps discover something interesting in your environment.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 12:14 PM
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Adopt a IDGAF attitude, at least in your head and just do it. Each time you avoid going out to take the trash the next time it comes to take out the trash it will be a little bit harder. Each time you refuse to give into avoidance behavior, the next time it gets a little bit easier. I go through this each day when I go to water my garden in my backyard and my neighbors are out in their backyard I feel anxious but I tell myself that I just don't give a **** what they think of me if they like me or not(in my head of course) and go about my business. Mind you they haven't ever said anything to me so its just social anxiety in my head harassing me.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 12:22 PM
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Gee, just ignore 'em. Wearing sunglasses and a hood helps too. Remember: if they judge its their problem, not yours. I dont care if ppl judge me, if I see some %@^#^@ laughing from me, I show 'em the middle finger if Im in the mood of a total bada55.
Best wishes!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 01:51 PM
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Why would they be judging your trash? Aren't dumpsters meant for trash disposal? You're not doing anything out of the ordinary.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 03:04 PM
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Anxiety can cause irrational thoughts like this ,i used to put my garbage out late at night due to this but once i convinced myself that everyone has garbage to dispose of and that people have better things to do than check out the content of my trash then those thoughts disappeared.And if they don't have better things to do than that well i find it amusing.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 03:58 PM
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my flatmate sits out in his car and smokes and drinks there since hes not allowed to smoke inside. I really dont like it. I have to put the rubbish out, wash my bike, check mail out there and I can feel him watching me. sometimes hes not even there in his car (though usually he is because he smokes and drinks every day) but I still feel like I'm being watched.

but it's not so bad since I think hes a useless loser lol. i still dont like it though. but I'm not going to let him stop me from doing the things I need to do!

"I take what is mine. I pay the iron price."
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 10:18 PM
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You should be more worried about the garbage truck drivers. Sometimes they put a pink sticker on people's bin if you placed the wrong items in the garbage or recycling.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyandRage View Post
I feel even more anxious that people are judging me for having so much trash or being too lazy to take it out. How do I overcome this?
No, people will only judge if you leave the trash next to the trash bin or outside the door for the skunks to find. Or if you abandon large furniture or a dirty mattress next to it. Or park so close to the bin that the disposal services can't get to it. It is surprising to me how when people decide to make the trip to the garbage bin their trash doesn't make it inside...

As long as you are considerate of other people, there is no need to worry. People's thoughts and observations aren't always harsh judgments meant to condemn you - they can just be curiosity or opinions that come about automatically. Kind of like if I am driving and see a car I don't like I can have an opinion about it but I'm not looking down on the person - its just a matter of different tastes/style/personality. Or with music. Some people like country. Others like jazz.

Also everyone has a different lifestyle. I personally choose not to eat off disposable plates/utensils and prefer to wash the dishes. Also I have no roommates so it would make sense for me personally to not have as much trash pile up. But others could be the opposite and have more. Either way there is no right or wrong unless you're concerned about the extra that could have been recycled.

With the virus going on most people are staying indoors more anyway and can accumulate more. Or maybe there's a reason it piles up that is unique to you - with everyone living their own version of life there can really be no need for comparison of such things.

People can look out their windows all the time and be nosy about who is doing what and going where but in the end that is our human nature - to want to be curious, explore and question things. To like things or dislike like things. To have something to say out loud or swallow an opinion and keep it to oneself. In the end we all have free will and cannot choose what someone thinks or does but we can choose how to react to it and examine/study our own inner response.

People are not chess pieces to be controlled to make us feel comfortable and safe. If I decide to buy some multi colored athletic shoes other people have a right to think they are ugly. If I'm in a hurry and trip a little or run into something I didn't see, other people have a right to their opinion to think I'm slow or have no attention span. If I use a simple word when a more complex one could have been used people have the free will to think I have few brain cells. People's inward thoughts belong to them like personal property and we cannot pick and choose which ones they have as if flipping through a catalog.

And...

Say someone does come up to you and actually comments on the amount of trash you're throwing out. Maybe they are super extroverted with no filter and they say, "Wow that's a mountain load right there! My whole family combined doesn't produce that much trash!"

What would you think and feel in that situation?

Could you see yourself interpreting the statement as humorous small talk and reply "Yeah you're right I just can't help myself, the landfills are full enough as it is!" or would you think something else? How does the amount you toss out in the end define you as a person? Are there other behaviors that provide a better picture of who you are?

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 10:38 PM
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Have you tried Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)? You can learn ACT from a $15 self-help workbook. Plus there are plenty of free ACT resources online.

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue2 View Post
I find there's no other way only to force myself out, face it head on, otherwise I'd easily become a shut-in permanently, it always feels like you're fighting the tide though.
When the gyms closed I had no choice but to walk outside for exercise. Taking a walk around the neighborhood could also be its own exposure exercise. Plus if it becomes too nerve wracking there's always earphones with music (and the excuse of social distancing). Mostly its just runners who want to keep to themselves or a family or couple occupied with themselves so that also makes the exposure a bit easier. I feel like with walking around the neighborhood there are different levels to increase and decrease the difficulty level and you can get creative with it. Some examples I thought up just now:

1) The first week go out with sunglasses and headphones
2) Next week make eye contact and smile (especially to the regular ones you've seen all last week)
3) Next week wave at someone you've never seen before (analyze how you feel when a few grumpy people don't wave back)
4) Next week listen to the music out loud
5) Next week pretend to have a bluetooth cellphone conversation with someone
6) Next week pretend to laugh out loud at something said from a podcast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dissipated View Post
Anxiety can cause irrational thoughts like this ,i used to put my garbage out late at night due to this but once i convinced myself that everyone has garbage to dispose of and that people have better things to do than check out the content of my trash then those thoughts disappeared.And if they don't have better things to do than that well i find it amusing.
Yes, in my opinion the inside of a person's trash bag is no more interesting than what's in a person's toilet bowl before it goes down. It is not something anyone would want to think about.

Although sometimes people will throw treasure in the trash but that is for dumpster divers to find and get lucky with something that shouldn't have been thrown out the first place . Many video games (still new) have suffered casualties this way only to be rescued later by someone willing to play them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy1984 View Post
my flatmate sits out in his car and smokes and drinks there since hes not allowed to smoke inside. I really dont like it. I have to put the rubbish out, wash my bike, check mail out there and I can feel him watching me. sometimes hes not even there in his car (though usually he is because he smokes and drinks every day) but I still feel like I'm being watched.
That's a tactic that police use - leaving an empty car outside with no officer in it to trick cars into slowing down as they pass by. Gets me every time on the way to the park! After passing the empty vehicle many times I am starting to think it was abandoned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arials View Post
You should be more worried about the garbage truck drivers. Sometimes they put a pink sticker on people's bin if you placed the wrong items in the garbage or recycling.
That's interesting I don't think I've ever seen that done in the U.S. Japan is also strict with what goes where. Do you get fined for having a sticker? Or do they just leave it there to pile up? I saw this short documentary clip where people weren't recycling things properly but instead of not accepting it they just let it take up the landfill.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-10-2020, 12:30 AM
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That's interesting I don't think I've ever seen that done in the U.S. Japan is also strict with what goes where. Do you get fined for having a sticker? Or do they just leave it there to pile up? I saw this short documentary clip where people weren't recycling things properly but instead of not accepting it they just let it take up the landfill.[/QUOTE]

No fines they just put it there so people know. It was a very long time ago.
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