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That Quiet Girl
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to ask you guys something. First of all I should inform you that I have no car and no license. Most of the day my step-mom and her roommate are gone to work. So I'm home alone most of the time.

What I really want to do is go out once and a while and just hang out around town, or maybe just the mall. The problem is taking the bus by myself. I am horrified. What if I embarrass myself in front of everyone, or take up the bus driver's limited time trying to find a seat? And worst of all, what if I get off at the wrong stop and have to get on again like a fool?

If anyone out there takes the bus, please inform me on how to overcome this fear, and what you do to keep calm whenever you take public transportation.
 

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That Quiet Girl
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Been doing that for the last five years. I need something new and different in my life.
 

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On Standby...
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I really hate the bus because (where i live at least) it s just so complicated. There are so many different fares for different circumstances and they re all constantly changing, it s so hard to keep track of. I just wish it was simpler to avoid the stress of thinking about getting it wrong and embarrassing myself.

Plus, i have a terrible sense of direction so i really have to concentrate to take note of where i am at any one time.

The only way i found of calming myself and building up my confidence is doing as much research beforehand as possible and noting how other people act (which is what i have to do in most social situations since everything seems to come so naturally to everyone else but me).
 

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Done with SA
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I used to feel the exact same way and still do. If I don't have the car (I share with my mom and when she has the car, I have the bus or walking), I seriously entertain the thought of staying home from work or school because I hate it so much. I have this irrational fear that something bad, embarrassing, strange, etc, will happen and I won't be able to show my face on the bus again. That fear stays with me until I go home for the last time on the bus, but comes back once I have to do it again.

I usually listen to my ipod or focus on other things. Texting, browsing the internet, writing/doodling in a small notebook. Other than having something occupy your mind, I can't think of anything else. Also, check schedules, check to make sure nothing has changed on your route, make sure you know where you're going because if you get lose, well, anxiety will go up a whole lot.
 

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I think you misinterpreted my answer. Unless you have been riding the bus for five years and still have this problem, then I'm mistaken.
 

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I used to take the bus all the time when I lived in the city. What you do is get on and sit or stand at the front. So if you're unsure you have the driver right there in reach where you can ask questions... like "will this bus take me..." or "which stop should I get off to get to..."

Now, people do stare whenever you get onto a bus, because the layout is set up that way. You're the center of attention when you get on and it's not crowded, so just pay attention to the driver and the front rather then search for a seat. You can do a quick once over and if you don't see a seat right away, stand by the front.

Now as far as ringing the bell, don't feel embarrassed, just make sure you know you want to get off and if no one rings it before you do make sure you ring it or you may miss your stop. I've been embarrassed when I was younger because of being shy of some cute boys on the bus, and missed my stop and had to walk some long blocks to my destination :(

You're lucky that you don't have to worry about the trains, because seats are facing directly in front of each other, so people stare right at your face and if you don't have some type of activity to distract you, it's highly uncomfortable... So bus is a great alternative!
 

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That Quiet Girl
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@shyvr: I believe I did misread you. Thank you for your input, it is something to consider.

Yes, I have been checking routes and prices, but that does not do well to satisfy my concerns. I guess it's just because this is my first time on a bus alone. If I was with someone, it wouldn't be so nerve-wracking. The matter that I must reach now is getting up enough guts to get out there and walk to the bus stop. Perhaps I'll take up some of your advices and occupy myself. That may take my mind off of what I'm doing.
 

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Done with SA
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1,818 Posts
Yes, I have been checking routes and prices, but that does not do well to satisfy my concerns. I guess it's just because this is my first time on a bus alone. If I was with someone, it wouldn't be so nerve-wracking. The matter that I must reach now is getting up enough guts to get out there and walk to the bus stop. Perhaps I'll take up some of your advices and occupy myself. That may take my mind off of what I'm doing.
Yeah, it's completely different when you're with someone because they will help keep you occupied and if you're going to the same place, they'll ask if you're unsure or ring the bell for your stop.

Good luck with it, though. The bus, or any public transportation, can be utter horror when you have social anxiety.
 

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R.I.P. Do not contact.
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What if I...take up the bus driver's limited time trying to find a seat?
The driver probably won't mind as long as you're behind the yellow line. He or she will be more focused on the road.

And worst of all, what if I get off at the wrong stop and have to get on again like a fool?
Recently I've been viewing destinations with Google Maps' street view option beforehand if I'm headed to an unfamiliar area.
 

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Born Of Blotmonað
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Transit makes me anxious whether I with someone or not as I'm not very talkative so sitting with someone you know & not talking can be just as uncomfortable as sitting with strangers.

I agree that you should know you're schedules & destination as well as carry a book or something. I don't find my book puts me complete at ease but it's far better than nothing as I can sort of zone into it. I'm not sure about where you live but here if you get on a bus & aren't quite sure of the stop you need telling the driver is no worries as they'll let you know when you've reached it. It may be a little nerve-racking but it's better than getting lost. Personally I check the local transit map(it's the city with routes highlighted) before I go most places, you can get them free at many stations here. Carrying a small map with you may well be another good idea if you fear getting lost.

Navigation is not a problem for me at all with transit I just hate being an awkward person with a bunch of people around to watch it until I get off at my stop
 

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What if I embarrass myself in front of everyone, or take up the bus driver's limited time trying to find a seat? And worst of all, what if I get off at the wrong stop and have to get on again like a fool?
I ride the bus almost every day and have done so for years. The more you do it, the easier it becomes :) Don't worry about embarrassing yourself. I think the only things that are truly embarrassing is when people have bad body odor, or if they get into an argument with someone, or talk way too loudly on their cell phones. Everything else is fine... there were times when I wasn't sure how to get the door to open, lol, and I've seen plenty of people in the same situation. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.

As for getting off at the wrong stop, again, it's nothing to worry about. Keep in mind that nobody is paying particular attention to where you're going so they won't even notice. If you get off the bus and stand at that station, it could look like you're waiting for a friend. Everybody makes mistakes, it's nothing to worry about ;) The advice about distracting yourself with something (like a book) sounds good to me too. Good luck and have fun riding the bus!
 

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I don't drive or have a license, and I choose to walk almost everywhere. If I absolutely have to take the bus, I research it as much as possible beforehand. I suppose it gets easier if you use the bus regularly. You'd be amazed how far you can get on foot though in a relatively short amount of time -- it's not a bad way to travel as long you have headphones. :O)
 

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I use a bicycle as long as i can, but when it's too cold i use the public transport.
I always have some music to help me cope.

Being in close quarters with people makes me very anxious, but its not like i can walk wherever i want to go, so i live with it. You get used to it after a while anyway.
 

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Ive taken on pushing people out of my way and acting like Im the only person on the earth approach to public transport. Bus drivers here dont wait till you sit down to drive off at full speed, making you fall over 20 people or cause a domino effect to the back of the bus. When getting on a bus, no one makes a single line to enter, its push and shove to get the best seat! Argh then you get those extra rude people that put all there bags on the seat beside them so you have no hope of sitting down on a packed to the roof bus even if your travelling for an hour, you have to stand! Usually its old people who dont even use the designated seats for them. Or you get the school hour rush of loud smelly and cursing kids/teens who must throw things around, spit out windows, yelling swear words and listening to 'akon' over and over so freakin loud that you get the 'akon' headache. Seriously no one wants to hear your akon ****! It baffles me why school children dont get their own buses here like the US has school buses. No one cares about anyone but themselves on public transport here. You could die on a train and no one would notice even if its peak hour. So eventually you become desensitised to the world. I try to think Im the only person on the earth when I walk out the door to get on a bus. Its the only way to get through it.
 

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Yes Yes Yes, I ride the bus
 

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I ride the bus all the time. Here, the bus drivers don't wait for you to sit down before they start moving. And they don't mind people asking them route questions. It's their job to answer them and they get questions ALL the time.

My city's public transit service has a great website with information for every single stop, scheduled times, a system-wide map, etc. If I'm going to be taking a route unfamiliar to me, I'll look at the stop I want and then open up Google Maps and zoom into my city, then look at street names that come before the stop I want (I've been known to write the information on a post-it note or even to draw myself a small map.. whatever helps). When on the bus, I just keep watch for those streets passing by.. then I know when the stop is coming.

Also, depending on your city and route, it may not be a big deal if you miss your stop. Here, they're usually no more than a few blocks apart. Besides, the extra walking is good for you.

You could also ask if the driver if they could announce a particular stop.

As for what to do while on board, I just look out the windows.. watch other cars and people going by.. get lost in my own thoughts.. check other passengers when they're not looking, etc. :) (I like people-watching, note: looking, not staring)
 

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Ive been to most of Australia. I must say only in Melbourne where I have experienced the grumpiest and most disrespectful people when dealing with public transport. Bus drivers are rude and grumpy, people are so pushy. It drives me insane. But it beats putting another polluting petrol eating machine on the road. I didnt get my licence because I was scared of driving. But now I just dont like the way the car industry is going. I will get my driving lessons and licence one day. But I dont want a car if its run on petrol. Im all for taking public transport but something needs to be done about people attitudes here.
 

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I hate it and durring school i try to take the bus with less people cause the express bus is always bursting full of people. The worst though is those seats facing other people so you have no choice but to stare at them and try and make it seem like youre staring out the window or painfully arch your neck to the front the entire trip lol. But the worst is when youre at the back of the bus and its full to the brim and you need to get off so you end up having to dig through people to get out. Oh yah and triping on the bus when its turning and stopping or triping when u get off the bus is also a pain though it has never happened to me. And the smell and heat sometimes is terrible....
 
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