How Far Are You Willing To Go To Avoid People? Apparently, Pretty Far

by Joanna McClanahan
Originally Published: 
Muriel de Seze / Getty Images

I hate peopling. I own that, and I’ve done a lot of weird things to avoid the most basic interactions with other people.

I have crossed the street just to avoid strangers walking on the same sidewalk. I didn’t want to have to smile or wave or have that awkwardness of wondering whether to acknowledge them in any way. I would rather walk on the other side of the street instead.

I’ve driven 20 miles out of town just to shop where I was less likely to run into anyone I know. If my hair is in a messy bun and I have to question when my last shower was, the last thing I want to do is be stuck making small talk with someone in a store, only to run into them several more increasingly awkward times before leaving. (“Hi!” “Oh, hi again!” “We just keep running into each other!” No, thanks.) And I will also use the self-checkout lane, even though it’s much slower, just to avoid making small talk with the cashier.

My preference is online shopping because that’s the only surefire way to avoid people. (The optional bra and pants are added perks, obviously.)

I keep my phone on silent because I never answer it. I’ll even avoid listening to my voicemails. And I would sooner throw my phone into a lake than answer a number I don’t know.

What’s interesting is that I can be social (for a bit, then exhausted later), but I have little to no control over how and when anxiety is going to grab ahold of me, and everything can change at a moment’s notice.

So when my anxiety is acting up, I choose to avoid social interactions as much as possible because it’s easier. I thought I was one of the only ones who avoids peopling as much as I do. But according to this hilarious Reddit thread, it looks like some people have gone much further than I have.

For instance, I’ve never considered moving to a different country:

Even temporarily:

Or pretending like I didn’t understand English:

Some people wear headphones just so their roommates won’t bother them:

Or go to extreme measures to make them leave:

Some people eat their lunches in their cars just to avoid awkward conversation:

This person even took a pay cut to avoid peopling:

Some people will wait it out to avoid talking to others:

Some people will make up extreme excuses to get out of social commitments:

While others keep extreme track of details, just to avoid them:

Or happily add a little extra time to their commute:

To be clear, I’m not judging any of these people on the extreme measures they take to avoid interacting with other people. If anything, I’ve been taking notes.

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