How do I overcome the fear of cashiers?
Last Updated: 09/23/2021 at 10:21am
Jui Shankar, Ph.D
My worldview offers a systems perspective that values diverse clients and their struggles. I believe supportive and nonjudgmental therapeutic relationships empower clients.
Top Rated Answers
Remember that they might be just as anxious as you are. Both of you are strangers to each other, and it can be discomforting to meet new people.
I didn't understand how to until I became a cashier one day. While it may seem like a cashier is watching your every move and judging silently, they're most likely just thinking about when their break is, or how much longer until they get off of work. It's also important to note that humans are natural energy matchers, and most are empathetic and might understand being anxious about a fear of cashiers too!!
Cashiers have a job to do. You have something you want from them. In order to rid yourself of the fear of cashiers, remind yourself that they're only doing their job and that talking to them is a necessary step for getting what you want
That's a tough one! I personally have a fear of walking into a store and leaving without purchasing anything. I'm deathly afraid of someone thinking I've come into the store and stolen something. So I'm awkwardly keeping my hands visible and not reaching for my pockets. It's weird.. I know.. :D There are more thorough resources available on dealing with this fear; however, I'll share some quick tips that I believe might be helpful (I'm using my background that I've gathered here on 7Cups to answer this). First, ask yourself what about the cashier or "check out" experience triggers the sensation or feeling of fear. Worded differently, what are you afraid of? To identify the cause, you may try speaking to a trusty friend or writing your thoughts down in a journal. Once you've identified some elements (or at least made an attempt), put together a goal and an action plan. (See below for example). Remember there are exercises available online (including on 7Cups) to help with this anxiety (including "Challenging Your Thoughts" and "Overcoming Avoidance"). EXAMPLE: Goal: I want to practice interacting with a cashier briefly. Commitment: I'm going to say hello to the cashier when I walk into the store. Obstacles: My fear that they'll think I'm dumb or weird might stop me before I even walk into the store. Solution to Overcome Obstacles: I'll bring a friend! Reward: I'm going to buy myself a candy bar because I put myself out there and accomplished my goal (and because I love chocolate/candy bars).
As a cashier all we want to do is help you! It is our job to give you the best experience and often we are just as scared as you having to speak to so many people we dont know everyday. Unlike the customer we are the focus behind the cashier so being shy is not an option for us. We are just as nervous as you if not more and some might not seem like it because its our daily job and we've gotten used to it!
Cashiers are normal people just like you and me (which might sound patronising but it's true!) Cashiers have a job to do and see tens, if not hundreds, of people a day so don't think that they are focusing on you as an individual. Just think, if you fumble with your money or stutter when talking to them, they encounter people from all walks of life all of the time so won't focus on you alone. It might help to have your money in your hand before you go to the counter as it may calm your nerves. You may never see that person ever again so it doesn't particularly matter how the encounter goes. Just remember - they're normal people too!
I was a cashier for a bit as well as a TV salesman. Realize that cashiers are just people. We probably really hate where we are in life at the moment as it's not exactly a glorified place to work. Most of them will just say "Hi." and continue scanning items. It's up to you if you want to continue a convo from there.
Realize that cashiers are people just like you. They have made mistakes and gone through things in the past just like you have. And here's something that always helps me. "In 20 years from now, is this going to affect me?" And the cashier is just there to help you, not inflict anxiety.
One way is try to ignore the cashier when checking out. after awhile start looking at them. then after that try talking to them.
Remember that they're just people like you, and that it's literally their job to be nice to you. Also, you only have to interact with them for a short period of time and then you'll probably never see them again. As a cashier myself I can guarantee that they'll forget you by the time you get 10 steps away. If you think about it it's actually one of the lowest-risk interactions you can have.
Try to remember that cashiers are regular people, like you and me. My social anxiety used to paralyze me when I was shopping but now I try to recall that these people are human and that a smile or a nice greeting from customers can make their day, the same way a lovely interaction could brighten mine.
first of all, they're not there to harm you in any way, be aware of the fact that they don't pose any danger to you and they're just doing their job. you can talk as little as you please and when the cashier has finished scanning your stuff you can pack your purchases and leave. if you flash them a smile or say goodbye when you leave, they might do the same for you and both of you have a nicer day. remember that they're all just people, working and living their lives without expecting anything from you. no worries, you got this :)
The best way to overcome your fear is to go up to a cashier as much as possible. The more you do it the better and more confident and comfortable you will soon get to feel about it. If you are getting really panicked take deep breath in and out just before you go up to the cashier and say to yourself "you will be alright, no need to be scared of a cashier" saying it in you rather than I makes your brain register it better in my experience.
Try to think about and focus on something that makes you calm or happy and remember theyre human too, just like you!
I take a minute or two to recollect my thoughts and just breathe to calm myself down. Or I walk around and just breathe
I don't really have a fear of them but I'm sure you can just talk to one after hours and get a better understanding of them. That might help
You could practise the scenario with a friend, maybe getting them to exaggerate the way they are to make real caehiers seem a lot better. You may then consider gong to small shops as these are less bombarding than big supermarkets. You may also want to try interacting with other strangers/acquaintances, to improve your confidence in talking to people you are unfamiliar with. When you feel ready, set yourself a target of a date to interact with a cashier, or a set of increases in the number you interact with. Try to motivate yourself to stick to this by reminding yourself that by doin all this you will feel better, and that you will have succeeded.
Know that they are people too. They are there to do a job, as are you. If you are afraid, have someone check out with you, like a friend or parent, until you feel comfortable to do it yourself.
I think there's alot of evil around money, and cashiers are working with money all day. If you think it is a fair trade, that you are happy to pay X amount of money for the goods being purchased, then you can hand over the money happily and gratefully.
I have been a cashier at many different stores. I have social anxiety, too, so I am sure I had just as much fear of talking to a customer as they may have had a fear of talking to me. But they are just people. If you have a fear of talking to them, I imagine very few engage in conversation beyond a quick greeting.
Hmm, to overcome a fear, you must first realize the root of the fear and the extent of such a fear. Where does the fear come from? is it rational or irrational? what can you get out of approaching a cashier? What would be the benefit of talking to one? If you are able to answer these questions, you can work on overcoming this fear.
It sounds like you are experiencing some social anxiety. Many people struggle with this, wherein they become anxious or afraid when having to interact with other people in some or all social situations. It is possible to treat and overcome. 7cups has resources available that may help.
Go grocery shopping sometimes! In the beginning you can bring someone with you and ask them to pay while you stand there and just get used to being there, and after a while you can take over and pay. You can bring a friend as often as you like until you're comfortable enough to go by yourself :)
You got to be brave, take a deep breath, and relax. It'll be ok just be confident and go for it!
Going to the tills can be really daunting, especially if you have social anxiety. Begin with baby steps - using a self-serve checkout or standing beside a friend while they pay for something at a till. You'll see that it's not as scary as it may seem. Eventually, your way up to making a small, unessential purchase - this way you can back out if it becomes too scary.
You would use what is known as exposure therapy, which is overcoming an often irrational fear through gradual interaction with the object causing the fear.
Try and think of them as people just doing a job. They aren't there to judge or harass you, they're just trying to help you buy whatever it is you need.
Prepare for it mentally first. Don't make it a big deal, try to calm yourself with different exercises. Built trust in yourself. You are an amazing person and you can do anything. An when you're ready. Just do it. Try an be calm, and if you want to back out you can, but you need to believe in yourself! Good luck!
Everytime you have to walk up to a cashier and you start to feel afraid just do it anyway. Then you will realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Never give up or give in,continue to face this fear every chance you get, this will help you gain courage. Trust me this works overtime, it worked for me.
Try going to shops where you know the people there, or go with people you know and gradually start going to more and more shops on your own- they are only human just like you and me
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