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How do I overcome the fear of cashiers?

141 Answers
Last Updated: 10/31/2020 at 5:05pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

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
April 26th, 2018 2:21am
Realize that they are people too. Cashiers are people trying to do their work as quickly and competently as possible. They are not out to hurt you in any way, and will likely forget who you are unless you gave them a hard time.
April 29th, 2018 7:56am
I've heard people say a good way to do this is to buy something and later return the item. Going through this process can empower you, acknowledging your rights as a consumer. Alternatively, make friendly conversation with the cashier
May 6th, 2018 2:47pm
You can start by being more friendly and open they are human just like us and want to help so that’s a start
June 6th, 2018 3:26pm
Know that cashiers encounter numerous people everyday. Chances are they won’t even remember who you are, so there is no reason to be afraid whether it is of judgement or ridicule. They’re people just like you and me :) And most of the time they’re just going to try to be polite and nice!
June 6th, 2018 3:30pm
Take it slow, start out with a friend(s) and have them talk to the cashier. Next time, with the friend you talk to the cashier. Then, try it on your own. Pace yourself in accordance to your comfort level.
June 14th, 2018 5:58pm
To overcome the fear of anything it could be helpful to make a list of what scares you about the person or object. Making a list can help you to visualize that it is about the object or experience that is most frightening. Taking the top 3 or 4 items and making a game plan to overcome through slow immersion could be helpful.
June 24th, 2018 6:59pm
Try starting off with small, local shops and engaging with the shop assistants there. Chances are the shop won't be packed, like in large chain supermarkets, so won't overwhelm you and the assistant might even appreciate the chat too.
July 1st, 2018 12:10pm
Remember that this cashier is just doing their job! They deal with many many customers just like you every day. It is totally normal to feel anxious when approaching strangers, but remember that this person is just a human being doing their job. They want to talk to you!
July 7th, 2018 11:21pm
Overcoming the fear of that is tough, I have experienced it myself. You can get through it, trust me. What I personally did is seeing them and saying to myself “they are people just like me and if i mess up, it doesn’t matter”. They are people behind a counter just doing their job, everyone is scared of something, we are all imperfect
July 12th, 2018 11:30pm
You can think about how they're just trying to do their job in providing services for you, and you're just trying to get that service and carry on.
July 25th, 2018 6:15pm
Maybe try looking at the things you are buying and not the cashier! everyone is scared of something, you’ll be okay! i promise. they won’t hurt you, they work there. you are okay. i swear!
July 28th, 2018 8:08am
I totally feel you! I HATE approaching cashiers. Think about it this way. They’re just like you and me! They wake up sad some times, some struggle with mental illness, they experience losses etc. They’re there to do there job to satisfy you! And I’m sure many of them are more scared of you than you are of them!
August 9th, 2018 11:51pm
Approach them calmly. Practice breathing if you ever feel nervous or stressed out. When they ask for the money, hand it to them with a steady hand. This will make you feel like you're in control. End the conversation with something like ”have a nice day!”
August 10th, 2018 5:43am
Just remember that they are people just like you, and some of them might be afraid of talking to strangers as well!
August 12th, 2018 12:48pm
I often tell myself that nothing BAD is going to happen, it's like most things that people, including myself, get nervous about. It's just like you have to know that you'll be fine.
August 18th, 2018 6:12pm
in my personal experience the best way to overcome the fear of cashiers is simply just to not say a lot. Most cashiers don’t say much any way. They usually just say hi how are you, and they tell you your total. They don’t start conversation so something simple to say would be... if they say “ hi how are you?” Then you just say “I’m good thanks.” You don’t have to say anything else. If I’m being honest they are just there to work and get paid not to become best friends with you. It will just take a little time to get used to.. hope this helps someone... 😊❤️
September 20th, 2018 7:08pm
I have a friend who is a cashier, and I can assure you, she always saysbdoesn't remember a single thing about any customer she's ever served, haha. You might think you're weird for buying a certain thing, but trust me, they've have to deal with a lot stranger purchases. If your fear stems from simply the fact that you have to talk to them, then my number one coping method for something like that is usually that you just have to remember they're another person. They're not someone that's going to judge you. They're just doing their job, I assure you. It doesn't matter if you stuttered a bit or if you messed up a word, they probably didn't even notice! Remember just breathe and take it easy.
September 26th, 2018 12:09pm
I personally cope with social anxiety and irrational fears. IT is not easy. It has taken me many years of researching and therapy to figure out what works for me. My therapist started first by asking me to write out a list of reasons for my irrational fear. Then we listed them as a hierarchy. The would be listed with the least scary on the top and the most scary on the bottom. Then I would start with the first thing on my list and would make a plan to expose myself to that which was causing the fear. I didn't think it would work but it did! I worked my way down my list!
January 13th, 2019 12:09am
You should never have a fear of cashiers, if you do then you will just become a bungling fool that has no means to function in a normal society, your life has been ruined by your own ineptitude and lack of ability to function within a society that is becoming weaker with every generation, you are week your children will be weeker and yor future is just relying on benefits and handouts from the people that feel sorry for you, so sad :( However I can still give you more reasons to sponge off the state as these great people that run this site have given me the platform to start telling you poor people that want help a reason to no come to this site... They will not help you unless you want to spend money, they will not help their own volunteers that are trying to help people and they will not give yo any help at all
January 24th, 2019 5:13am
Speaking as a cashier myself (who also had a fear of cashiers before I became one), the best way to overcome this fear is to remember that a cashier is just another person! We're human beings, which means we come with everything that comes with being human. We can be awkward and clumsy, we can get tongue tied and nervous. Sometimes cashiers are just as afraid of you as you are them! It's hard to talk to so many different people in a single day, especially if you're not much of a talker. Remind yourself that cashiers are typically more conscious of what they're doing than what you're doing, and as long as you aren't mean to them, they're not going to focus on the things you do, so don't feel self conscious!
February 10th, 2019 12:00am
First off, you are not alone, most people go through this at some time in their life. Keep in mind, cashiers are most likely being paid minimum wage, have a life other than that job, and overall would rather be someplace else. Your payment of items, and the items themselves do not concern them in the least. Whether it be milk and eggs or condoms and a vibrator, they don't care. You are just another person, going through their life, just as they are as well. Next time you have to deal with one, remember to take a deep breath, and continue through as though it was just another moment in your day- which it is! Best of luck.
February 13th, 2019 1:58am
Sometimes it is nerve wrecking to go to cashiers and some people try to avoid doing it at all costs but the thing is, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. I was a cashier not too long ago and I can tell you with 100% certainty that we don’t really care. It doesn’t really matter what you’re buying or who you are, cashiers are just there to do their job and get paid. You just have to remember that cashiers are people too. Take a deep breathe and relax. If it helps, imagine talking to someone you’re comfortable with.
February 14th, 2019 9:20pm
Having been a cashier in the retail business for several years, the things you need to know about us are: 1. We really do want to help you and hear about how your store experience was because your purchases put bread on our table. 2. We have both great and terrible store managers. Some will praise us for the chats we have with customers, others will scold us and tell us to quit talking and work faster. We cannot always be as personable towards you as we'd like. If we're sulking or appearing distant, there's a reason for it - that has absolutely nothing to do with you. 3. If you fear conversation with us, a great ice breaker is to pick a product you're buying and ask us if we've ever tried it, if we like it, etc. This can be especially helpful to you for new products that you're not sure is worth the investment. 4. Small talk about the weather is completely okay, and not talking at all is alright too. We really just need a sincere thank you after ringing your order up - to ensure that you feel you've gotten decent service!
March 30th, 2019 9:28pm
The best possible way to overcome a fear is to identify why you have that fear and then pushing that fear to the limit. If you can do it once and train yourself to continue to do it, even if you don't get it right the first time overcoming fears will be made easy. Always remember that you may not have the courage to overcome it the first time and that's okay. You just have to keep in mind that in order to succeed at overcoming a fear, you must be repetitive and relentless and strong. Getting a friend or a family member to come with you next time you go shopping may be a good first step in overcoming that fear.
March 31st, 2019 1:31am
Well, you have to think about why you are scared of them. I used to be very socially nervous too. And that's ok. It's who you are. Probably very nice, just more solitary. Try never to overload yourself with responsibilities but still, be determined to realise your worth. Ultimately, if you or your family were threatened, you'd probably say hang on, I haven't done wrong so why am I apologising, or we? Someone has to do something. Trust me in the end it's a good idea if you run through this whenever you can and start shooting back so to speak, though avoid being spiteful. Stay well mannered always. Chances are the person on the checkout isn't worried about you. They might even be nervous as well. I was sometimes working on a til if I forgot how to do something, or had a long queue, that sort of thing. You don't have to talk much. It's really just the feeling of confrontation, breaking that invisible barrier. Are you embarrassed about your appearance, or voice? None of it matters. Go slow, say please and thankyou. Refuse to panic- you're bullying yourself essentially. Eyes down and just go. Every now and then we do get a horrible person, grumpy or mean. If you are really offended stay quiet and then go to customer services. Never feed into conflict, others only beat you at it. If you start going back over it afterwards, distract immediately. It's ok to think but it's not worth worrying over. Bin your fears like bullies, don't water them.
May 1st, 2019 3:21pm
Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two - but I've never heard of one about cashiers. The same principle applies though as with any irrational fear. The most effective way to overcome a phobia is by gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to what you fear in a safe and controlled way. During this exposure process, you’ll learn to ride out the anxiety and fear until it inevitably passes. Through repeated experiences facing your fear, you’ll begin to realise that the worst isn’t going to happen. It's important to create a list of things that relate to your fear. eg. going to the shop, using self checkout ect.. and then slowly work your way up to exposing yourself to cashiers.
June 15th, 2019 4:51pm
I just think of it like their a schoolmate, I don't talk to them often but I still socialize with them whenever I see them. I find it easier to speak to people in general if I think of the world as a school setting because it help assure me that the people surrounding me can not cause me harm. It also helps me to relax while checking out to start a lighthearted conversation with the cashier. Things such as talking about the weather or even reporting something like a a water spill in one of the lanes in the store can help a lot.
August 8th, 2019 3:11am
I got ahead of my fear by slowly exposing myself. I started somewhere I felt safe, with a friend with me. Then I did it without the friend, then in a new shop with a friend, then without a friend. It took a lot of time, and I'm still working on it, but I'm getting there. It also helps that when you're struck with the fear all of a sudden, especially when waiting in a line, just to go over the options. Think to yourself, "what's the worst that can happen?" and remember to be realistic. Trying to figure out from where your fear came from can also be a huge help.
August 31st, 2019 12:31am
as a former cashier, i promise you that they don't care. i don't mean this in a malicious way at all, but if you happen to be struggling with anxiety (or social anxiety, specifically) then i promise that you don't need to worry about cashiers judging you. they just do their jobs, and i promise that they have seen weirder things than however you're interacting with them. cashiers are people too, and if the mean little voice in your head decides to shout a little louder, try to remind it that it's being unrealistic. good luck!
October 17th, 2019 8:51pm
Well I would have to say the first step to do if you want to overcome the fear of cashiers is to push yourself to go up to cashiers more often than you usually do. Also, maybe try communicating with the cashier, start a simple conversation by asking how his or her day is. By pushing yourself to to go to an cashier more often than usual will help over come your fear. Also, by trying to start a short and friendly conversation with the cashier will as well help you over come your fear by making you realize that they are just like you, just trying to get through the day. By the end results now you feel less feared of cashiers and wouldn't mind being around them any more.