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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
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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
October 30th, 2019 3:27am
You can start by taking small steps. First, you may not have to say anything to them though you can just get your items checked out and leave. Do this step until you feel comfortable with this step. Then, you can just make small eye contact or just say hi without looking up while focusing on your items needed to be checked out. You have to continue with this step until you feel comfortable and normal while doing this step. You can continue to make little changes to this process, like the next step could be eye contact and saying hi together, and then the next step could be doing those things along with asking them how they're doing or how their day is going. It's okay if you are feel uneasy when doing the next step, and if you're not able to complete it, then just simply go back to the previous step and practise that until you feel ready to take on the next step and it won't be that scary for you like before.
December 26th, 2019 3:10pm
Practice! make extra stops buy coffee and gum in separate places, also when making purchases with more items like grocery shopping on your way to the register start calculating the costs before you reach the cashier so that you have a ball park for what the purchase should be you can even calculate the sales tax so this way the cashier is not telling you anything u didn't already know and the total should be just a confirmation of your calculations. That confirmation should reassure you and the prior calculating should ease anxiety smooth your check out. You could also try getting a part time job as a cashier if you become one of them it will put you in the situation to understand them better also you will have to interact with lots of different people, it could build you socially and eliminate social anxiety all together.
January 17th, 2020 8:16pm
I like to first look at the situation from the cashier's perspective, the job can be very repetitive. You have the opportunity to make their work shift a little brighter. They are usually happily surprised if you start a little conversation with them, it can be about anything! Even a 'Hey there, how are you today?' can lead to a positive outcome, a conversation or a smile on their face. Another benefit of practicing this is that you come across as a very confident person. It may be difficult at first, believe me, we all have struggled to start conversations, myself included! However, once you learn yourself to ask them how they are or how their day is going, you will gain the confidence you need and you no longer have to fear them! I am sure you guys all got this!
January 29th, 2020 10:59am
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 matches, and most are empathetic and might understand being anxious about a fear of cashiers too!! Also 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
February 19th, 2020 5:42pm
Cashiers and checkouts can be so intimidating. I like to try and remember that I am definitely not the strangest, most unsociable or awkward person that they've seen that day. I've learned that cashiers often truly don't care what people buy or how they present themselves, in fact, they just want to get their jobs done. I used to feel like all customer service people were just constantly judging me, but I realized I was actually judging myself and making myself insecure over things no one else even noticed! Cashiers are people just like you. They're usually nice enough and will just go on with their day without a second thought.
February 21st, 2020 9:08pm
As a cashier myself, I can assure you your visit will not be remembered unless you take the second initiative to do so. Ex: bringing up personal stories. Just keep in mind that there are so many customers it’s hard to remember majority that walk through the door. Also, no one is going to judge you! Their only job is to assist you nothing else. If people give you anxiety giving you this fear practice saying hello or smiling to a stranger better yet, the cashiers! It’ll help you realize they are harmless and hopefully you’ll a little less tense afterwards.
April 2nd, 2020 12:49pm
I think it helps to know that cashiers are just people like you and me doing their jobs. They in no way want to make you feel uncomfortable, upset, or afraid; They just want to help you purchase your items or use whatever service they're providing. They don't want you to be afraid of them! It's okay to be nervous, but remembering that they are in now way there to make you afraid can help. It might even help you to ask them a question or make a joke with them to help you relax when you see them respond just like you or a friend would.
April 22nd, 2020 9:12pm
You have to accept the fact that you are human. Not everyone is thinking or feeling the same as you are. Over coming fear of cashiers is something's that might take time but it is possible to overcome your fear. Accepting the fact that everyone is diffrent and unique in there own way can be hard at times people are not having good a good day so approaching a cashier who is having a bad day can be tough. However making someone's day is possible simply by being brave and being kind to someone can conquer fear. Be straight forward and think about what your going to say before you say it and body language is important as well
May 23rd, 2020 12:31am
This is one that I definitely struggle with myself as well, and I don't have it down to a science yet. Some things that help me, though, are that most likely, you will never see them ever again. You're there for a few minutes at the very most, and then you leave. Additionally, the cashier sees tons and tons of people each day, so if you think about it, if you just go and pay like the average customer, they probably won't remember you after you walk out of the door. On the flip side, if you go up there with the intention of creating positive change, you can combat anxiety in that way as well. Instead of thinking about all the ways it could go wrong, try thinking of something nice you could say to the cashier to make their day. They probably aren't having the best time dealing with customers, so going with the intention of changing that for them can kind of hide the anxiety and fear in some cases.
May 24th, 2020 11:00pm
Begin to remember that 'no-one else knows what they are doing either'. We are build ourselves to feel like there is something everyone else knows but that we are missing. If you remember that everyone else are busy drinking their coffee and thinking about their on complex lives. And sonder for a while. You begin to realise that your cashier interaction is merely a small moment in another person's day and your anxiety can begin to ease in the knowledge that, there's very little judgement as that person has their own complicated back story that they are thinking about at the same time you are worried about approaching them.
June 6th, 2020 7:19am
To overcome any fear, you unfortunely will need to face it at one point. There are ways to get through and it's understandable to be afraid of cashiers in general. When am forced to talk to someone in general I think of something i like for example maybe their wearing a nice ring. I make that my focus and not to worry about anything else. If that doesn't work I look at something in the distance to keep me distract well I wait in line or wait for them to get done with scanning the item. At the end of the day it matters on how you look at it.
June 10th, 2020 6:03pm
Practice makes perfect! A good thing to tell yourself is that cashiers see so many people in one shift. There's a good chance they won't remember you or acknowledge your interaction later that day. A good thing to do in this situation is forcing yourself to go to cashiers more often. Try to avoid self check-out as much as possible and push yourself to your limits a little bit. Face the fear head on and you'll be able to reflect on how much progress you've made over a period of time. Helping you is part of their job, it's what they're getting paid to do.
June 17th, 2020 10:22pm
As someone who has worked retail, I assure you that the cashier is not there to judge you. They are simply there to do their job. In most cases, if you are friendly, they won't even be able to remember you or what you purchased! Trust me, the only customers that we judge are the ones that are rude or make a scene. Remember that we are all just humans too and that we've been in your shoes. We don't want you to feel uncomfortable! We also serve hundreds of customers each day and I'm sure whatever your buying, we've seen it before! I hope this helps!
July 3rd, 2020 6:22am
Hey, I've been there. Social Anxeity—which can be somewhat assumed one would hold, based on an ornate fear of workers, or cashiers, it totally okay and normal to experience. The biggest thing to remember, to help yourself overcome this fear, definitely involves A) the idea that they are a person, just like you are, and B)the fact that they are working, and are just doing their job. Putting myself in the shoes of cashiers, too, sometimes helps; would I be annoyed, if a teen came up to me to buy a can of coke, or would I be happy, almost, if this occurred? Social anxeity sucks, and it can be totally scary, but just remember that being awkward is okay, and pretend—as I've found helps most—like you are an extremely confident, extroverted, person... and things may sway in your favor! I hope this helped :))
July 9th, 2020 5:27pm
Sometimes I have to remind myself that cashiers are just another individual running through their busy day, like me. I am here to shop, and they are here to check me out -- simple as that! When I initially used to avoid checkout lines or conversation, I instead began to plaster a smile on my face and pronounce a big 'Hello!". Over time, receiving a warm smile in return or a "How's it going" helped me rid the notion that the cashier in front of me is judging me. I am a small part of their day, just as they are a small part of mine. The least we can do is a small moment of warm greetings, but besides that, cashiers are not here to judge you :)
July 19th, 2020 3:58pm
hmmm to overcome any fear, especially social related ones, overcoming the fear comes with overcoming avoidance of that fear. a lot of the time when we are afraid of something we tend to avoid it more, but this avoidance only reinforces our fear and makes that fear stronger. it might help to think of small mini steps that you could engage in while confronting your fear but also not overwhelming yourself to the point where you won't confront that fear again (for example maybe going to the store with a friend so that you are not alone and watching their interaction, and then going to the same store with them on a later date but you interacting with them. these steps could be at varying stores, with varying interactions (ie redeeming a coupon, asking about a price, requesting cash back)-all with friends or alone. just know that the more you engage with your fear rather than avoiding your fear, the less of a fear it will become. take care xo
July 23rd, 2020 4:26pm
Make a committed effort to become more confident with money matters. View the personal finance channels on YouTube, such as The Financial Diet, Ryan Scribner, and Nick True of Mapped Out Money.. Browse your library or online for recommended finance books.. If online learning fits your style, MoneyStrands has a hand-selected list of personal finance courses that you can take for free.Over coming fear of cashiers is something's that might take time but it is possible to overcome your fear. Accepting the fact that everyone is diffrent and unique in there own way can be hard at times people are not having good a good day so approaching a cashier who is having a bad day can be tough.
August 2nd, 2020 10:46am
Just remember that they are a person like you, and they also have feelings. They may be feeling just as worried as you, and may have issues themselves, everyone has issues, and we must be brave and strong and carry on with our lives with a brave face. Why don't you put on your favourite outfit to go and see the cashier then it might take your mind off it, and don't forget to reward yourself with a bar of chocolate or your favourite treat afterwards, then you can congratulate yourself on your triumph. I know that you can do this, just go for it :)
August 5th, 2020 7:50am
Cashiers see dozens of people everyday, and more than likely just going through the motions of their job. Just be polite with "hello" "thank you" etc. I used to dread these interactions too but ultimately realized the employee couldn't care less if you seem a bit nervous or awkward they've probaly dealt with far worse customers. It's honestly not as big of a deal as you think. They have to focus on our computer screens when you use a debit card, anyway, because it gives them prompts that they have to follow in order to finish the transaction and get your receipt.
August 5th, 2020 2:43pm
This is such a common worry for people, one that I feel we don't recognise enough! I dealt with this fear a lot in the past, constantly worrying that I would make a fool of myself. I feel that encouraging myself to pay with cashiers and not at the self checkout was the first big step I took. It might be helpful to try buying one or two items to begin with, so that you don't get overwhelmed. Have your card/ cash ready before you approach the till, just to avoid yourself any extra stress! Say hello if you can, I work in retail now myself and this really has a huge effect! If you are kind, we usually go out of our way to be kind to you. Take it day by day, shopping trip by shopping trip until you feel comfortable.
October 31st, 2020 5:05pm
The best way to handle this issue, is to realize that most cashiers at stores are often as nervous about other customers as you are about them. With that shared fear, it's good to lighten the mood, by saying something along the lines of, "Hello, Are you having a good day," or "Hey there, How are you," to show that you aren't just there to awkwardly transaction money, but to spread the joy of life you have within you with them as you go along your day. Just asking them about their day, does wonders for a lot of people, for most cashiers do not get to enjoy these kinds of conversations due to the oftentimes professional atmosphere cashiers have to project(and sometimes even get fired for if they do not), and if they do, they're quite awkward as the other person often trails off or doesn't add to the conversation and is more focused on paying for the thing they're buying instead of the cashier him/herself. This kind of exchange can be troublesome for some cashiers, because it's very impersonal when either awkwardly staring at them with little to say, or when they say hi, and the cashier thinks that they are hoping to have a small conversation, yet, they don't continue it after they respond, because they think the cashier should continue the conversation more than they have. That is the very problem many people have with conversations these days, there is little actual exchanges in conversations (give and take). It's only a receiving expectation for many people in conversations these days, and it is an unfortunate affair that taking initiative in converations has gone by the wayside. Giving in a conversation is just as important if not more than receiving, in most situations. Being aware of all of this going on, is just one of many different things, that would eclipse your previous fears of cashiers.