A situation that we can all relate to I’m sure. You’re walking in a shop and you see someone wearing headphones. Perhaps the person doesn’t have music playing, perhaps he does. Social or not? Someone asked the same question on reddit.
Here’s the story: For context, I am a 20 year old female, who has been diagnosed with severe social anxiety and depression, as well as high functioning autism.
I don’t hate people; I’m just horrified of social interaction (most likely because of the above and people were horrible to me as a kid).
For Christmas, I asked for a pair of headphones so the long walks from my house to my job could be a little more bearable (it takes about 50 minutes to get there in the morning). I was expecting a cheap pair of £15 headphones or something but to my surprise, my grandpa generously surprised me with a brand new pair of ultraviolet beats solo3. I love them and I promised myself that I wouldn’t let his money go to waste and I would get as much use out of them as possible.
Context over, here’s the important stuff:
I wear these headphones just about everywhere I can get away with because noisy places in public overwhelm me and it’s nice to have something muffle the sound. Also, it’s always nice to have a distraction whenever being around people is too much.
I’ve started walking these into stores and just wearing them, zoning out all of the people talking. It makes something that is normally stressful into a breeze. I only ever shop at stores with self checkouts available, so I didn’t think it was a problem.
However, a friend mentioned to me, that at her workplace, her co worker had actually started crying because someone was walking into the store and ignoring her. She told me she thought people who walked into the store and didn’t want to talk, were assholes (personally whenever that happened at work I was relieved but I’m weird) and that everyone thinks you’re an asshole when you do that .
I realised I had been walking through that same store almost daily and chances are I had completely zoned out someone who I wasn’t aware wanted to talk to me and I must of looked like some asshole who thought I was to important to talk to a retail employee. I probably ignored a couple of people and made them feel like that but at the same time I should be able to get a packet of crisps without being uncomfortable.
Am I the asshole?