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Fear of getting a taxi to school

I’ve never taken a taxi on my own and now I’m supposed to. I’ve missed 3 days of school cause my anxiety wouldn’t let up and now my mum is getting angry at me for it. My main worries about it is; Not knowing which car I have to get it (apparently the taxi site tells you what car it is but I don’t know what type of car is what) Not having the right amount of money My social anxiety is really bad so if I had to communicate with them and I didn’t understand what they said I would probably break down I need to know the number plate so I can find the car, does it tell you the number plate when you book it?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Everyone has fears and can feel anxious about different things. Your anxiety and the effect it has on you is real, no matter what you feel anxious about. Learning to cope with that anxiety and overcome it takes time, but it's possible.

When something makes you anxious it can be easy to start thinking about it all the time. The more you think about it, the bigger the problem seems - which creates a cycle of anxiety that can get worse and worse.

Your thoughts, feelings and actions all affect each other. Thinking about this problem makes you feel anxious and that anxiety makes you change your behaviour - such as avoiding going to school and getting the taxi.

Avoiding something that makes you anxious can often feed your anxiety and make you feel even more anxious the next time you have to think about doing it.  Breaking this cycle isn't easy but is an important step in overcoming the fear.

To help to control your thoughts it can help to put aside some time where you can think about the thing that makes you anxious. Outside of that time if you feel yourself thinking about getting a taxi to school, tell yourself you’ll think about it in the 10 minutes you have set aside later on. If that 10 minutes never happens that's okay, but even if it does then 10 minutes of stressful thoughts is better than a whole day.

Managing your feelings is a little harder because feelings are something we have very little control over. One way to cope with anxiety is to have a safe object you can carry with you.

Find something small that you can feel with your hands and maybe has an unusual but calming sensation. Whenever you feel anxious, try focusing on the here and now - what your senses can tell you. Holding your object and focusing on how it feels to hold and touch can help to calm any anxious feelings. The Calm Zone also has other tools that could also help you feel calmer.

To help manage your actions you can do things that take steps towards conquering your fear. There is a technique used to overcome fears which introduces the thing you fear one small step at a time. This might mean taking a taxi with a friend first, so you don't have to do it alone. Next you could try doing it alone but with your mum arranging it for you and being there to make sure it's the right one. After doing small steps like these you can work up to taking the taxi on your own. Hopefully by then you will feel confident on how getting a taxi works so it can start to feel less scary in your mind.

I hope this has helped you to understand more about how to manage your anxiety about this and anything else that might scare you. You did the right thing by talking about it and Childline counsellors are here for you if you want to say more. You can also speak to other young people on the Childline message boards, which can give you a safe way to start working on your social anxiety.

Take care.


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