Change is scary for just about everyone, but some people approach change with more trepidation than others. For some, change is a challenge or an adventure or just something that exists; for people who emphatically do not like change, however, it’s a source of constant anxiety and stupid new things. If the following things are familiar to you, then there’s a chance you might not be comfortable with change and all the stupid new things that it brings.
1. You need to be in control at all times.
Keeping everything the same usually means that you’re always on top of everything. If you carpool to work, for example, and each person drives on a specific day of the week, you always know exactly what to expect. But if someone says they need to switch their day, thereby throwing off your control of the situation, you get anxious, because now that you’re no longer driving on Thursday, anything could happen. You need to be in control, and being in control means always knowing what to expect.
2. You get freaked out by minor events like someone else getting a haircut.
It’s not even your hair that’s been cut, but it still freaks you out. Your image of that other person has now been changed; they have different hair, which means that things are different. Instead of just complimenting them on their new haircut, you descend into a spiral of self-doubt in which you wonder what else will change as you stand by, powerless to stop it. Clothes? Glasses? Life as we know it? Nothing is too minor to freak out about.
3. You hang onto electronics for years.
You keep dead laptops and unused digital cameras because you’re so used to having them that you can’t stand the thought of throwing them away.
4. Instead of coveting shiny new objects, you treasure the old ones.
When you get an upgrade for your phone or a brand-new, sleek computer, you actually resent it at first because it’s nothing like your trusty old one. Later, once you’ve finally adjusted, your new phone/computer/whatever is now your trusty old one and the suggestion that you replace it makes you start hissing like Gollum.
5. The thought of failing paralyzes you.
Change means new things, which means the potential for failure. If the thought of failing at anything makes you freeze up, chances are that change will make you freeze up, too, and you’ll probably resist it every step of the way.
6. Website redesigns make you irrationally angry and/or lost.
How could they do this to you? YOU LIKED THE OLD SITE THE WAY IT WAS. There was nothing wrong with it, but now it’s all ugly and modern and weird. This will ruin the rest of your week… possibly the rest of your month.
7. When you find a shirt or pair of jeans that you like, you buy four. Or five. Or six.
You’ll never be able to find these jeans or this shirt again, but once you’ve worn them for a while, you’ll kick and scream at the thought of having to settle for a different (i.e., inferior) shirt or pair of jeans. Therefore, you need to buy a lifetime supply right now.
8. Breaking your routine makes you feel weird for the entire rest of the day.
When eating scrambled eggs instead of oatmeal and going to the gym an hour later than usual throws off the whole rhythm of your day, you may have a small problem with change.
9. You make up excuses not to try new things.
A vacation to Europe instead of to the same beach you go to every year? No, thanks; you couldn’t possibly take that much time off work. You also hate security lines at the airport, and it would be too expensive anyway. That’s what you tell people, at least. The reality is that you just don’t want to do something different.
10. New flavors of old foods freak you out.
Whereas many people would be ecstatic to see the gross/delicious majesty of a new product like, say, Red Velvet Oreos appear on the shelves of their local grocery store, you view it as an unholy abomination. And even if you don’t, you know you’ll never try them because what if you buy them and they suck? Better stick with plain old Oreo-flavored Oreos.
11. You still remember when they changed the color of paper money.
And you still sometimes wonder if orange was really the best choice for the new color scheme, which you still think of as “new” despite the fact that it has existed for over 10 years.
12. When TV shows end, your universe is upended.
It’s just a TV show… or is it the focal point of 90 percent of your existence? If the death of this TV show leaves a hole in your life and makes you feel like an actual person has just died, change is probably kind of a big deal for you.
13. You don’t like to buy new versions of books.
When your copy of a beloved book starts falling apart and you discover that publishers have changed the book covers that you remember fondly from your childhood, you prefer to spend a productive two to three hours on eBay tracking down the vintage versions to replace your copy instead of just getting a new one at the bookstore.
14. Going to new restaurants makes you anxious.
What if the new one isn’t as good as the one you always go to? What if it’s a total waste of your time and money? It’s the Oreos problem all over again.
15. You don’t like getting a new driver’s license.
Not just because it’s a pain in the ass, but because you liked your old one. The old one was just fine; why do you need a new one? Why do they make you get a new picture taken? The old picture was way better than the new picture, which totally sucks, just like you knew it would.
16. You spend weeks planning life changes.
Sometimes it’s necessary to spend weeks planning big life changes, like if you’re seriously considering changing jobs or going back to school. Other times — such as when you’re thinking about changing gyms or buying a new coat — it’s overkill.