If you find it difficult to buy balloons here is some advice.

If you have a phobia about balloons bursting then it can be embarrassing to walk into a shop to buy balloons - it is very easy to be very aware of the reason for the purchase all the time you are in the shop.

It is also possible that you are wary of balloons even when they are not blown up - that they remind you of the pop. You need to have a talk with yourself - and tell yourself the truth about the balloons - that they are perfectly harmless while they are not inflated - that there is no risk of them popping - then brace yourself and go and buy some.

Chose a shop where it is safe for you to buy balloons - chose a corner shop or a supermarket - NOT a balloon shop where there are likely to be balloons already blown up which will give you a hard time.

If you are embarrassed when buying balloons you may feel the need to give the shopkeeper a reason for your purchase without even being asked - or at least having a false reason ready just in case the shopkeeper makes a comment of some kind about the size or quantity of balloons being bought - this makes the situation feel more normal - less embarrassing for the person buying the balloons.

In fact it is mostly unnecessary to make any comments at all - the shopkeeper obviously stocked the balloons - whatever size or shape they are - with the idea that people would buy some of them from time to time... and that is exactly what you are doing - so this should not arouse any suspicions - in fact there is no reason for a conversation about them at all - usually a conversation takes place between a shopkeeper and a customer simply out of politeness - and the usual subjects are all the normal ones - the weather - the football - and the shopkeeper will naturally be interested in your purchases - it's his business to find out if he could sell you more of anything - so the natural question ' why are you buying so many balloons ' or the guess type of question - ' are you throwing a party then ' are perfectly normal ways in which the shopkeeper will try to make conversation. If the shopkeeper has only bought fifty of the balloons you have chosen - and you have just bought forty of them - he will want to know if you are going to want this quantity every week or every month... or never again - he wants to know if he needs to get some more from his suppliers.

Although many people know that balloon popping phobia exists it is unlikely that the shopkeeper is in any way suspicious of your purchase - and of course even if he is suspicious then it is none of his business anyway so it is extremely unlikely that anyone would ever ask you outright if there was any unusual purpose for the balloons - other people get embarrassed about personal matters that they don't understand too.

Often the best approach to buying balloons if you feel at all uncomfortable about it is to say nothing about your purchase but to have a 'story' ready in case you are asked why you are buying the balloons. I feel that this is particularly important if you have suffered ridicule about 'being scared of balloons' - such put-downs are not only most uncomfortable for you - they are also unhelpful to you in your search for a cure - so your 'story' should be 'normal' - say that you are buying them for a friend who is having a kid's party, or think up your own 'reason' for the purchase - but have the 'story' reasonably complete in your mind - the shopkeeper may ask more questions such as 'is it going to be a large party' - so you may need to have the answer to that ready - but remember that it is still actually none of his business so you can always answer with 'I don't know' to any further questions.

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