In 2018, Twitter user M. Molly Backes used the term "an impossible task" to describe how it feels when a seemingly mundane thing becomes overwhelming, no matter how simple it should theoretically be.

3 days ago, Redditor u/WinstonChurchillin decided to revisit this idea with a new spin. In a post on r/AskReddit, they asked, "What makes you nervous no matter how many times you do it?" And it went viral. Turns out, impossible tasks are pretty universal!

From walking behind a woman on a quiet street to going on job interviews, here are some of the most popular answers.

#1

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time When my boss goes 'can we just have a quick chat?'

zagreus9 , Roland Samuel Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

Every single time

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Dr. Tamar Chansky, who is a licensed psychologist and the Founder of the Children's and Adult Center for OCD and Anxiety in Plymouth Meeting, PA, told Bored Panda that anxiety is a universal human experience. "We all have the capacity to feel fear, stress, and anxiety, and we all do," Dr. Chansky said.

But the source of these emotions can vary from person to person. "Individual differences come up with our thresholds for anxiety and also for the content of anxiety. A person stresses about interpersonal relationships but may have no fear about rock climbing or bungee jumping. Another may have no trouble swimming in the middle of the ocean, but gets stressed about deadlines or jumps at a spider," the psychologist explained.

#2

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Walking out of a store without buying anything!

KillerJupe , Fikri Rasyid Report

Joe Christea
Community Member
1 month ago

At some stores when you buy nothing you still need to actually go through one of the check outs to get out the exit door!

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#3

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Driving in between two semi trucks on the freeway. Bonus points if one or both is carrying a bunch of logs.

princess_mediocrity , Caleb Ruiter Report

A.J Milne
Community Member
1 month ago

Fina Destination thoughts

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The author of Freeing Your Child from Anxiety and Freeing Yourself from Anxiety said, "Genetics plays a part in setting our anxiety thresholds as to what we react to and how strongly, but our experiences can as well."

Someone who has lived in protracted stressful situations can become much more reactive to even minor stressful situations. "People who have survived traumatic experiences and the like, their nervous system is primed for threat, and reminders of the traumatic event or other stressful situations can trigger what feels like uncontrollable anxious reactions — before they can even think or realize what is happening," Dr. Chansky said.

"Fortunately, anxiety disorders are the most treatable psychiatric condition, so please talk to your doctor, or find resources and information, including on my website TamarChansky.com and adaa.org."

#4

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time At meetings when they say, “Ok, everyone, let’s go around the room and introduce yourself.” Even worse when they require stupid things like, “Include your favorite food and why you like it” or “Tell us why you’re here.” Uhhh…because it’s mandatory?

DareWright , Dylan Gillis Report

Friday
Community Member
1 month ago

I’m an introvert and I absolutely loathe environments like this. Why am I here? Because you sent the meeting request ffs

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#5

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Trying to mingle/start conversations in social settings where I don't know anybody.

leroystrong32 , Brooke Cagle Report

River Webb
Community Member
1 month ago

me and my introverted ass absolutely agree with this

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#6

Poop in someone else’s house or away from home

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

I feel this.

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However, if you relate to the people on this list and also freak out in everyday situations, don't beat yourself up over it. "While we might think that we can get used to things that make us anxious — and we can, and we do — that's not necessarily how it always happens," Dr. Chansky highlighted. "There is a 'sweet spot' for overcoming anxiety. The anxiety level has to be not too high (or too low) and then we can learn to see that the situation is manageable and control our reactions, actually 'right size' them and bring that experience into our comfort zone."

The psychologist suggests thinking about it like this: if a person who is afraid of dogs is exposed over and over again to a big, loud dog, they are going to get more and more anxious with each confrontation. But on the other hand, if they are exposed to a little dog, or even a sleeping dog (maybe even pictures of dogs), their nervous system will learn, through experience, that they are safe and won't have a disproportionate reaction. Eventually, the category of 'dog' will change in their mind through gradual exposure and the fear will diminish.

But sometimes our inner demons can get the best of us. Especially now. In a review of 215 studies exploring the ways Covid-19 affects the brain and mental health, the researchers found very high numbers of patients reporting symptoms of mental health issues like depression (23%) and anxiety (16%). "Even though it's expected, anxiety has spiked in the pandemic," Dr. Chansky added. If you feel like you can't manage, please seek help and support. You can start by learning new strategies for managing worry and anxiety, and can find them here.

#7

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Drive in front of a police officer when I have no reason to be nervous.

DapperCam , Anmol Teja Report

Repel
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

This has to be an American thing. Here in the Netherlands I am more often annoyed at a police car passing me at 5 km over the speed limit. Feel like reporting them to their boss :-0

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#8

Standing up for myself. Not sure if it's how I was raised or lingering PTSD from a violent childhood event or whatever but my adrenaline immediately spikes expecting a confrontation, even when just politely asking someone not to speak me in a certain tone or whatever.

Every damn time

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Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

It is easier to defend a friend than yourself

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#9

Let’s break ourselves into small groups and…

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Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

...and have one person per group do all the work whil the others giggle ;)

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#10

Phone Calls

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John Juan
Community Member
1 month ago

"Phone" is my least favorite app on my phone.

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#11

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Answering the door. Sometimes I just don’t.

cannabisandcocktails , Mel Elías Report

Softsquatch
Community Member
1 month ago

its a millenial/gen z thing. most of my friends whatsapp me to say they're outside instead of knocking. tf

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#12

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Calling off work

LumosNox116 , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Daria B
Community Member
1 month ago

Calling in general. ♡

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#13

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Walking over a storm drain with my keys in my hand

Groovy_Chainsaw , Andreea Popa Report

Vasana Phong
Community Member
1 month ago

Just walking over it period, always think with my luck I’ll fall right through

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#14

Approaching a green light that has been green too long but you are getting to the distance where you don't know whether or not you should stop or if you can stop

SynnamonSunset Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

It doesn't make me nervous but there is a real "will it, wont it".

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#15

Job interviews.

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Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

Interviews aren't so bad, but there are a few questions that really tick me off. Like "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" I don't even know if I'll still be alive in 5 years, anything can happen...

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#16

Surprise guests.

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

The worst!

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#17

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Merging onto a busy highway

WhoRunTheWorld_Dogs , Nikola Markelov Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh, I hate that, I really do! Even I try to keep calm now I'm in the sixth decade of my life

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#18

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time When my someone says to me "can I be honest with you?"

No, lie to me, please!

Worldly_Ambition_509 , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

I have responded "no" to this before. Boundaries are good. Sometimes I don't have the energy for someone's honesty at the moments. Maybe later. But in that exact moment, no. I've even followed up with, "Please lie to me." It's a great sentence to lighten the mood and people will tone down their brutal honesty.

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#19

Using an (I think) aluminum measuring tape but especially when clicking the button to make it roll back into its case. At the speed it recoils, I’m scared the tape will slice my hand right open.

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

If you're nervous, know you can always help feed it back in. If you hold onto the tape with your other hand, you can slow it down considerably.

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#20

Finding a tick on my body....

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Karin Lange
Community Member
1 month ago

this is pure horror!!

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#21

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Calling someone on the phone. I'm a fairly outgoing person and I love talking to people, but I rely a lot on seeing a person's face and observing their body language, which isn't possible on the phone. Voicemails are less terrible, but I still panic a little because if I mess up while leaving a message, the other person has a freaking recording of me being really awkward. I'm so thankful texting exists.

smugmisswoodhouse , Marília Castelli Report

John Juan
Community Member
1 month ago

I'll say it again. "Phone" is my least favorite app on my phone.

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#22

Public speaking

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Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

I have learned that when you first confess to the people that you are nervous, you have won them over a bit and they will laugh or smile and help you get over your fears!

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#23

The dentist, no matter how many times I go there it's always stressful

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Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm also terrified but it's very important to find the right doctor!the last years i have a great one and the procedure is a lot less stressful

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#24

Starting a new job, because I can't stand the first few weeks where I don't know what I'm doing. But I love walking into a job after 6 months or so when I might as well own the place cause they can't operate without me!

han7nah Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

I think everyone feels that way!

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#25

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Going into small businesses that I haven't been in before

plscallmeRain , Mike Petrucci Report

Joe Christea
Community Member
1 month ago

It sucks because you'll get the "may I help you sir?", you'll say "just browsing", then you might not find anything to buy and feel ashamed for walking out empty handed!

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#26

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Parallel parking

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
1 month ago

this is just a practise make perfect thing

JessG
Community Member
1 month ago

Yup, it's not that difficult imo, just practice

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Linus Nilsson
Community Member
1 month ago

Modern cars, that signals if you get too close, make it too easy to parallel park. Some cars even have a rearview camera!

Daria B
Community Member
1 month ago

Here in Korea, from what I noticed, almost every car is equipped with a rearview camera, gps screens, sensors and such stuff, I just thought this was the 21st century standard for nowadays cars. Then I visited Croatia and no cars had any of these and I was like "oooohhhhhh"..... Yeah, different living standards. But eventually, I believe Croatia will get there. Needing some time to get a whole country on its feet.

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Charlotte Bednard
Community Member
1 month ago

Don't have this..... only because my does it for me :)

Mark Kelly
Community Member
1 month ago

I can do it but worse when it's on a busy street with traffic waiting.

Amanda Sherland
Community Member
1 month ago

I can't even regular park. I always end up too close to one side because I'm afraid ill hit the car next to me.

TK 421
Community Member
1 month ago

Is it acceptable practice to call to have the other car towed? Maybe that would help

Heather Evans
Community Member
1 month ago

My solution for the last 40 years of my driving career? Never parallel park unless there's more than one vacant space in a row

Les Morrow
Community Member
1 month ago

...with other people watching. I can do it all day when no one is around but when there are people walking around, I feel like I'm on display.

Robert Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

....with a short trailer, with people watching.....

Thay
Community Member
1 month ago

Never have. Never will. Lol I have tried so many times. So many people tried helping me. Idk what it is but i SUCK at reversing anything, anywhere

Michigan Guy
Community Member
1 month ago

lord. yes, everyone hates this. til they learn? once you get it, it's...well, there's really not much to it. i guess it's a lack of education? if a dude with nazi tattoos can do it in a big rig...you can surely do it in a little car, SUV, whatever. you obvs have the internet. it's waaaayyyy simpler than it feels, when you're nervous. look. practice...

Grant Barke
Community Member
1 month ago

I have never had a problem with this no matter what car I drive.

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
1 month ago

Avoid it, I will drive a mile just to find a different space.

Andrew Dunne
Community Member
1 month ago

My car (a Nissan Qashqai) can do it for me.

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#27

Coming out of my room when guests are visiting.

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Linus Nilsson
Community Member
1 month ago

Especially if you live alone

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#28

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Climbing a ladder

wert38 , Ethan Johnson Report

Joe Christea
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Climbing the ladder to stand on the roof is the easy part! Getting back on the ladder backwards and coming down without killing yourself is the terrifying part!

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#29

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Using my table saw. Even though I am a Carpenter.

jakobrivers , Samantha Fortney Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

Better cautious than one-armed!

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#30

Cutting my infants fingernails.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

Omg yes, I accidentally clipped my daughters finger when she was a baby coz she moved just as I went to clip the nail. I cried more than she did coz I felt so awful.

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#31

Coming face to face with people in my apartment building. After being in lockdown and working from home I’ve become covid stupid. I’m not able to even get out a hello.

No-Grocery-7606 Report

Repel
Community Member
1 month ago

I forgot how to speak. Can only type.

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#32

Flirt, ask someone out.

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Linus Nilsson
Community Member
1 month ago

You see someone you like, you meet, start talking, you build an interest in the person, start interpreting the small signals, build up your courage, ask him/her out and they say no... The mental stake is high, and you lost. It will take a while to rebuild your bank. Of course it's scary!

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#33

Going to local bars when I’m not a local lol. Those mfs can like smell you’re not from there even if you live the town over. They all stare at you like you’re an outside who needs to leave. So strange.

Luna1636 Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

That's why I LOVE big cities. Anonymity wherever you go. And if you make a fool of yourself at the bar 1) it's unlikely anyone will remember & 2) if it was really that bad, there's 100 more bars within walking distance. Try one of those instead.

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#34

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Walking behind a woman on a quiet street.

turkeysub3000 , Dương Nhân Report

LottieH
Community Member
1 month ago

If you feel nervous walking behind a woman on a quiet street then imagine how she is feeling, stop and wait a few minutes or cross the road. Give her a bit of space and you will both feel better about it.

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#35

Things-Make-Nervous-Every-Time Killing a spider

Blooregard89 , Егор Камелев Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

Then don`t do it

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Note: this post originally had 68 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.