I speak for many of you when I say that I find it super difficult to defecate, or “poop” in public.
In high school, “going number two” was equivalent to getting 100's on my Calculus tests: super difficult, stressful and it never happens. So it wasn’t much of a surprise that one of my biggest fears in college is pooping in the communal bathrooms.
For years I’ve questioned the legitimacy of this fear. What was I even afraid of? I was afraid people were going to think I was gross and smelly. I was afraid my dorm mates were going to judge me and my poop sounds.
You might be thinking, 'Michelle, that’s just silly, and not to mention, very bad for your health' -- and that’s absolutely correct. When I got to campus, I knew I was going to have to poop eventually, and so I did. It was definitely uncomfortable at first, but I’m getting used to it day by day.
So how did I do it? How did I transition from shying away from pooping in public bathrooms to accepting the practice?
It's simple, remind myself every day that pooping is something that every human being does; it’s like breathing or blinking. Even animals do it! Kudos to dogs who do it right on the streets!
And I learned that no one cares if you poop. Think of it this way: if you were to walk in on someone pooping in one of the bathroom stalls, would you care? So embrace the fact that everyone does it and so will you! If you're worried about the smell, you can always order some poo-pourri to spray before you go.
But if you still feel super uncomfortable about the whole idea, I have a couple of tips and tricks for you.
1. Go when no one is there
Have a quick peek around first and if the coast is clear, then it should almost feel like pooping right at home!
2. Go when someone is showering
When the shower is on, no one else can really hear any sounds that might come out of you during the whole defecating process.
3. Lay a couple of strips of toilet paper across the bottom of the bowl
This is a beautiful trick I’ve learned through experience and online posts. If you’re afraid others will hear the embarrassing plops (which sound extra loud when the bathroom is dead silent), this trick really softens that blow.
4. Flush right before the turd reaches the toilet
If timed perfectly, loud toilet-flushing blocks out any sounds that would blow your cover.
5. Poop on a different floor or a different building
It’s a bit more of a workout, but sometimes, people feel more comfortable doing their business around other people they’ll probably never see again.