That time I was accused of shoplifting

Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. Blah blah blah…


For the record, Hitch (Will Smith) did NOT say “blah, blah, blah” but the point of that quote is he talked about stealing and I have NOT stolen anything from a store. Never ever ever. Ever never never. But…

One time a store employee followed me out and discretely asked me to give back what I took.

I responded with a weak declaration of innocence. I know why he assumed I took something– when I leave a store without buying anything, I assume they think I stole something because who leaves without buying something? Well, I’m sure lots of people do but every time I leave empty-handed I look and feel guilty, even though I’m never guilty! Gosh, I would soooo fail any lie detector test even if I was not lying.

It’s the weirdest, and most annoying, feeling that still happens to this very day.

I don’t know exactly how to get past the discomfort I feel when I leave without spending money at any particular place of business. But folks, this might be a shocker, but there are times I go in to a store and don’t find anything I went there for. Come to think about it, I feel this same uneasiness when I go to an estate sale but don’t buy something. The estate sale thing isn’t a feeling of guilt, exactly… more of a feeling that I owe them something since they did all this work to label everything and I’m audacious enough to not, at least, spend a few dollars.

I’m just socially awkward. That’s all it is. There is circumstance after circumstance where I don’t want to talk or have anyone’s attention and that’s just how it is! Of course, there are also moments I thrive around people, but that’s more rare. I suppose in concert with that is the need to appear likable. To come off as a decent person… caring what people think. In the suspicious shoplifting situations, I worry about looking guilty which probably makes me act differently, making me look guilty.

Do you have any advice or tricks that can make me look less guilty, and feel more comfortable around people at all times? Something that can help me leave a store where I didn’t spend money without having shame? Share in the comments below! Also, go watch Hitch if you haven’t yet. It’s a great movie.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

Published by Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes an 13-year-old beagle and an 11-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

4 thoughts on “That time I was accused of shoplifting

  1. Funny quote! I remember it well.
    As far as advice, I’d say stop worrying what others think of you so much. I say that as I’m telling myself the same thing, just so you know I’ve felt it too. But seriously why is that what’s on your mind? They didn’t have what you wanted so you left. That’s their problem for not having it, not your problem they have an imaginary clepto.


    1. Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure why my mindset is like that. I appreciate your advice so much! I can only remember stealing something when I was a child and didn’t know any better. I don’t think this has anything to do with that, though.


  2. No advice, but I feel how you do 100%. I am grateful no one has ever accused me of stealing something. My socially dysfunctional self would have ended up confessing to a crime I didn’t commit. Do you ever feel like this at places you do buy items at?


    1. That’s a really good question. I have actually never thought about that… but now that I do, sometimes I think they assume I bought something, then added things to the grocery bag as I was walking out. We have problems haha


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