Skip to Content

Why People Have a Fear of Answering the Door

Fear of answering the door is a lot more common than I thought. Perhaps the word “fear” is a little exaggerated in most cases.

For me, that unexpected knock sends a shot of adrenaline right through me. I usually hit the floor, duck, or some other wildly dramatic reaction if there’s a surprise visitor.

There’s been more than one occasion where the UPS delivery person walks past my window only to see me stare back like a deer in headlights.

Pretty eye peering through a peephole.

Reasons People Have a Fear of Answering the Door

Fear of answering the door happens for a lot of reasons. I think it’s a quite justified fear. You hear about fake service workers scamming people to get into homes all of the time.

Once they get in the door, it’s a home invasion where anything can happen. This is a double-edged paranoia, though.

Some criminals knock on the front door to see if anyone is home. If no one answers, they creep around to the back and break in.

So, there’s also fear of not answering the door. So, what are some reasons we get nervous to answer the door and how can we make ourselves feel safer?

Creepy Criminals Knocking

Obviously, the scenario I stated above is the biggest concern in most cases. If the person knocking means you harm, clearly, we don’t want to remove that barrier between us. 

Criminals are bold. They don’t seem to care about daylight, busy streets, or even dogs. I recommend installing a peephole with a camera, or a video doorbell.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 01:55 pm GMT

There are cameras that will snap a picture if there’s any movement in front of your door. The video doorbell allows you to see who’s there before you choose to answer.

Let them know, too. Put a sign up that lets them know they are on camera. If they know you have a snapshot of their face stored, it should deter them from whatever evil they had in mind.

Surprise Visitors Showing Up

People who know me know not to “just stop by.” In this day and age when even most 8-year-olds have cell phones, there’s no need to not call or text first.

Of course, every house is different, but if you do a tuck and roll maneuver every time someone knocks, don’t be ashamed to tell your loved ones. Tell friends and family you prefer calls first.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 11:30 am GMT

Put up a sign to make it crystal clear how you feel about knocking on the door. Give clear instructions for mail and deliveries, so they don’t feel the need to let you know a package has arrived.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 01:45 pm GMT

Unwanted Solicitations at the Door

If you struggle already with socializing, the last thing you want is to handle a solicitor. Honestly, I cannot believe people still try to sell door-to-door.

I am all for ambition, but I think the hustle energy needs to be spent elsewhere. Door-to-door sales need to retire.

Even if people don’t have a fear of answering the door, there are sleeping babies, people who work nights, and crazy dogs to take into consideration.

Again, hang a sign. Simple “no soliciting” signs seem to be invisible. Get something clever that they won’t miss.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 11:00 am GMT

Also, call your village. In a lot of cases, a permit is required to solicit in the village. If your town has a Facebook group, post in there, too.

We have one where people will report if the Street Meat guy is out at it again and the mayor shuts that nonsense down quickly.

Embarassed by a Messy House

Afraid someone will discover the hot mess express that you’re living in? People never stop by after a day of cleaning. That’s just not how timing works.

If you’re embarrassed by the state of your home, keep in mind that most decent people won’t judge you for that. Life is busy and nearly impossible to keep up with everything.

Own it. Come right out and tell the person that you’re well aware your house is a mess. I swear, once you acknowledge something it can no longer be used against you with as much power.

However, if maintaining a clean house will help you alleviate some anxiety when answering the door, make that happen.

Hire a cleaning service if it’s within your budget. Rearrange your schedule to make cleaning a priority.

I use Asana (a free project management software) to assign household chores to myself throughout the month.

By breaking down the tasks, it’s a lot less overwhelming than tackling the whole house. Give other family members tasks, as well. It’s a group effort.

Ashamed that You’re a Mess

Similar to the state of the house, what if you look less than presentable for company? Again, avoid the door or explain yourself.

Honestly, I think it’s weird if people are in business casual attire at home. If I’m at home, it’s comfy pants all the way. Don’t ever be ashamed for being comfortable in your own home.

Make a habit to get dressed first thing in the morning if this is a concern of yours. Any effort is worth it if it sets you up for less fear throughout the day. Protecting your mental health is the top priority here.

Try not to stress over appearances, though. Most people are thinking about themselves, and are not worried at all about how you look. If they are, well, that’s a them problem.

If you have a fear of answering the door, let me know why and what you do to help your situation. 


Tuesday 17th of October 2023

When I was growing up, my mom (especially when my dad was out of town), would always have my brother and I stay away from the door. She would typically handle it or leave it alone. Mainly due to the fact we always had dogs in the house so they would leave us alone. It was rare when my mom wouldn't want to answer the door due to some reason or another. I feel like it just somehow rattles me and I get anxious in general over it. Had someone mention it to me and I realized it stems from being hyper focused on a task or just get anxious in general. I've always been on guard or just an overly expressive face.


Friday 20th of October 2023

I totally get that! Also, I think it's normal and quite valid to get anxious if someone shows up unannounced... especially these days!

🚨 le

Thursday 22nd of June 2023

My mother had this fear after she and dad separated. I would hide with her. it seems like it had to do with shame by it never made sense of it


Friday 23rd of June 2023

I'm sorry to hear you both went through that. I can relate to shame manifesting in all kinds of ways, so I get it!


Saturday 17th of December 2022

I too have a fear of answering the door.. part of that is from my past experiences I had an x-boyfriend that kind of stalked me and would ring and ring my door bell and knock on the windows and doors. Other times I'm just chilling in my pjs or my house might be kinda messy. I'll answer the door if I know I'm expecting someone but otherwise a call or text is nicer. Plus I work midnight shift so people are always bothering my sleeping with the annoying sound of the door bell. But like you say home invaders or pushy sales people or people who say they have to check one of your appliances and just let themselves in without you inviting them in and won't leave when asked is a real happend to my co-workers wife they had to threaten calling the cops and having their large son throw them out before they'd leave.


Friday 23rd of December 2022

Hi Kate, Oh my gosh that's so terrifying. Also, completely understandable that you would have this fear after your experiences. These days, I think it's just better to be cautious when opening the door for strangers!


Monday 15th of April 2019

This is me through and through. I love this article. It is well written, humorous and I enjoyed reading it. It made some very good points. Very well written and informative article.


Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Thank you!!! Sorry you can relate, but we sure aren't alone!