I have previously wondered aloud whether shy bladder is correlated with SSMV. It makes sense, after all, that the top dog in the pack will mark his territory wherever he pleases, and vice versa.
Anyway, that is neither here nor there. If you have this horrible affliction it is like having your own little Holocaust every time you need to use a public bathroom. But at least you can usually wait for the stall or wait for everyone else to leave, so it’s probably not as bad as those guys who can only poop at home, which could be compared to having your own little gulag.
But I’ve found I can actually override this and pee right next to weird strangers like a normal person, even without dividers between the urinals. I do this by overwhelming my sensory processing faculties with some extreme feat of imagination.
My favorite is to come up with an improvised piano song, and then bring up as vivid a picture as possible of the guy playing it. It’s not too difficult to imagine a dude playing piano, but where it gets tricky is trying to sync up the motions of his fingers, hands, and swaying body with the song you’re making up as you go.
Another one is to imagine what the other side of the wall must look like, combining deduction and educated guesses to come up with various building materials, wiring, and plumbing. I don’t like this one as much because it keeps me too aware of my surroundings, so it only works if I have to go pretty badly anyway.
Hopefully you get the idea from that. Try to get out of the moment as much as possible by daydreaming. It absolutely has to include a vivid visual element because we have huge visual processing centers, compared to the other senses. It doesn’t work every time or in every scenario- long ago I went to the bathroom at a baseball game and there was just this big trough and about forty dudes jostling for position. But it’ll get you about 80% of the way to normal functioning.
Weird aside- apparently I go to the bathroom way more often than other people, both numbers one and two. Sometimes I wonder if this is related to the fact that I never suffer hangovers.