Does anyone else have a horror of talking on the phone? I have hated using the phone since I was a child, although it is hard to pin down exactly why I dislike it so much. I think my main difficulty is 'reading' how a conversation is going when I can't see the other person. I pause for too long, or jump in too soon, or struggle to pick up crucial info from their tone - is this a bad time to call? am I making myself clear?
I am currently going through a work-related nightmare scenario where I have been asked to make loads of phone calls - in a situation I have always previously handled by email - and I feel stressed and anxious about all the time: anticipating the calls, making the calls, reflecting on the calls. It is supposed to be making everyone feel encouraged, but if any of the hapless recipients are like me they will be thoroughly put off!
I have always thought this was just a random failure on my part, but now I am wondering whether it is integral to my nature.
I have got a horror of talking on the phone.
I hate them with a passion.
I have always hated making and receiving phone calls.
I have a terrible fear of using the phone.
Thanks! You're right: practice is the key. Funnily enough I have just been dealing with a family emergency - not a major one and not close family, so a bit of adrenaline pumping but brain working reasonably well! - and with that energy propelling me, I had no difficulty picking up the phone and calling a complete stranger at the other end of the country.
My mother's consistent grumble about my not answering the phone is that 'it might be an emergency' to which my stock response is 'if it is an emergency, call 999. The hospital will call me'. I think she thinks I'm joking...
I'm sorry to hear that, though selfishly quite glad that I am not the only one! I am getting the impression from this thread that fear of phones is 'normal' for me. I wish I had known that. I think I could perhaps be bolder about saying 'no, I don't do phones'.
Thank you for the reply!
I must say that I am also selfishly quite glad that I am not the only one!
I think it is normal! I love e-mails. I can also handle SMS.
I also wish I had known that earlier. I tried so hard to fit in. That caused me extreme stress and anxiety. I was simply damaging my mental and physical health.
Now I say that ''I don't do phones''.
I am much happier. Although, sometimes I cannot achieve something, but I cannot achieve everything anyway.
What matters the most is to be happy.
A big problem is emergencies as I cannot call and I do not know what to do with them.
Once, before, I discovered that I am autistic and what that means, I called to the NHS's 111. OMG, that was an absolute disaster. I almost got a nervous breakdown. That was a horrible experience.
Urgh, yes, though to be honest I am not sure that NHS 111 wouldn’t tip anyone over the edge. Once when I was away from home I became seriously ill - though I didn’t initially know it was serious - and called to find out what I should do. I was in a city in northern England but because I couldn’t give them a postcode for the B&B I was in, they couldn’t process my location. They kept telling me to report to a hospital in an entirely different city in an entirely different part of northern England!! No thanks to them that I survived to tell the tale...
I don't really fear phones. Just fear answering a phone. I often go into a panic when it rings, who is it? What do they want
I often go out shopping without a phone. Why would I need a phone with me when I'm just going for an hour around streets I know by heart?
I use my phone for other purposes: web browsing, this website, GPS mapping software.
Voice calls I dislike. It's difficult to get things done on a phone. A few years ago a friend try to call a taxi from my flat. The taxi firm refused to come. They claimed my postcode did not exist.
I fear phone calls if I don't already know what they're about. At work I've told people that if I don't know why they're ringing I'm unlikely to answer the call so if they do need me to leave a voicemail and I'll get back to them.
Have you told your manager that you find phone calls very difficult to handle? Don't feel forced to do something that causes you stress - if your manager is good, then they will know that they need to get the best of their workers, and that means placing them in the roles that they perform best in!x
Much love <3
Thanks RSxo. I think you have crystallised the dilemma for me. Of course, I should tell my manager this, so why didn't I? I have been trading off in my head the two discomforts - the discomfort of phoning vs the discomfort of the Difficult Conversation and its consequences. When the phone calls were still a few weeks off, I was able to minimise the future discomfort in my head and tell myself that the conversation with my boss was too awkward. Now I am experiencing the pain of the phoning discomfort and realise I made a misjudgement! Not that the conversation wouldn't be awkward, but it looks a lot less 'relatively awkward' from here. Next time I will come to this group for advice first :-)
I hate having to either make a call to someone i don't know or pick up when i don't know who it is. I'm even awkward talking to people i know really well. I struggle with timings the same as you, when is it my turn, how much should i say in one go, how to start, how to end etc. Waiting for a call leaves me very anxious as i don't know when i will have to deal with it. I've been told that i sound very monotone on the phone. I suppose that's because i'm concentrating! I have avoided making some calls entirely. If i can email i will do, because that gives me time to think. I'm not good with on the spot thinking. Good luck with your work task, i know i would find that very difficult.