Fear of phones?

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.

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  • Thanks for all the responses, folks. I feel both reassured that I am not the only one with this fear-and-loathing, and at the same time even more worried about the distress I may be passing on down the line as I phone people who (potentially) don't want to be phoned! I have tried to handle that by emailing people to arrange a specific time to speak on the phone, so that I am not barging in and taking them by surprise, but then why use the phone at all? Grrrrr.

    I think I do need to have a conversation with my employer about it - although I am not quite sure how - because even if I manage to complete the task this time around, I know it will come up again in future. And frankly I am quite angry that they haven't thought this through, given the nature of the organisation and the huge range of people we are working with.

    On the other hand, part of my problem is that I have got so used to working on my own, and largely on my own terms, that I am simply out of practice in doing the things that one is normally expected to do out there in the world...