This week’s Spin-Cycle topic, is about Fear. My fear, y’all, is kinda silly. I’m afraid of the phone. Well, not really the phone. I know the phone isn’t going to turn into some kind of wild-eyed little creature and attack me. I’m just afraid to make phone calls.

I didn’t realize, until I started researching it, that my phobia is one that is shared by so many other people. There are actually social networks on the Internet to help “the sufferers” of this condition. Great. So now I have another condition along with menopause, shift work sleep disorder, clicky elbow, morton’s neuroma, dark circles under my eyes, chronic constipation, saggy turkey neck, an adult child with ADHD, age spots, wrinkles, drooping knees, hyperhomocysteinemia, adult acne, abandonment issues, a stepchild with separation anxiety, and the whole burden of being southern…to worry about.

Wiki describe this as: fear of confrontation (why are you calling me?) , fear of ridicule (why do I want to talk to you?), fear of mis-communication (what if I mispronounce something and sound stupid?), fear of being misunderstood (southern slang is hard to “get” sometimes), fear of misunderstanding, fear of forgetting what you wanted to convey, and fear of forgetting what you were told while on the phone.

While I can relate to all of this, I’m pretty much just afraid of calling you at a bad time. Who knows what you might be doing? You could be eating, having a romantic interlude, sleeping, going potty, or tweezing your eyebrows. It feels rude to interrupt folks at times like that, and, as every southerner knows, the only thing worse than getting mad is being rude.

Now if you call me, that’s another story. Obviously you want to talk to me, but what if I can’t think of anything to say? A long lull in the conversation would be tacky and awkward. You might think you called during a bowel movement and how embarrassing would that be? I always write down everything I want to talk about if I DO make a call, but when someone calls me, there’s no notes to go by. This produces more fear.

So just know that if I’ve ever called you, I have endured a good day of working myself all up over it, a long internal debate about what would be the best time to call so as not to get you off the toilet or out of the bed, 30 minutes of plain old heart pounding, hand shaking fear, writing and re-writing the number (so I don’t call THE WRONG NUMBER….another whole kettle of fear to deal with…talking to a stranger!) writing down and rehearsing what I want to say and a few minutes of meditation. Plus, I really had to be in the mood to talk to you.

Nevermind. I’ll most likely never call, y’all. Thank God and Baby Jesus for the internet.

11 thoughts on “Phone-phobia

  1. That is so how I feel much of the time. usually I swallow the fear and go ahead and call, but so often I don’t call because I’m worried of many of those things! Wow! OK. Totally thought I was a freak. Which I am….but…you know…I’m not the only “freak” now.

    I know part of this was serious, but many of your side comments just cracked me up!

  2. I am not a fan of the telephone. People call me, but I rarely call others. I’m just like that … love me or love me. 😛

    I even have a hard time with face-to-face conversation sometimes.

    But I’ll type myself silly. Go figure.

  3. Not to mention how the fear of the call forces you to delay calling, which then produces a new fear of when you finally do call, there being that huge gap in time and having the other person wonder why the heck you’re waiting until just now to call. So you should probably not call at all.

  4. Ha, I feel this way when I call to make appointments, I usually come off sounding like an idiot no matter what. I think I GIVE people phone phobias, my family and friends aren’t allowed to call until after the kids are in bed and if they call during dinner/bedtime look out!

  5. It’s a good phobia. I hate using the phone when I know somebody else will hear me. I don’t know what that is, but there it is. I don’t use the phone all that much any more. I much prefer texting, emailing, twitter, etc. I’m more annoyed than anything when the phone rings these days.

  6. Wow, Ging…I never knew this about you. And I could have written every word of your post! I wasn’t always this way, but somehow over the years I’ve developed a fear of the phone. I hate even calling my mom!

  7. Working in a call center for 10+ years, I too have a fear of the phone. Mine is more dealing with making calls to people that I don’t know. It feels too much like my old job I guess and who wants to relive memories of previous employment? Maybe annoyance is better than fear, an annoyance born of fear of the unknown perhaps.

    If I know you, then you know me and probably know that I hate being on the phone, so I’ll just wait for you to call me. If I don’t pick up, then I’m probably busy, or didn’t hear the phone, or I’m not home, or just don’t feel like talking. Probably best to send an email, or Myspace if it’s important.

  8. I blame the internet. Emailing, chatting, twittering, etc. has allowed us all to become unsocially social.

    I don’t fear the phone as much as it just annoys me. I just don’t like having it stuck to my head while someone chatters in my ear about nothing. If I could get calls that say what the people need to say, reply what I need to reply, bid each other a happy day and move along, it would be fine. I don’t like small talk.

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