Phone Confessions

I’ve been missing for a little bit, haven’t I?  That was partially intentional, and partially just a result of not presently possessing my own laptop.  The “intentional” bit is that I’ve had a few things going on lately and I’ve been choosing to spend less time online and instead either spend it working on those things or sleeping…but mostly it’s that I just don’t own a laptop right now.

Since it’s been so long between posts, I thought I’d use this time we have together (whatever that time is for you) to share something about myself.  A confession, if you will…

I’m afraid of the telephone.

There.  I said it.  And before anyone says anything, it’s not a fear that the phone is somehow going to kill me or that I was raped by a telephone when I was in Middle School or something…I just don’t like talking on it.  I think I’m afraid that either I’m going to sound like an idiot or that the person on the other end is going to tell me something I don’t want to hear.  And unfortunately it is sometimes paralyzing.  I’m not kidding about that.

I am somewhat okay when the phone rings and I recognize the number on the caller ID.  I can pick it up and have a semi-reasonable conversation.  I think I figure that the person on the other end is a friend and/or acquaintance and they’re calling me with something in mind to talk about, so there’s no pressure on me to carry the conversation…  But if I’M the one who has to make the call…if I’M the one who is socially obligated to have things to say, situations to describe, and a back-story to support whatever I’m talking about…it’s a different story.

In any given situation where I am the one who has to pick up the phone and call someone, it takes me about 10 minutes to a half-hour to psyche myself into it.  And that’s with FRIENDS and FAMILY.  If it’s a stranger, it might take as much as an hour from the moment when I realize I need to call someone…

I can’t really pin-point why.  I’ve been shy my entire life…and I guess that just translates to the phone as well.  I can deal with printed mediums a lot better.  I can e-mail or Facebook or text within seconds/minutes of receiving something from you.  (In fact, I’m so quick on that sometimes that I end up putting it off a while, just so people won’t think I spend all my time sitting in front of a computer, desperately hoping they’ll e-mail me.)  But when it comes to the phone…to actual communication…  I suck.

As you can imagine, this problem has created some really awful circumstances in the past. For example…  My Grandma constantly accuses me of not calling her enough…  And she’s right.  I don’t…because I’m afraid of the phone.  Or another example…  My job requires that I call people frequently.  Tow lots…claimants…clients…whatever…  I make all of my phone calls at the same time during the day, because I have to physically and mentally prepare myself to do it.  And when something requires a phone call and I’m not in the time-frame I’ve already set aside for phone calls, I get sweaty, nervous, anxious…my heart rate increases, my confidence shrinks…  It’s really very miserable.

I think the only people I’m comfortable calling off-the-cuff are my brother and my dad…and that’s just because they already KNOW I’m an idiot and have somehow chosen not to judge me for it.

And I know there’s someone out there reading this right now screaming “FIRST WORLD PROBLEM!!!”  And yes, I know…  There are people starving in Africa or whatever…  But y’know what?  I LIVE in the freaking first-world, so the problems I have ARE real, and your sad attempt to minimize them by providing “perspective” doesn’t really matter…in fact, if that does anything, it just makes me feel like MORE of a jackass for the fact that I support missionaries in war-torn, impoverished areas, yet I can’t confidentially pick up a goddamn phone.  So you’re not helping.  Dick.

So…I guess what I’m getting at is that if you call me and I don’t answer…call again the next day, because I’m unlikely to call you back…because the phone is scary, and I don’t want to pick it up.

The end.


Current Listening:

  • Deer Tick – Divine Providence
  • Black Keys – El Camino
  • Lou Reed – Set the Twilight Reeling

2 thoughts on “Phone Confessions”

  1. Good post. This jumped out at me:

    “But when it comes to the phone…to actual communication… I suck.”

    You used this sentence when comparing to email/Facebook, and you may be classifying those other methods as less real, or non-actual communication. As a fellow geek I use the defense that these ARE real types of communication, they are just different and less traditional. SO my point is that they are just as valid as a phone call.

    Is there something more emotional about a letter versus an email? Certainly. Is there some things that are easier to say with your live voice versus a text message? Sure. But don’t pretend they are less “real”, just different. You write really well, so communicating what needs to be said (even in Twitter’s 140 character limit) is easier when you are typing.

    1. All valid points with which I completely agree…and with some egg on my face, that should have read, “But when it comes to the phone…to actual real-time communication…” 🙂

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