So, I searched ‘telephone phobia’ in google, hoping to find something to use for a witty title, and found that I actually do have a telephone phobia. According to Wikipedia, telephonophobia is “a fear or reluctance of making or taking phone calls”. For the longest time, I’ve simply referred to this as my 'telephone thing' but I’m pretty sure now that it’s a phobia.
I hate using the phone. Having to make a phone call makes me so anxious that my palms start to sweat, and I get shaky. I put it off for as long as possible and try to script what I’m going to say. But I still can’t control or predict what the other person will say, how they will react. After most phone calls, I spend time analyzing what I said and fretting over how I could have said whatever I did say better, how I could have expressed myself more clearly, or wishing I hadn’t said something at all.
There are only two people I’m comfortable on the phone with, and I’m still reluctant to actually make the calls myself with these two: my mom, and my best friend of over eleven years. I do have some level of comfort with other close family members, but not as much as the two previously mentioned.
I prefer to talk in person or send a text/email then talk over the phone, even though hearing a voice is more personal than the later methods of communication. I fear having nothing to say, and the resulting awkward silences. I fear saying the wrong thing, whatever that is. I fear what the person on the other end is going to say.
I’ve dealt with this for years, and it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this. I still have no idea what, if anything, to do about it.