Why I Get Anxious When The Phone Rings

winona.jpgIt would be wonderful to think that I can pick up the phone when it rings without a care in the world. The truth is, picking up the phone is something that makes me quite anxious. Before I go into depth on when the phone rings, I am quite comfortable talking to those I am close to or am familiar talking to. However, I hope that when I look back on this post in a years time, I would of gotten over my anxiety when the phone rings. It seems like such a small, insignificant thing. Almost laughable. Yet, there are moments where my heart beats a little faster or I wonder what to say. There are moments where I wonder if I need to go into a room alone, or walk around to keep the flow. Then other moments I wonder if I should smile, so that my voice would sound happier.

It does seem strange doesn’t it? This mainly happens when an anonymous phone number is calling me. Could it be a company, a spam caller, an old friend or a wrong number? It also occurs, when I am sitting down, focused on a task. My creativity is on sky high and my mind is buzzing in the moment – but then, unexpectedly the phone rings and suddenly it breaks my train of thought. The peak of my productivity feels as if it has been cut off. This also happens if I’m reading or writing. It may also be due to my sensitive nature, in which most noises seem to resonate much louder in my mind. Then there is the struggle when you pick up the phone and are unable to decipher what someone says. No matter how many times one may say “Pardon, can you please repeat that”.

There have been many times I don’t pick a number I don’t know, because I don’t know who it may be from. There have been other times where I may get a phone call from someone I would rather not talk to. The thing about talking on the phone, is that there is no exit door. The only exit door is the hang up button, and well, for courtesy and manners we simply can’t go straight there. We nod, and make the mm, yes, ah and ok’s. Then, because I think before I speak (but sometimes too much so), there will be a slight pause before I answer. There is also the inability to sense the facial movement and body language of the person on the other side.

I’m the sort of person who will make a huge effort to email, text and even send a snail mail. I can speak smoothly and well within an email, however over the phone, I tend to stumble a little or make too many pauses. Most of the time, I pick up the phone, feeling as if I’m reciting lines in my head. The conversation often seems to go generically (with people I don’t know/well): “Hello”, “Hello”, “How are you today?” “Good thank you, How are you?”, “I’m well thank you…” . There have been moments where an unknown number calls me, and I will google the number. Sometimes it shows a business, a spam caller or someone from a different country.

These days I do my best to pick up calls from people and ignore the mysterious numbers. When they need to, they will email me or leave me a voice mail. A phone call often makes me feel as if I am forced to talk to a stranger I’ve never met. A person I hardly know. If I do pick up on rare occasion, sometimes it’s a kind voice with good news and other times it’s a survey or sales in which I need to politely refuse. I’m sure someday I will get over the feeling.

image of winona ryder in heathers 

10 thoughts on “Why I Get Anxious When The Phone Rings

  1. I so get this. I really don’t like the phone. It makes my heart beat faster, yep, makes me anxious. I don’t like having other people hear me when I’m on the phone and I get anxious when I make calls too. It isn’t with everyone, but overall, the phone is a great source of anxiety. I wish people understood this as they can get quite cross at me when I don’t answer or have my phone off. I think, if you only knew how much it stresses me out, you wouldn’t be so cross.

    1. I feel better that I’m not alone on this. Before I call someone, I tend to sort out what points I am going to say over in my mind. I understand that feeling – likewise it isn’t with everyone. Thank you for sharing your experience :)

  2. I can relate to this.

    I even feel awkward talking to my own girlfriend on the phone (as opposed to someone else’s girlfriend?) … Just kind of hate it.

    Unless there is something important to talk about, it just feels a bit pointless and I don’t like the feeling that I have to speak. And a phone vibrating can really feel like an intrusion on whatever I was doing before (usually reading or thinking about things).

    I’d rather speak to someone in person, or by written communication.

    1. There is something about talking on the phone that’s very different to speaking in person isn’t there? I can relate to the feeling of having to speak – sometimes writing expresses (in my experience) what I’m trying to say more clearly than speaking over the phone. Thanks for sharing your experience :)

  3. I don’t like the phone either. My cell phone doesn’t even ring unless it recognizes the number, and then I do try to answer. The home phone doesn’t have caller ID, though, so I usually let it go to the answering machine. Writing or in-person are much better ways to communicate, if you ask me.

    1. Thank you for you comment Marissa – I really enjoy reading your blog posts. I wonder if my phone has a setting to ring only when it recognises the number :)

  4. Omg this describes me so well too! I get really anxious talking to people on the phone as well, especially strangers. When a blocked number or ‘no caller ID’ calls me I always internally freak out a little because it could be anyone on the other end and a part of me doesn’t want to answer it because they could be a stranger. That being said, it could be someone you know who is just hiding their number so you won’t know it’s them…that’s when I start to internally list all the people I’ve talked to lately and wonder if it could be them!

    I always Google numbers that I can see have called me and most of the time they’re a business or company that I’ve never heard of – it makes me wonder how they got my number in the first place.

    Sorry for the long comment but I just wanted you to know that I read this and felt like it was describing me so well! So happy to know that I’m not the only one that feels this way about phone calls :) and also thank you so much for your lovely comments made on my blog, I really appreciate it! x

    1. Thank you for your comment – I loved reading it and I’m so happy you can relate to it as well. I am the same! I will always google numbers that I don’t know. It’s interesting isn’t it, how many of them are from companies (then I wonder how they were able to find my mobile number).

      I was reading your about page, and could relate to so many things. Eg. I am 20 as well! From Auckland, would love to write as a job, scared of surgical procedures, am a Taurus and an Introvert too :)

  5. Am on the same boat! I don’t like answering phone calls unless it is from a person that I’m very close with (of which there are very few) and if ever I need to call back, I always rehearse the dialogue a number of times before I pick up the courage to call. Sometimes I even write down exactly what I need to say just in case I become intimidated or my brain malfunctions. If they’re a scam caller and quite annoying, I have no problems with matching their annoyance and dishing it back to them, except I feel guilty moments after…
    Great post, by the way!

    1. Thanks for you comment! Sometimes it’s the combination of not being able to see their face, and talking to someone new for the first time. I am the same – I always go through the points that I need to say and if needed I will write them down in case I forget mid way. Xx

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