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I am terrified of answering the phone if I don't know the number OR I'm expecting a call from someone. I don't like making phone calls either but I have the control of the phone call and when to make it etc. and usually I can find a way around making them so they don't bother me as much.

 

I've been waiting for a call from an employer about a job I am supposed to be starting sometime soon. I've been waiting nearly two months because I've been on my honeymoon and had some contract work in between finishing uni and starting this job.

I am terrified about her calling me with a start date. Literally on the loo terrified, dizzy, shakey... loss of appetite etc.

 

I am not in anyway being racist or anything here but she is foreign and the first time she phoned me about an interview I could hardly understand her and so I just said yes to everything and somehow it all worked out. Now I'm panicking about her calling with important info about my start day and I wont be able to understand everything she is saying and so I'll just sit there and be like 'sorry can you repeat that' which must sound awfully rude when done about 50 times in one phone call.

 

Or even worse, I'll sit there and just say okay, and then get off the phone not really knowing what the hell I'm supposed to do! She is nice and I'm sure she doesn't mind me asking her to to repeat things its just argh. I can't stop thinking about it.

 

And what's worse is that I ALWAYS have my phone on me, because if there is one thing that makes me panic more than phone call making and answering its having a missed call, because I know they'll call back.

 

She called me about 20 mins ago, I'd left my phone upstairs as I was cleaning the bathroom, I put the towels and stuff on a wash, I was gone for like a minute tops and bam. Missed call from her. I watched myself call her back but she didn't pick up. So now I'm waiting for her to call back and I'm a mess. I feel so pathetic... writing this is taking my mind off of it a little but I just can't stop worrying. 

A few times I've even had panic attacks after the phone call, like its almost relief. And I'm home alone and I really don't want that to happen! 

Edited by Paperskyscraper

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I feel you.

I don't have any rock solid advice, but just try to breathe. I don't answer blocked calls (my psychiatrist calls from a blocked number) and I hate it so damn much, so if I'm expecting to talk to them I make an exception. I think your'e right, the overthinking of the phone calls is the bad part, usually their over in a matter of minutes. If you have trouble understanding her on the phone, sometimes it's good to ask for a confirmation email. For some buisneses it's standard practise, then the information will be right there.I wish you good luck on your new job!

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i haven't found the magic answer to this either, but you're not alone.  i still struggle with the phone and have forever (it seems).  i recently attended a BP support group of ten people, and i was surprised that when the phone topic came up, every single person said they had the same trouble.  i think we should all have a secretary who takes our calls and returns them for us.  oh if i were a rich woman....

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I always get so anxious about phone calls. I actually pay about $2 a month to have voicemail to text on my phone b/c I even get anxious listening to vmails. I've been avoiding a phone call I have to make about my mortage for days now. Knowing I am not alone helps! I'm going to call today, write what I want to say in advance. That helps me.

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^ Yes, I got rid of my voice mail because that made me anxious as well! I've always been told that if you don't like making calls then you should do it more often and you'll get used to it. This actually worked for me, but only because I moved out of my parents and I had to be the one to call to arrange bills etc. and we had a lot of problems when we first moved in with the water company thinking we were old tenants so I had to make loads of phone calls. It made it easier to make them but didn't cure the problem. Sadly this doesn't seem to be the case when receiving them!

 

My counsellor used to call me on a blocked number too... eventually she used to text me a time and then she'd always call at that time. I can arrange for family to tell me when they're calling but I'm so afraid of it I even hear phantom phone ringing.

 

Nice to know I'm not alone though, and that its not just me! thanks guys :-)

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I get really anxious using phones aswell

Making calls, and answering, especially when it's from an unknown number, I usually just switch it off

So I feel you on this one!

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Aww, you are not pathetic papersky! I do the same damn thing. I hate phone calls. When I hear a call I freeze and my stomach hurts and I get so anxious. I try to let them go to voicemail all the time so I don't have to pick it up. Then I can decide if I want to call them back or not. Stupid I know! GAH!

 

I hope you feel better and are able to call back or answer the phone when it rings again. Good luck!

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I do the same thing.  Sometimes I put the phone in another room under a pillow so I can't hear it if it rings.  Thing is though I sometimes hate listening to the answering machine because I feel like I might have done something wrong or something, even though I haven't done anything wrong or pissed anyone off (that I know about).  I'm getting better with that though.

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I hate hearing the phone ring.

 

If I'm expecting a call, I carry the phone around with me.  I also write down things I want to be sure to say and questions I want to ask.  That helps a lot.  Try not to worry about her accent,  just politely ask her to repeat what she's said.  And breathe.  That will help keep you calmer so you can focus on what she's saying.

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Nice to know I'm not alone.

 

I have to make a phone call tomorrow because the national trust website is down. I could actually punch my laptop I'm that mad. Argh. Now I have to wait for two phone calls. 

 

No fun :'(

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Augh, hate and despise calling and receiving calls. I have to make two important calls, and somehow I seem to occupy myself with twaddle until it is too late in the day. Again today. When my phone rings, my stomach drops.

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Yeah, when it hits 6pm I know most places will have closed (at least those with a reason to call me) so I relax instantly until I remember that tomorrow isn't a sunday and so the panic starts again.

 

Got out of phoning the national trust by getting an email and emailing her. Still waiting for this damn woman to phone about the job. She didn't call back today. Urgh. 

 

I feel your pain Crtclms...

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I can totally relate to this, I never have my landline on, ignore the mobile most of the time (then spend the rest of the night wondering who it is).. but if I have to make a call, I put it of many times, and will literally hover around for a couple of hours, keep doing small things to avoid having to make a call.. also really anxious about listening to any messages, or answering. It's strange things some people do every day as just "normal" can seem so difficult when you have anxieties etc. Trying to get those that don't have the phone issue to understand.. well... sigh!..

Edited by Syst3mglitch

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I've struggled with this myself forever and it was only recently I had a mini epiphany about myself and why it was hitting me the way it was. This is just ~my~ addlepated brain that I can speak for and SO not a professional, but maybe my weird sudden "Oh... that's why I twitch!" could help a bit. Maybe. Perhaps. And before I work myself into a right old twitch fussing that I'm being an idiot and should shut up, I'll shut up the panic and give the answer I found - I really really struggle in social situaitons. Always have and to a certain extent have resigned myself to it just being the way I'm wired forever and ever amen. But, thankfully, over time I've learned various tricks and coping methods to deal, so I don't feel like a total freak ALL the time.

 

One of the largest ways that I manage when dealing with people had a light shone on it by my husband - he suddenly realized (so it was a shared epiphany) one day that while I suck at recognozing 'normal' social cues, I seem to pick up on what I can only describe as 'micro cues'. I read the tiny movements, the subtle twitches. Something in the back of my brain picks up on the glance between two people who are in a relationship. Can't grasp all the time the right reaction ~I~ should have, or why someone else is reacting the way THEY are, but I CAN read the background hum. I can find the places 'between' to slide into. I read where I'm safe and where I'm not. It's inbuilt by now and it gets me in a lot of trouble sometimes because I see what isn't on the polite surface and don't always seem to grasp what is okay to acknowledge and what shouldn't be said. It's frustrating, it's confusing sometimes for people around me, and it's often exhausting because it boils down to often feeling the general temperature of a room. It's tough to not 'mirror' the emotions of others around me and it can be rather difficult to always differentiate between me and thee, if that makes sense. What I'm feeling is my own, and what is just the overwrought feelings of the person next to me.

 

But as hard as it is in public situations - it's how I've learned to handle/deal/read the situation. The temperature gauge is my safety line. Wth the phone - I can't see the twitches in someone's expression. I can't read if it was a joke or they are upset. I can't see how the person next to them is reacting, I can't glance at my husband and see if it is still safe. On the phone, I'm having to deal with a social situation half deaf & blind. Basing everything on bare hope I'm assuming right. Doesn't really make answering the phone any easier (REALLY wish it would. I got a letter for jury duty and have to start calling every day starting tomorrow morning until they decide they either need me or they don't and just the thought makes me want to go puke. Does "The idea of being in a room with 11 other people gives me hives, but once you add the judge, the lawyers, the defendant and the rest could very likely cause a total systems failure" count as a reasonable and just excuse to not performing that civic duty?) but it does at least help me understand it. Understanding is a step towards figuring things out, right? Maybe?

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If its a number I don't know I "try" looking it up on the web first.  What ever happened to the free criss cross directory?  There used to be a pretty good one on "Dogpile.com"

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If you google "reverse phone number look up" or something like that, you can get to links where you type in the phone number and it will back track it (most of the time).

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^Sometimes I've managed to track the number. Occasionally just looking up the area code can give me a clue as to whose tried to call me, particularly if I think its job application related. 

 

I had to phone work and tell them I was sick this morning. Took me 30mins to pluck up the courage. I think the only reason I did it was because I can phone in sick no later than an hour before I start and I had 3 mins left before the hourly work countdown began and I was that afraid of going into work it kind of drove me to it.

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