Talk:Phone phobia/2008

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I have thrown far too many phones into the toilet.

Leaving messages?

I have a huge problem with leaving messages. I just can't do it. I break down crying if I need to, and I usually end up just not doing it. I'm fine calling and talking on the phone, answering it, everything that has to do with phones is fine, but leaving messages just... I just die. ARGH. Any help/advice?


03/04 - Corinne

  • Who: Corinne from MA
  • When: on or before 2008-03-04

My problem sounds similar to the symptoms described, but then very different from what many commenters are describing...What you all are describing sounds more like social anxiety disorder than a phobia. I have a literal fear just of using the phone, and calling anybody (even a friend) sends me into panics for no reason at all. I have no specific fear of angering the person or anything of the sort, I'm just terrified of talking to somebody on the phone. I only make one or two phonecalls a year because of this, and discourage other people to call me, even to the point of lieing...after a phone call I have something like a panic attack where I hyperventilate and can't think or sit still for several long moments. There is no rational reason whatsoever behind my reaction to using the phone...Just thought I would share my story, I'm not sure if it's just another sort of the same thing or not.

Woozle replies

Whether it's the same basic thing or not, your story is certainly relevant. Do you have any guesses as to what might be at the heart of your phobia? For example, are you afraid of telephones in general, even if they're not being used? Do you find yourself fearful when other people use phones in your presence? How do you feel about intercoms (e.g. at a fast-food drive-through), PA systems, walky-talkies? Looking at all the different ways people use to communicate (especially via speech, and especially where you can't see the other person), and observing your reactions to each one, might help you to figure out what it is about the phone that is frightening. A reason doesn't have to be rational for it to be a reason. ;-) --Woozle 15:15, 4 March 2008 (EST)

Reasons for not using a phone

My own Phone phobia has stopped me from using or owning a phone for over ten years. There are many reasons why i can't use a phone but the main ones i know for sure.

For incoming calls it is the fear that i am not in control of the conversation, and that i have been unable to think about what might be asked.

For outgoing calls i fear getting a wrong number,an answer phone or as others have said someone not wanting your call.

For all phone conversations i hate not having the body language that helps conversation, to me speaking on a phone is like being autistic, People use there bodies while talking all the time and being unable to see that make the understanding of the conversation harder, I also hate hearing my own voice and the thought others might hear it, as a child i had a speech defect which needed speech therapy and i still remember the cruelty of the other children as they picked up on my speech problem. Many people do not understand this condition and what a disabling effect it can have on your life. It has cost me jobs, relationships and money. My own Doctor offered me a helpline number that i could ring to talk about phobias, so it can be hard to get treatment when even the professionals don't take it seriously. -- 01:48, 6 March 2008 (EST) Adam

Me too!!!!!

Thank God I'm not alone! Let me explain what I've discovered about my aversion, and then share some solutions.

I avoid incoming phone calls from clients because I believe they are mad at me (usually because I've been avoiding their calls!). What lies beneath this is my aversion to being upset and angry back at them. I can't pick up the phone. And I'm afraid to check messages also. I can't stand when I think people are angry at me, and what I'm finding is that I'm angry at them underneath it all.

So the next time you receive a call or need to make a call and can't, slow down the process and try and identify the thought that comes before the fear or aversion hits. What is the thought you are believing in that moment? Just slow it all down and dive in for the love of truth and your own freedom. Find the underlying belief. Don't do this to make yourself make the call or take the call! Relax and be curious and learn. Then answer the following questions. Here's an example:

They are angry at me. Is it true? Yes! Can I absolutely know for sure if it's true or not that they are angry at me? No, there is no way for me to know that for sure. How do I react when I think the thought that they are angry at me? I get anxious, torn up, just wish everyone would leave me alone. I become afraid, angry. I'm scared I'm going to lose everyone and everything. Who would I be without that thought that they are angry at me? Well, I'd be calm, and probably just pick up the phone.

And then turn the original thought around: They aren't angry at me; that could be just as true! I'm angry at them; oh God, that is so true. In fact that seems to hit home more than they are angry at me. They love me (love as opposite of anger); let me make a list of how they show they love me.

Try those four questions and the turn arounds. It's about self realization, not about making yourself use the phone.

Also, check out for more info on those 4 questions.

(from Woozle) I've created a space for this

I've created a "network" on for phone-phobia discussion:

Please feel free to join, post, make comments (there or here, etc). I've only just discovered Ning and don't know how well it will work out -- but I've found it quite usable so far. Maybe we can make some progress on this thing now :-) --Woozle 12:08, 9 March 2008 (EDT)

I don't experiance fear, just intense dread.

I can't say that I am afraid, and there is no panic. I just dread making phone calls, so bad that I will put them off for days, sometimes longer and stress over it the whole time. And it's the personal calls that are the most difficult, the people I love. And it's getting worse. Apparently I need help. I've become the texting/email queen.

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