Talk:Phone phobia/2009

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01/24 - Nicole

  • Who: Nicole
  • When: on or before 2009-01-24
  • Source: phone-phobia

I recently found this page because I'm a teenage girl, and I've always been "afraid" of phones. It used to be to the point that if I had to make a phone call, I would start crying and refuse to make it. Now, I say more that I "dislike" phones, but I still will find every excuse not to MAKE phone calls. If someone else is making the phone call, it's easy to let them lead the conversation, avoiding awkward silences. However, if I make the phone call, I'm expected to lead the conversation. That's why I don't make random phone calls "just to say hi", unless I have something important to say. I can make phone calls with a bit of coaxing. My mother thinks this isn't normal for a teenage girl to not want to talk on the phone. She wants to get me a counselor.

Woozle replies

We have a teenage female friend who doesn't like babysitting -- but of course everyone assumes that all teenage girls like taking care of kids, so she's always getting invited to do it. People make assumptions, and it can be very annoying if you happen to not fit those assumptions -- but it certainly doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you.
So it's true that it isn't "normal" for a teenage girl not to want to talk on the phone, but not everyone is "normal" in all the possible ways of being normal, and there's nothing wrong with that. (People who are too normal are usually boring, anyway. (-; )
Speaking from experience, though, not being able to use the phone when you need to is going to be a problem -- but I don't know if it's something to be "fixed"; the solution which has always worked best for me was to simply avoid (as much as possible) getting into situations involving phone usage. Don't take a job doing telemarketing, for example, or being a receptionist, if you can't picture yourself handling those kinds of calls.
Putting pressure on myself to make more calls always seemed to make the problem worse for me. too, so that's probably not a good solution -- but other people will still say that "you just need to make yourself do it". It never worked for me, and other phone-phobics have reported that it doesn't work for them either.
A good therapist should be able to help, however -- help you work out ways to avoid calling, if nothing else, and perhaps help you figure out what's happening that's causing the aversion. I have yet to run into a therapist who really seems to "get" the problem (but I also haven't ever gone to a therapist specifically to deal with phone-phobia), so you may have to "educate" the therapist a little bit -- but that's part of why I created this page, and also the site over on Ning ( Please feel free to print out any of the postings here or on Ning which seem appropriate, and show them to the therapist, and that may at least help convince him/her that you're not inventing this problem from thin air.
Mind you, therapy's not for everyone, but it can be useful if you feel able to deal with it.
Hope that's helpful, and please feel free to post again, either here or on Ning :-) --Woozle 21:00, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

02/21 - SpazBomB - Update 21 Feb 2009

Its been two years since I originally posted here and I have actually met and married another person suffering from Phone phobia as well. We've talked about it a lot and share similar feelings that facial expressions and body language are important to our understanding of a conversation and contribute to our fear of telephone conversations. That would make sense since I also avoid any social interactions over the internet with people I can't see, though I don't panic the same as with phones. I'm learning to live with it but it doesnt go away. I still ignore calls from friends a lot and it can take my wife and I a good while to decide on who will make an unavoidable call. I've been forced by my job to deal with calls daily(though I take less calls than any other employee if I can help it), and while the fear doesn't go away my reaction to that fear has been getting better, less anxiety, less sweating, less prep time needed.

Woozle responds to update

Hey, that's great! (I mean, aside from the problem still being there.) Being with someone else who experiences and understands the problem helps take the edge off the self-doubt which phone-phobia can inspire, and it sounds like the strategy of minimizing required phone calls is helping too.

Interesting that the lack of body-language cues bothers you but doesn't bother us; I'd guess it's because we've worked out other ways of conveying the same kind of information -- emoticons, mainly, but also verbal conventions I suppose one might call them...

Obviously I don't know if you're planning to have kids eventually, but I can speak from experience that raising kids generally requires a lot of additional phone-calling (although these days you can get a lot done through email and web sites, so it's not as bad as it once would have been), so be prepared for that. I'm not sure what a workable strategy is; we always wanted to hire someone whom we could pay by the call or by the minute, and who would keep in touch via email or IM, but there were always complications. That's all hypothetical, though, since you may not even be planning to have kids.

Please keep us posted, especially if anything changes, and best of luck! :-) --Woozle 14:34, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


Found this page after having another difficult time trying to convince myself to make a phone call (to a friend).

I suppose I have some sort of social phobia too (being a computer programmer and internet junkie), but it gets ridiculous with the phone calls.

Odd thing is that I can make and receive phone calls from work - i.e. when I know what it's about, and I am generaly comfortable talking with my coworkers (small company).

Receiving an un-solicited phone call, or making a phone call to anybody outside work or family is hard... I try to delay making a phone call - do something else, push it out of my memory, for days.

And phone ring of course always gives me chills - CallerID is great help, but first thing you hear is always a ring.

I do have several memories of bad phone experiences from my childhood. One is a phone call about my granddad dying (I wasn't even the one answering, just remember that I guessed what it was about...). Another is that I was alone at home lots of times (only after age of 7 I guess), and my parents would call me from work asking what I am doing, why I am not playing outside etc.

No explanation on why I fear making calls though, I think it developed later. I feel that this all stems from the fact that when I call anybody, it's to ask for something. And I don't like asking for stuff - I guess I got that from my dad.

i know what is wrong with me. Fran from spain

  • Who: anonymous user (Fran from Spain)
  • When: 2009-05-09 15:07

i never had a phone at home till i was 18, my family was poorly communicational any way. i generally have a lot to say face to face but find phones really cold. i can use them when i have a reason to do so, but i cant talk about nothing for minutes and hours, which is what many phone addicts do.

I suffer mainly phoning and receiving phone calls from family and friends, i feel like it is not me, also if my wife goes away i feel i dont want to know about her as she has been unfaithful before and i just dont trust her on the phone, even less i mean, i feel her words mean nothing as i cant look at her eyes.

basically i am closed to enjoy the phone as i look at it as a waste of time mainly and also feel constantly brainwashed to use it by publicity. so my rebel says no.

(no subject, one line, all caps)

  • Who: anonymous user
  • When: 2009-07-20 21:14


archival notes

At the time, I was thinking this was some sort of vandalism or teasing, and I removed it. In retrospect, (a) it might have been someone simply shouting their phobia to the world as a way of fighting it, and (b) instead of deleting it, I should have asked for more information. (Teasing tends to lose its power when questioned.) I'm reinstating it for the archives. --Woozle 11:00, 12 June 2010 (EDT)

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