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My Phone Phobia

I mentioned before that I see a therapist regularly (I actually am about to terminate therapy next month, though). Not because something is particularly wrong in my life, but because I study Clinical Mental Health Counseling and want to see what it’s like to be “on the other side of the couch.” That said, I am not perfect and definitely have my issues (just like everybody else). One issue I worked on in therapy is my fear of talking on the phone. First, let me give you a bullet point breakdown of my phone phobia: I sometimes have to deliver bad news over the phone at work. Somehow, I can muster up the courage to do this, but am always relieved when the client does not pick up, ha. When applying for internships, I was not afraid to call and ask how I can apply, but was terrified to answer the phone when the call was regarding whether or not I got the position. This is probably due to my fear of being rejected by the job. It’s so much easier to hear this via voicemail. Personal phone calls have always been more difficult for me than professional phone calls. I think it is because professional calls usually are regarding something specific and are short (unless it’s a conference call), but personal calls can last any amount of time and sometimes lack a purpose. Being unsure about the topic/expected length of conversation makes me nervous. I think the above bullet point is even scarier to me because I almost always choose the option to text message. Communicating with friends and family is way more convenient via text messaging, so I simply do not practice talking on the phone as much as I probably could. This is especially true because I never had issues talking on the phone as a kid/teen because texting was not as common back then (and I didn’t even have a cell phone for the vast majority of that time… Wow, I’m old!) I am ok with Skype because I can read the other person’s body language. Something really irks me about not being able to see facial expressions and body movements. Saying “goodbye” during phone conversations is THE WORST PART. Sometimes, I have a real reason to end the call, but other times I don’t. I could talk to a brick wall for hours and not get bored (I’m an extravert to the extreme), but worry incessantly about boring the person at the other end of my phone call. Lastly, I am just not in the habit of talking on the phone. I don’t get why people call each other unless it is for a specific purpose. Calling people just for the hell of it is not something I have done regularly, so it is not something I ever think to do. … You guys probably think I’m a weirdo, but oh well 😉 To be honest, I have some social anxiety and it is especially bothersome to me when I talk on the phone. My therapist encouraged me to try and get over my fear. We decided that I would accomplish this by calling someone I trust: my boyfriend, Andy.