Author Topic: Phone Anxiety  (Read 1184 times)

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Offline Kavik

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Phone Anxiety
« on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 12:01:07 »
Despite being a fully grown man, I still dread talking on the phone so much, even for short to-the-point calls (like making appointments), that I put them off for days, weeks, or months. When I finally decide to make the call, I have to schedule it in my head and make sure it's not too close to lunch and not too close to closing time, which, if I account for different time zones and lunch schedules, gives about a one hour window in the morning and one hour window in the afternoon. This is important because if there's an answering machine/voicemail box (whatever it's called these days), that means I have to leave a message and wait anxiously for my phone to ring if it ever does, or I have to forego the voicemail and keep calling; if I leave a message and don't get a reply, how long do I wait before calling again?! Also, depending on the nature of the call, I have to make sure I have every single document pertaining to the purpose of the call right in front of me because searching for that one piece of paper or number while the other person is waiting is not fun. There's also the awkwardness of phrasing a cold call; I have to somehow state who I am, the circumstances that led to the call, and finally what specifically I am calling about, while being clear, concise, and polite. Maybe being more blunt and trying not to get in front of the conversation would help. I know it's never as bad as I think it will be, but logic doesn't help for some reason.

I even worked a customer support job for over five years, and that still didn't get me over this; although, I opted to use e-mail unless it was obviously easier to clear up over the phone.

Anyway, I'm a big baby. The end.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 14:48:09 »
Yup I avoid talking on the phone as much as possible, even with my own family.  Other than for me I'd rather talk in person or through text base.  I can say if an app is down for somewhere I want to order food from I will move on to the next one since I don't want to call as I get stressed and anxious over it.

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Offline noisyturtle

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 15:10:46 »
Used to get this, but the older I get and the worse life keeps getting I care less and less what other people think. The past two years I've become quite jaded and whateverish, for better or worse that's just what happens.
If I had this power in highschool we coulda been kings!

Offline Olumin

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 16:17:39 »
Its called telephone phobia. Many people get anxious when making or receiving a phone call and usually this is normal and nothing to worry about.

People like me however will not make phone calls under almost any circumstance, this has partially to do with my autism, and has only gotten worse with age. This has huge impacts on my life as I am basically unable to do many of the things that are expected of someone my age without outside help. I will not make or take calls, this includes making doctors appointments, ordering food or even calling family members. I fall out of contact with "friends" (I dont really have any for obvious reasons) and family easily, who often interpret this behavior as rude and neglectful despite knowing of my condition (this is not something most neurotypical people can understand). This results in me having others to make the phone calls for me, and me being unable to partake in society without help, which I dont even mind most of the time to be honest.

This is not just limited to phone calls in my case, but really any kind of social contact, and even texting to some degree. Even opening the front door is very difficult, and sometimes even impossible for me. I suppose this is better classified as an extreme case of social anxiety disorder with some ASPD and Asociality. Together with Aspergers this does not make for a good combination. I saw many psychologists when I was young, all of which had their own little explanation, and usually prescribed medication which made it even worse. I have since developed a universal distrust of and even hatred towards psychologists and will not see them anymore. I am confident in saying that I was never helped by any of these frauds.

This is not something you can "get over" with therapy, and you can only hope it gets better with time. But I doubt it will, and I dont think I even want it to. I dont even know why I tell you all of this, since I doubt any of you can relate or even really understand, but I suppose its nice to tell someone.


Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 16:30:28 »
This is not something you can "get over" with therapy, and you can only hope it gets better with time. But I doubt it will, and I dont think I even want it to. I dont even know why I tell you all of this, since I doubt any of you can relate or even really understand, but I suppose its nice to tell someone.

Behavioral sink at its finest. kekekeke.

If you think about it, the social isolation that we revel in today is simply not possible without modern technology enabling it.

You would've starved to death behaving as a net-ludite, so regardless of how you felt about it, you would've gone out or died trying.

Specific to the fones, Tp4 never make calls either because it's time consuming, will text if necessary.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 18:21:18 »
I was well into my 30s when Caller ID came around. Before the late-1980s when the phone rang you were wondering who was calling you as you walked over to pick it up. You had no idea who it was until you heard the voice on the other end.

In 1990 I got my first serious sales job had to get a pager. Arrgh! How I hated it, but at least you could legitimately wait some minutes or hours before returning the call.

Even after I got a cell phone in the mid-1990s, I still kept the pager for a couple more years and tried to keep my cell number cloaked for the most part.
 
Now there is no escape.
“Your article brought me to tears. I was raised in a blue–collar, religious, racist, nationalistic home. I am now a flaming liberal with a master’s degree and a high–paying corporate job. Your article deeply articulated the view of my family in a way they never could. I don’t believe they are hateful, racist, or stupid. They’re mostly afraid. Afraid of brown people. Afraid of the day they can’t live in their own home any more. Afraid of global economics. Afraid of those who claim that their God is not real. Afraid of sexually empowered women. Afraid of the scientific utterances that they can’t understand related to climate change, so they reject it outright. Fear manifests in many ways, but it is the same root. I’ve also concluded that we liberals own 99% of Trump’s election. It was easy to dismiss him as an illiterate con artist and enumerate Hillary Clinton’s huge list of qualifications. But she could not connect with my white working–class family, and Trump could. I don’t blame him – he’s just a con man who saw an opening that he could exploit – and they’re just supporting someone who gave them a voice.
We liberals are the ones who failed, and we need to own that.”
– letter to Joan Williams – USC professor of Law – 2020

Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 30 April 2021, 18:38:38 »
in-person interaction I have minimal issues with - still a small level of stress/anxiety but I work through it (I've had this issue since I was a kid).  Phones are where I have the issue.

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 01 May 2021, 09:20:46 »
Just be glad y'all dun' have Internet-Anxiety. . Then what else would there be?

Offline Kavik

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 01 May 2021, 18:12:28 »
Used to get this, but the older I get and the worse life keeps getting I care less and less what other people think. The past two years I've become quite jaded and whateverish, for better or worse that's just what happens.
If I had this power in highschool we coulda been kings!

For some reason, no matter how little I care about life or anything at the time, it doesn't help this anxiety.

Its called telephone phobia. Many people get anxious when making or receiving a phone call and usually this is normal and nothing to worry about.

People like me however will not make phone calls under almost any circumstance, this has partially to do with my autism, and has only gotten worse with age. This has huge impacts on my life as I am basically unable to do many of the things that are expected of someone my age without outside help. I will not make or take calls, this includes making doctors appointments, ordering food or even calling family members. I fall out of contact with "friends" (I dont really have any for obvious reasons) and family easily, who often interpret this behavior as rude and neglectful despite knowing of my condition (this is not something most neurotypical people can understand). This results in me having others to make the phone calls for me, and me being unable to partake in society without help, which I dont even mind most of the time to be honest.

This is not just limited to phone calls in my case, but really any kind of social contact, and even texting to some degree. Even opening the front door is very difficult, and sometimes even impossible for me. I suppose this is better classified as an extreme case of social anxiety disorder with some ASPD and Asociality. Together with Aspergers this does not make for a good combination. I saw many psychologists when I was young, all of which had their own little explanation, and usually prescribed medication which made it even worse. I have since developed a universal distrust of and even hatred towards psychologists and will not see them anymore. I am confident in saying that I was never helped by any of these frauds.

This is not something you can "get over" with therapy, and you can only hope it gets better with time. But I doubt it will, and I dont think I even want it to. I dont even know why I tell you all of this, since I doubt any of you can relate or even really understand, but I suppose its nice to tell someone.



Thanks for sharing. I know I can't fully understand it, but I can empathize. Stuff relating to mental and emotional health is hard to understand without having been through it.

I was well into my 30s when Caller ID came around. Before the late-1980s when the phone rang you were wondering who was calling you as you walked over to pick it up. You had no idea who it was until you heard the voice on the other end.

In 1990 I got my first serious sales job had to get a pager. Arrgh! How I hated it, but at least you could legitimately wait some minutes or hours before returning the call.

Even after I got a cell phone in the mid-1990s, I still kept the pager for a couple more years and tried to keep my cell number cloaked for the most part.
 
Now there is no escape.


My dad had a pager, but I am not old enough to have used one. I like the concept. Did people at least save paging for important things instead calling for every little thing?
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 01 May 2021, 18:40:12 »

Did people at least save paging for important things instead calling for every little thing?


"It depends"

I was in outside sales at the time, responding to inquiries, visiting prospects and customers, making appointments, negotiating contracts, the usual stuff. And, of course, my wife would page me to remind me to bring home groceries and that sort of thing.

Doctors were saving patients and dealers were selling drugs.

Remember that there was no internet back then, either, that came into common use alongside cell phones. There was a double-barrelled quantum leap into the future!


“Your article brought me to tears. I was raised in a blue–collar, religious, racist, nationalistic home. I am now a flaming liberal with a master’s degree and a high–paying corporate job. Your article deeply articulated the view of my family in a way they never could. I don’t believe they are hateful, racist, or stupid. They’re mostly afraid. Afraid of brown people. Afraid of the day they can’t live in their own home any more. Afraid of global economics. Afraid of those who claim that their God is not real. Afraid of sexually empowered women. Afraid of the scientific utterances that they can’t understand related to climate change, so they reject it outright. Fear manifests in many ways, but it is the same root. I’ve also concluded that we liberals own 99% of Trump’s election. It was easy to dismiss him as an illiterate con artist and enumerate Hillary Clinton’s huge list of qualifications. But she could not connect with my white working–class family, and Trump could. I don’t blame him – he’s just a con man who saw an opening that he could exploit – and they’re just supporting someone who gave them a voice.
We liberals are the ones who failed, and we need to own that.”
– letter to Joan Williams – USC professor of Law – 2020

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 01 May 2021, 19:34:16 »
Tp4 were in line for the 1st iphone.  It felt like startrek, Tp4 finally cyborg, but then after a while, Tp4 realized more intimate integration is required.   Will be in line for neuralink.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 01 May 2021, 20:37:23 »

Remember that there was no internet back then, either, that came into common use alongside cell phones.


Note my use of the word "alongside" meaning "in parallel" - in the mid-late-1990s-early-2000s was when even "common people" started having computers at home connected to the interwebs, and they had perhaps started getting cell phones a bit earlier.

It was most of another decade before the cell phone and the internet/computer became symbiants, and the better part of another decade until the "smart phone", for many people, started to supplant the "regular" computer altogether.

“Your article brought me to tears. I was raised in a blue–collar, religious, racist, nationalistic home. I am now a flaming liberal with a master’s degree and a high–paying corporate job. Your article deeply articulated the view of my family in a way they never could. I don’t believe they are hateful, racist, or stupid. They’re mostly afraid. Afraid of brown people. Afraid of the day they can’t live in their own home any more. Afraid of global economics. Afraid of those who claim that their God is not real. Afraid of sexually empowered women. Afraid of the scientific utterances that they can’t understand related to climate change, so they reject it outright. Fear manifests in many ways, but it is the same root. I’ve also concluded that we liberals own 99% of Trump’s election. It was easy to dismiss him as an illiterate con artist and enumerate Hillary Clinton’s huge list of qualifications. But she could not connect with my white working–class family, and Trump could. I don’t blame him – he’s just a con man who saw an opening that he could exploit – and they’re just supporting someone who gave them a voice.
We liberals are the ones who failed, and we need to own that.”
– letter to Joan Williams – USC professor of Law – 2020

Offline fanpeople

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 02 May 2021, 05:35:44 »
I was well into my 30s when Caller ID came around. Before the late-1980s when the phone rang you were wondering who was calling you as you walked over to pick it up. You had no idea who it was until you heard the voice on the other end.

We still had a rotary dial phone in like 2008.

Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 02 May 2021, 11:34:41 »
Here's a thought that might help you.. people don't care. I don't mean in general, I mean about you. If something doesn't affect someone directly it doesn't concern them, and if it does it only affects them for as long as they have to deal with it.

For an overthinking person this might be an alien concept but it's how the majority of people operate. So go out there and be weird or whatever because I can assure you, more than a passing thought you won't get.

Anxiety is largely caused by reality going against expectation. So if you do not assigning value to specific outcomes of situations.. aka not caring.. you're gonna have a much more relaxed time among the billions of people also not caring.

Don't plan, don't care, just do. Do you.

Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 03 May 2021, 08:33:22 »
Here's the thing, most that suffer from anxiety can't do what you said.  There is a process in the mind that hinders this, so for your average person it's not perceived or understood since they don't deal with it. 

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 03 May 2021, 12:08:58 »
oh i understand perfectly fine, i'm also not yet at the point of not caring at all. but i'm pretty damn close.
that's why i can tell you that not attaching weight to outcome or impression is the key. if you think about possibilities and probabilities you **** yourself. if you just do, it just goes.

going with the flow and just seeing where things go is such a platitude but it's how i'm getting through some damn near crippling phobias. i suppose it's a form of nihilism, nothing matters.. so might aswell.

forethought like a muscle..
* if you constantly cramp it, no oxygen can get in there cells start to die, it gets infected, you get sepsis, you die.
* if you never exercise it, it atrophies, you get insufficiencies, you die.

you have to learn to flex it, hold it for a wee bit and let go. if you constantly think about all the possible things that can go wrong all you do is produce pain out of thin air for yourself.

If you think about a situation you dread and imagine it going badly you're gonna be in pain twice; one of which by your own doing. That is unnecessary suffering you're inflicting on yourself. The world is hard enough as it is, being kind to yourself also means not hurting yourself in ways that are not necessary.

I've known all these things even while i was at my lowest point but I didn't understand them. I know what they meant but to me it was meaningless dribble. Wish for I could splice my brain to yours and give you the time you so desperately need to understand yourself but alas it is a journey everyone has to make on their own.
All I can do is tell you, time and introspection will teach you.

Offline Olumin

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 03 May 2021, 14:06:13 »
forethought like a muscle..
* if you constantly cramp it, no oxygen can get in there cells start to die, it gets infected, you get sepsis, you die.
* if you never exercise it, it atrophies, you get insufficiencies, you die.

you have to learn to flex it, hold it for a wee bit and let go. if you constantly think about all the possible things that can go wrong all you do is produce pain out of thin air for yourself.


Online suicidal_orange

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 02:58:57 »
Wish for I could splice my brain to yours and give you the time you so desperately need to understand yourself but alas it is a journey everyone has to make on their own.
All I can do is tell you, time and introspection will teach you.
Or introspection will take you into an even lower level of nihilistic existence where there's nothing to fear where because there is nothing.  You don't bother to make appointments (eye test, dentist...) you don't see the point of holidays (so no passport applications to chase) and saving 10% on your electricity or internet doesn't sound worth the hassle because it's only money - what stress is left?

I have almost achieved your non-caring state where the only important thing is bettering myself but all that means is beating myself up when I don't live up to my own perfect expectations which means continuing to live because others need me, not because I see the point or want to.  I hope you don't get here but be careful, it's a possibility.
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Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 08:19:55 »
oh i understand perfectly fine, i'm also not yet at the point of not caring at all. but i'm pretty damn close.
that's why i can tell you that not attaching weight to outcome or impression is the key. if you think about possibilities and probabilities you **** yourself. if you just do, it just goes.

going with the flow and just seeing where things go is such a platitude but it's how i'm getting through some damn near crippling phobias. i suppose it's a form of nihilism, nothing matters.. so might aswell.

forethought like a muscle..
* if you constantly cramp it, no oxygen can get in there cells start to die, it gets infected, you get sepsis, you die.
* if you never exercise it, it atrophies, you get insufficiencies, you die.

you have to learn to flex it, hold it for a wee bit and let go. if you constantly think about all the possible things that can go wrong all you do is produce pain out of thin air for yourself.

If you think about a situation you dread and imagine it going badly you're gonna be in pain twice; one of which by your own doing. That is unnecessary suffering you're inflicting on yourself. The world is hard enough as it is, being kind to yourself also means not hurting yourself in ways that are not necessary.

I've known all these things even while i was at my lowest point but I didn't understand them. I know what they meant but to me it was meaningless dribble. Wish for I could splice my brain to yours and give you the time you so desperately need to understand yourself but alas it is a journey everyone has to make on their own.
All I can do is tell you, time and introspection will teach you.

You've obviously not lived with or known anyone w/ Bi-Polar disorder or other mental chemical imbalances - most of them are over-using their brain beyond their own personal control.  For me I can push myself to get over it and pick up the phone but I have to work myself up to it.  My wife on the other hand is pretty much having a constant internal battle - it's not something one can just train themselves to not give a f*ck as the imbalance in her mind wont allow it (or if say she is in a not give a f*ck mode, then she's in a Manic state which is dangerous). 
As I've stated previously my main issue is using a phone to talk - just something doesn't connect right and I get anxious and avoid it which is why I text, use email, or need to be in person to communicate.  Most people can train themselves to overcome personal issues, while many others it's not completely possible. And as mentioned you can over-correct in this mindset and be at the opposite end of the spectrum which can be very bad as well. 

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 08:51:33 »
My wife on the other hand is pretty much having a constant internal battle


Haz darthbaggins attempted encourage wife eat m0ar Veggies, it natural mood modulator + anti-depressant.

Offline Rumblethumps

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 09:50:25 »
Man oh man. The amount of times I've been called "childish" because I go out of my way to not talk on the phone unless absolutely necessary. Also, the amount of times I've had people instantly start playing armchair psychologist and give unhelpful advice on how to "get over it", lmao. A lot of people don't realize that it's often related to deeper issues; for me it has to do with my depression and anxiety, for example. There's often more to it than just "I'm scared to talk on the phone".

It doesn't help that it's impossible to explain how it feels to people who haven't experienced the same thing. The worst is when you spend the entire day before making the call hyping yourself up and rehearsing what you're going to say, only for the person on the other line to do or say something unexpected that totally changes the script, or when you get a phone call at work and they have an issue that you've never dealt with before, and now have to figure it out while they're waiting on the other end of the line. Panic mode. I make it through each time, but still, absolute panic mode.

Anyway, you're not a big baby at all, OP. I'd say you're remarkably brave for working a customer support job for so long despite the phone anxiety; I could never.

Offline Kavik

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 10:03:10 »
only for the person on the other line to do or say something unexpected that totally changes the script, or when you get a phone call at work and they have an issue that you've never dealt with before, and now have to figure it out while they're waiting on the other end of the line. Panic mode. I make it through each time, but still, absolute panic mode.

Anyway, you're not a big baby at all, OP. I'd say you're remarkably brave for working a customer support job for so long despite the phone anxiety; I could never.

This is why I hated cold calls from customers. They were almost always pointless because the chances of my figuring out the cause of the problem with no preparation was near zero, so I always tried to schedule calls over email or tell them, "Log an issue and we'll look into it." My go-to lines were "I don't know off-hand, but I can find out and get back to you" or "Let me ask my colleagues if they've seen this before."

That job was a necessity due to other life circumstances, and there's also the anxiety of "the hell you know is better" when thinking of finding another job, so I don't think it was brave. But, hey, I transferred to a position where I don't even have a phone, and I forget to check my email for days at a time and it doesn't usually matter.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 10:11:21 »
Tp4 only worries about hughmahns at the population scale.  At the small scale, all problems can be solved with guns.

Guns can't help Climate Change,  We need Windmills, and  WHOLE  FOOD PLANT BASED,

Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 10:38:48 »
Man oh man. The amount of times I've been called "childish" because I go out of my way to not talk on the phone unless absolutely necessary. Also, the amount of times I've had people instantly start playing armchair psychologist and give unhelpful advice on how to "get over it", lmao. A lot of people don't realize that it's often related to deeper issues; for me it has to do with my depression and anxiety, for example. There's often more to it than just "I'm scared to talk on the phone".

It doesn't help that it's impossible to explain how it feels to people who haven't experienced the same thing. The worst is when you spend the entire day before making the call hyping yourself up and rehearsing what you're going to say, only for the person on the other line to do or say something unexpected that totally changes the script, or when you get a phone call at work and they have an issue that you've never dealt with before, and now have to figure it out while they're waiting on the other end of the line. Panic mode. I make it through each time, but still, absolute panic mode.

Anyway, you're not a big baby at all, OP. I'd say you're remarkably brave for working a customer support job for so long despite the phone anxiety; I could never.

only for the person on the other line to do or say something unexpected that totally changes the script, or when you get a phone call at work and they have an issue that you've never dealt with before, and now have to figure it out while they're waiting on the other end of the line. Panic mode. I make it through each time, but still, absolute panic mode.

Anyway, you're not a big baby at all, OP. I'd say you're remarkably brave for working a customer support job for so long despite the phone anxiety; I could never.

This is why I hated cold calls from customers. They were almost always pointless because the chances of my figuring out the cause of the problem with no preparation was near zero, so I always tried to schedule calls over email or tell them, "Log an issue and we'll look into it." My go-to lines were "I don't know off-hand, but I can find out and get back to you" or "Let me ask my colleagues if they've seen this before."

That job was a necessity due to other life circumstances, and there's also the anxiety of "the hell you know is better" when thinking of finding another job, so I don't think it was brave. But, hey, I transferred to a position where I don't even have a phone, and I forget to check my email for days at a time and it doesn't usually matter.

I'm the guy that everyone comes to when they can't figure out how to run something that a client is requesting for their order and has to be mass replicated across multiple devices, and it's come down to if the higher ups are wanting to do something they ask me if it's possible and I tell them it is - then scramble to research before it hits the warehouse (I work in config and mass deployment IT).  But having to fix something over the phone is always infuriating -definitely was when I was an auto tech, actually told one client to put the vehicle on the phone (lol).  But that's where my anxiety kicks in is the unknown factors that always arise - but I will schedule with people a time to come check what needs to be fixed in person as that's where I'm most comfortable (even if I'm not being talkative). 

My wife on the other hand is pretty much having a constant internal battle


Haz darthbaggins attempted encourage wife eat m0ar Veggies, it natural mood modulator + anti-depressant.


She eats lots o' veggies and I keep swaying her away from garbage fast-food (even though it's tempting at times).

 bkrownd:"Those damned rubber chiclet keys are the devil's nipples."   >:D


Offline tp4tissue

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Re: Phone Anxiety
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 04 May 2021, 11:20:19 »
She eats lots o' veggies and I keep swaying her away from garbage fast-food (even though it's tempting at times).

Tp4 recommends Fresh Berry Juice.