You wouldn’t know this to look at me, or even talking to me on the phone, but I have a secret. I am actually terrified of the telephone. The phone rings, my anxiety levels rise, my palms start to sweat, my breathing gets out of rhythm, it’s a mess. And if I ever have to make a phone call, especially one to a particularly scary destination, like the insurance company or a doctor’s office or my in-laws, forget about it! Heart palpitations, hyperventilation, the works!
I don’t know why this is or when it started. In high school, I know, I used to get nervous when about to make a phone call. But that was usually to a girl, and usually one I had a crush on, so I figured it was just hormones. And it seems like 9 times out of 10, her dad would answer, so I figured that was just self-preservation kicking in (a lot of girls’ dads didn’t like me calling their daughters; I don’t know why; I had the most noble of intentions, but I guess that nobility did not convey through the yearning glances they perceived).
To counterbalance this nervousness, I used to write notes, like a little script for the conversation. I literally did this, and it helped if I got flustered. But I never stopped feeling nervous.
And it’s not like I ever had any particularly traumatizing telephone experiences either. No one ever broke up with me over the phone. Never had any scary, heavy-breathing calls while babysitting. I just don’t like it.
I know what some of you are thinking: “I’ve talked to him on the phone, and he seems fine.” Well “seems” is the operative term. You didn’t see the breathing into a brown paper bag, the pep talk in the mirror, the slapping myself in the face saying “come on, man, you can DO this!” leading up to my breezy-seeming “Hello?”
Others of you might be thinking “doesn’t he have to make important phone calls all the time for work and such?” Yes, yes he does. And it scares the crap out of him every time. He has to get pumped before making any such call. And he has been known to exclaim an audible “Yes!” and make a corresponding fist-raised-in-exultation gesture when reaching voicemail.
I hate the phone! It scares me, and I don’t like it!!! It feels good to have that off my chest.
Anyone else have any secret anxieties? Confessions? Tips for getting over my telephonophobia? Anyone else feel the same?