Let’s talk Phone calls…

I hate phone calls. There, I said it. But why, you might ask? Well, it’s fairly simple actually. They are very anxiety provoking for someone like me. I have explained previously how it feels interacting socially with someone, as a person with Aspergers. Add to that the fact that you can’t see the other persons facial expressions or body language, and you’re basically trying to write a book report, on a book where half the pages are blank. I’m bound to misinterpret or misunderstand something at some point. And it terrifies me. Especially when I’m talking to someone ‘official’ or an authority figure. What if I miss something crucial? What if they can’t tell when I’m being serious or not? What if they have trouble reading me through the phone, and end up thinking I’m a liar, or a fraud? Now mind you, I know none of this is particularly rational, but anxiety rarely is. Add to that the fact that small talk is mostly just annoying to me, and that I rarely if ever know what to actually talk about once the point of the call is over, it makes a bit more sense that I don’t particularly like calls. So much so in fact, that if the number is hidden, or I don’t know it, 9 times out of 10, I will simply not pick up. And I’m sorry if that’s ever been the case with someone I know, but anxiety won’t let me take that chance.

There’s also another factor. I am, as you may know, fairly new to having this diagnosis. So all my life, I have basically believed I was just being dumb, and needed to pull myself together, and just do it. Which means, every time I haven’t been able to – which was a lot – it’s felt like a defeat. I’m scared of my phone ringing. My first instinct when it does, before looking at the display, is terror. Luckily, these days it doesn’t feel as debilitating as it has done, due to the advances in different kinds of communication. But it’s still something I struggle with.

Don’t be offended if I don’t pick up when you call. It may just be that anxiety got to me before I saw your name on the display. And know that I will rarely, if ever, call just to chat. I just can’t wrap my head around that. Not because I don’t care about you, but because there’s something in my brain that’s atypical. If I don’t pick up, or call, text me. That works better, and it’s easier for me to take my time to analyse and put together a response. And sometimes, all I need is a little time.

Until next time

-AA

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