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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Perils of Phonophobia

Sometimes I think I must be weird. It’s OK; it’s not a matter on which I’m asking you your opinion, so you have neither to confirm nor deny it. This is about phonophobia.

  It’s weird because I don’t have much of a problem when the phone rings and I have to pick it up and answer it. The onus is on the person at the other end of the line to state their business, and I have the power to cut them off at any time, I suppose.

  It’s OK if it’s good friends or family I’m phoning. After that initial establishment of contact, which even then can be a bit shaky, it’s fine.

  But... if I have to make a call where the onus is on me to do the talking, the equation changes. I have to find the right person at the other end of the phone, verbalise it all and make my request understood by the person at the other end.

  How hard is that? I have been known on many occasions to write down word for word what I want to say to the person, so that if the conversation gets stuck, I can simply read it off. Yes, my very own teleprompter. 

  That can be for the simplest of things. Or, if the person lived here in town, I would often drive down to see them face-to-face rather than phone.

  This was a bit awkward if they were not there. See what I mean about weird? I like email. You can sit and think what you want to say, rather than gasp words out and babble like a lunatic. Ask Tracey – she’s heard me on the phone sometimes. It must sound pathetic.

  Oddly enough, long ago and nearly every year, I used to do a week’s stint down in Sydney for my university, which involved sitting on the phone hour after hour ringing people or being rung by them. I had no difficulty with that, as I was usually phoning a third party on behalf of a student.

  That was the difference, you see. When it’s for me, I feel as if I’m going to be tongue-tied. If it’s for someone else, no problem, no matter how complicated the call. I'm on someone else's mission. Somehow that makes all the difference.

  I told you it was weird. But then, I’ve heard that quite a few other people suffer in the same way, or hate it when the phone rings and they have to answer that. They may not mind phoning someone else. From my point of view, that’s reverse phonophobia. 

  How many others out there have phonophobia of some sort? Please don’t ring me, just comment!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for letting me know about your blog. Also thanks for commenting on my blog as well.
    I understand your phonaphobia because I will not answer my phone if it is a blocked number. Normally it is someone calling to see if I want a new mobile phone.
    Wishing you luck. Keep kicking cancer's arse.


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