Tuesday, January 12, 2010
To those of you who know me or are getting to know me via this little outlet it will come as no surprise that I'm a little quirky. You know, the fondness for routine and schedules, the "no-sudden movements" kinda thing. Shit, I'm probably like Rain Man or something. Perfect. What you may not know is that I am terrified of talking on the phone. This is an actual condition, apparently, called "Telephobia". And it's not all that uncommon! Let's explore, shall we?
Phone-phobia (alternate keywords: phonephobia, telephobia), is a psychological condition in which one experiences extreme fear or avoidance of using the telephone. The fear may be more intense with regard to either making or receiving phone calls; in the latter case, it can intensify to the point where the phone-phobic is afraid even to listen to voice-mail (answering machine) messages.
The "Wiki" article above goes on to state a variety of reasons for this phenomena. Amongst them? Fear of ridicule. Um, not so much. I clearly have no issue with being made fun of. Again with the glass house thing. I can dish it out AND I can take it. I'm not generally fearful of people. I do have a little social anxiety (which shocks people......"You seem SO outgoing") but it's not like I'm a quivering tub of goo. My issue with the phone is all about control. With texting, email and yes, even blogs, I can control what I say and how I say it. I can even go back several times to make sure I LIKE what I've said. I can control WHEN I talk to someone and for how long. I'm sure it's all interconnected because it's akin to the routine and the knowing what to expect. You can't plan for a phone call. It just happens. It may all stem from a period in the late 80's wherein some dumbass bank decided to issue me a some plastic. Who gives college kids with no job a credit card? Apparently LOTS of institutions did, at least back then. Magic money! Yay! This of course ended badly, resulting in the phone ringing. A LOT. And it was mean people calling. Horrible people threatening to call my Dad. Oh God.....anything but that. I think it evoked a Pavlovian response. Phone ringing=BAD. VERY bad. A ringing phone may as well have been hooked up to a shock collar around my neck. This was back in the days before caller ID. You had no idea who was on the other end. Could be that cute boy you've been scoping out or it could be Large Marge, the downright hostile and completely impolite bill collector. I could not control who was on the other end. If I wanted to know who it was, I HAD to answer. Thereby relinquishing all control and subjecting myself to scary, mean people. And this also explains my fear of voicemail. They left scary messages too!!!!! NOT NICE!!!!! Okay, nevermind with the shrink. I think I just fixed myself. I have just identified the root of the problem. I don't have any collection agencies after me and haven't in years. I learned my lesson. Don't buy things you can't pay for. My credit cards are paid off monthly. I have nothing to fear from the phone. So you can call me now. If I start whimpering and hand the phone to Dave just know that I'm a work in progress. Dave has been taking and making phone calls on my behalf for two decades. He's used to it. Don't worry. He's very, very nice.