17 Things All People Who Have Phone Anxiety Will Understand

by Kristen Mae
Originally Published: 

When it comes to talking on the phone, I would generally prefer having splinters hammered under my nails one at a time or rolling around naked on the floor of a rest-stop bathroom. I hate it that much. Thank goodness for technology that allows for problem-solving via the Internet and communication via text, or I would probably never order takeout or talk to my friends.

Sound familiar? If so, you’ll probably relate to the rest of these, too:

1. An error on the credit card bill is cause for a panic attack, because now you have to talk on the phone. In fact, though you would never admit this to anyone, if the error is under a certain monetary threshold, you will just ignore it.

2. Texting is the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel…and fire, sliced bread and airplanes.

3. Your voice sounds like a Muppet, and there is nothing anyone can do to convince you otherwise.

4. After you hang up, you can’t remember a thing that was said.

5. Your doctor’s appointments, hair appointments, dog’s veterinary appointments and really anything that requires you to make an appointment are all approximately one year late. Your kids are on a delayed vaccination schedule not to make a political statement but by accident because it took you six months to muster the nerve to call the pediatrician’s office.

6. Business calls have the potential to inflict post-hang-up catatonia and require a post-call decompression period—something like meditation, though occasionally the only way to shock your system back into alertness is to stand in front of the open freezer door or walk over a pile of Legos.

7. When online pizza ordering became available, for a brief second you thought you’d achieved nirvana.

8. You hate phone salespeople with an intensity that is exponentially more powerful than an ordinary person’s hatred of phone salespeople. To you, they are basically on par with people who abuse animals.

9. At least once in your life, you’ve done a shot of hard alcohol before dialing a number.

10. You never answer the phone, even if it’s someone you know and love. You prefer to call them back later, so you can mentally prepare yourself at your own pace.

11. You once considered working in sales. Then you just laughed and laughed and laughed.

12. You regularly forget that the person you’re talking to cannot see you nodding and shaking your head. Then you apologize, and the person has no idea why you’re apologizing.

13. You don’t mind being on hold, really, because at least then you don’t actually have to talk to anyone.

14. You also don’t mind those automated customer service systems. Sure, it takes longer to identify and solve the problem, but at least you didn’t have to speak with a human.

15. Saying hello at the beginning of the conversation is the worst. Exactly how much small talk is necessary before getting into the meat of the conversation? Are you supposed to ask about the person’s kids? Is it bad if you ask about them even though you’ve totally forgotten their names and ages? Can you really not mention the weather? Because sometimes the weather is impressive and worth mentioning, and it’s really emotionally stifling not to be able to ask about the weather.

16. No, wait. Saying goodbye is the worst. How many “thank yous” are necessary? How many “I’ll call you laters”? How many “byes”? How come we always keep talking even after we’ve said “bye”? And then, once we’re really for sure done talking, do we still need to say “bye” again?

17. No matter whom you’re talking to, right before you hang up, you always accidentally say “I love you.”

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