How To Survive The Anxiety When You Have To Do Phone Calls (Because They Refuse to Email Like a Decent Human)

Phone calls stink. But you can survive them with a mix of practical tips to fight phone anxiety delivered with signature snarky humor.

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No decent human would force you to make a phone call in a world of much better options. Nonetheless, phone calls still happen.

Hi, my name is Kay. We’ve dealt with fighting back against anxiety before, and we’re going to do it again. Today we’re going to take some time for the phone support group. I’m here for you. We can get through this tragedy of someone thinking their message is so important it must be sent via phone call that demands you answer right now instead of a polite method of communication like a video call or chat. Or text. Or literally anything else. Let’s begin.

Phone Calls Still Attack People Today, But You Can Survive This.

Today we’ll learn the steps needed to survive when you are forced to answer or even ~gasp~ send a phone call. We’re in this together. I believe in you.

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I also may be kind of salty and sarcastic in there. This may or may not be more a humor piece than many of my other posts. You’ve been warned.

Phone Calls Happen. They Don’t Have to Completely Destroy Your Day and Make You a Total Nervous Wreck, Though.

The phone has come full circle. When it was first invented, many people were scared of it. It was a strange new invention, and it’s only recently that inventions have been pumped out left right and center so much that people are kind of used to it. Plus a telephone was a huge difference from the telegraph, like the invention of the cellphone was a huge jump from home phones that literally had no other technological abilities besides calling people.

Now so much communication technology has been invented that young people, many people just like me, are scared of. Because when would I have had practice not being scared of it? If I wanted to hang out with friends, we arrange a time by text. If I want to catch up with my friends, I look at their feed.

But if I want to talk to a relative, or make a doctor’s appointment, or other things that are potentially uncomfortable and unhappy conversations, I have to talk. Talk on the phone.

I’m not an introvert. I’d be happy spending every second of the day surrounded by people. I love people, and I definitely get energized by them instead of drained. But I still hate phones. A lot.

One thing I think is a large part of why people my age hate talking on the phone is that it’s only something that leads to uncomfortableness and misery. People don’t talk on the phone just for fun. Video calls have been invented. If I want to talk to someone for fun, I want to see their facial expressions and smiles too. Phone talking is reserved for the opposite of fun. It only happens for misery.

The other problem with a phone call, of course, is that it feels incredibly rude. When you get a phone call, there’s the pressure to answer right now. Which is totally fine and good when the situation warrants it- I really would want a phone call if someone is in the hospital, for example- but it’s beyond frustrating to get a phone call when someone is just looking for a casual chat. If it’s casual, I feel it warrants a casual form of communication, like a video call or even better getting together for lunch or dinner and talking in person.

But phone non-emergency phone calls haven’t stopped just because I wish they did. I’m an adult now, and many adulting things require that I sit down and talk on the phone. Just earlier this week I signed up with an investment group, Rich Uncles, and they insisted on talking to the phone to me. They even called me. Probably at some point in time this was a positive sign of innovation. For me, it just made me close the account and leave.

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There’s just something so aggressive about an actual phone call. It’s like saying “Hi I’m here, and you must talk to me right this second.” It’s not flexible like a text or email that you can wait to answer until convenient. It’s not friendly like a video chat, either. So why do we still have to use phone calls at all?

Because there are some monsters/people who still insist on communicating this way. So there will still be times when you have to answer an actual phone call. It’s not just a work thing where someone calls you on your desk phone- which is stressful, but you expect it because it happens fairly often at work.

Nope, sometimes in your daily life, someone will barge into your routine and demand you talk on the phone right this second. So you must be prepared for this terror to afflict you. You must plan ahead for this to happen.

Here is my top survival list on steps to take to survive answering or even making an actual phone call, because some people are such monsters they will insist at some point that you do so. You have been warned!

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  • Breathe. When you see someone is trying to call you, just breathe.

    • Do not panic. Or at least try to minimize panic. Sure, this is unfair and cruel and you don’t deserve to be attacked this way, yet here we are. You have to make the best of this. Trying to do meditation or deep breathing exercises for two seconds. Plus, hopefully waiting a few rings will remind the person on the other end of the line that they are being completely unreasonable and they should rethink this whole thing. Maybe waiting two seconds will make all the difference and convince them to use the phone like a decent person.
  • Hold the Phone at Your Ear, not Your Mouth

    • If you hold the phone too close to your mouth, they might be able to hear breathing sounds on the other end of the line. You don’t want them to hear how stressed you are by this attack! Don’t let the enemy see your fear! And also, heavy breathing is kind of creepy. The person who called you definitely deserves to be treated to some creepiness after this personal offense, but you can be the bigger person instead of sharing your heavy breathing sounds.

  • Try to Avoid Getting a Phone Call

    • Set up voicemail.My voicemail says, “Hi it’s Kay. Please leave a text or email because I don’t do phone calls.” That has worked on getting rid of all of the incoming calls that aren’t wrong numbers or telemarketers.
    • Enter the names for all your contacts. Do everything you can so that when a phone call comes up on your cell, you can see who it is and decide to ignore the call if they are someone who can just leave a message through text.
    • Be cautious with ignoring any calls if you’ve been job hunting and it may be a potential future boss whose number you don’t know, though.
  • Try to Overcome Your Panic. The Phone Call Just Ended. We Can Build From This Obvious Attack.

    • Maybe try to understand why phone calls suck. I mean, you clearly already know exactly why, but maybe having expert people tell you it’s not insane and why you feel this way will make you feel better. Can’t hurt to try, right? So let’s head over to The Cut, then check out Psychology Today. They probably know a thing or two about phone anxiety.
    • Nevermind, they know nothing. They had great insight on why I hate it, but I want useful insight into how to not hate it. I need something more practical than PToday apparently.
  • Maybe These Business People Understand Me. They Want to Tell Me Why Millenials Hate Phonecalls, and that’s me.

    • I hate phonecalls, and I am right on the dividing line between Millenial and Gen Z, so probably they understand me right?
    • John at Inc seems to understand that many people like me hate phonecalls. The first step to recovery is to feel validated, right? Or something. I just want to be as blase about a phone call as my parents, is that too much to ask for?
    • Arnie really doesn’t seem to get my phone issues. He’s trying to give advice about phone interviews, but all of his advice is for the actual interview part. What will I do when just the thought of answering the phone from anyone gives me the heeby jeebies? (Though his advice to control the environment you take the call in is pretty solid, most of his process skips the whole hating phone calls part and the main thing that has killed me in getting jobs through the phone interview in the past is that the interviewer always knows you hate phone calls.)
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  • Try to Figure Out What Other People Do About This Personal Slight of A Legit Phone Call.

    • Maybe you’ll feel better if less official people say you aren’t crazy for hating this phone call thing. Maybe they’ll even be able to make you feel better. Fingers crossed, right?
    • Check out Andy’s comforting words, and then the ultimate blogger Man Repeller will try to help you out so that’s something. If someone so brave and cool hates phone calls, maybe we aren’t so weird for feeling the same way. Maybe. Anyone? Bueller?
  • Train Your Grandma on Phone Call Alternatives

    • If the majority of your incoming calls comes from one relative, try teaching them how to do video chat. That way you both have pressure to set up chats with them and keep in touch more often and you don’t have to deal with phone calls. It’s a win-win!
  • Accept That You are Doomed to Eternal Torture

    • Realistically phone calls aren’t going to completely disappear any time soon. Some people will continue to use these devices of doom.
    • Try to meditate, or go on a trip, or otherwise find yourself. The version of you deep inside that has survived many phone calls and isn’t affected by them. Meet that version of you, shake its hand, and then try to force the rest of you to become that.

 

  • It’s Not Working. The Thought of Phone Calls Still Makes you feel so attacked.

    • I came out here to have a good time and honestly I’m feeling so attacked right now. The meme is old, so old, but it feels so real when it comes to getting a dreaded phone call.
  • I Wish I Could Just Turn Off The Phone Function on My Cell

    • I wish there was a way to just automatically reject or ignore all incoming phone calls.
    • What’s that? How long have new cell phones had a Do Not Disturb setting? Whoops. Better go set that. Stat!

Phone Calls Stink.

But we can prevail. We are in this together. So fight back against the tyranny on your time a demanding phone call ringtone creates with these tips, and you’ll be a little less destroyed inside each time a phone call happens.

Also, what do you do when you get a phone call? Do you hate them like I do?

Hiya pal, please share your thoughts! :)