Phone Phobia

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate answering the phone?  I have that exact cat expression except with a slightly more raised left eyebrow whenever the phone rings.  (Oh crap.  Who is that and what the hell do they want. I’ll just let it go to voicemail.)

I will make an exception of course if I’m expecting a call, or recognize the number and actually feel like talking, but those circumstances are rare.

List of possible reasons for my phone call paranoia:

  1. It might be bad news.  Here’s a weird thing I remember from my childhood. Our phone rang and I said “phone calls used to always mean bad news, like somebody died”.  After that profound announcement my mother took the call and learned that one of our uncles had suffered a heart attack and died.  It was a strange coincidence, I’m not psychic or anything, but I’ve never forgotten it. Maybe this helps to explain the little jolt of anxiety a ringing phone still gives me.
  2. If it’s a telemarketing or solicitation call it’s hard for me to be anything but dismissive and rude.  It’s impossible to but in because they never shut up, so I just talk over them and then hang up.  After that I put their number on our  blocked list.
  3. It is really frustrating to have difficulty understanding what is being said, especially if someone talks very quickly or has an accent.  I’m so much better face to face.

Whoa. That last one is the biggest reason.  I stopped after I wrote it and went off to do some research and this resulted in (YAY!) yet another list.  Check out this site for the full version.

When you have a high frequency hearing loss, you may have trouble:

– following conversations (hear but can’t understand).
– talking on the phone.
– understanding TV shows or movies even when you turn the volume up.
– understanding young children’s voices because they tend to be higher in pitch
– enjoying music because it sounds distorted, especially at higher volumes.


– people think you aren’t listening to them or accuse you of having selective hearing

– you accuse people of mumbling

– you answer questions inappropriately or miss punch lines

– you smile and nod even though you have no clue what the hell is going on

Well that explains a lot. Why I turn the radio off with a sigh of relief.   Why I always have subtitles running across my screen no matter what I’m watching.  Why I can hear some things from rooms away but never the stove timer.  Why my mumbling grandchildren are so hard to understand,  and why they get so exasperated having to repeat themselves for me.

Sorry guys.  It’s not JUST senility.  Maybe I do need to seriously consider that hearing aid I was told I was borderline for needing.  Or I could wait until I can no longer even hear the phone ringing at all.  Decisions, decisions. Meanwhile, practicing that cat face but adding nodding and smiling to it.

20 thoughts on “Phone Phobia

  1. Yikes! I hate answering the phone too. Usually when I get an unknown number it is never anything exciting like a job offer or a book deal. It is some fast talking desperate salesperson trying to get me on board for something. Once a woman shouted at me because I said I didn’t want any diet pills. She ranted for five minutes about how rude I was and how I didn’t wait to hear all the details – all I said was ‘I don’t want any, thank you, and don’t want to waste your time’. At the end of it she slammed the phone down and I was left staring at my own phone in shock. She must have had a really bad day. I didn’t know high frequency hearing loss was a thing! My goodness, it must be even worse to answer the phone, you probably just can’t be doing with all that palava, especially from salespeople. I find it interesting that you only just discovered why you do certain things 🙂 Also that coincidence is very spooky, no wonder phone calls feel like bad news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wouldn’t last a day as a phone solicitor. I feel sorry for anyone who has to make a living doing that. I wonder if your little experience might have ended in someone losing their job! Or quitting. lol
      I suppose my discovering reasons for things about myself and my behaviour might be due to having too much time on my hands for deep introspection. I’m pretending to be my own therapist.
      I need help….haha


  2. I am hard of hearing and hate talking on the phone! I have trouble hearing people on the phone. Luckily I work with a boss who lets me use the speaker phone. But the hearing aids aren’t so bad. Of course, I have been wearing them since I was 3, so I’m totally used to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess if I’m not thinking I need hearing aids for myself I should at least do it for the exasperated people trying to communicate with me. I’m sure they’re not bad at all, and don’t know really why I’m so hesitant. Maybe I’m afraid I will have to talk on phones again. lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally get it, but they really do help a lot. I have lost half my hearing and the hearing aids help me to hear about 90% as well as a regular hearing person. But I know some older people don’t like the idea of it because it means they’re getting older.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Can sooo relate on all points. Really used to be a people person and lived way out in the country, so enjoyed newsy phone conversations. But now, not so much. I try hard to be nice to people with such a terrible job, but since I am getting deaf, I sometimes consider shouting into the phone, “I can’t hear you. Can you talk louder.” until we are both shouting and they give up. The other day a woman called to get me to phone a congressman about a political issue. She referred to what I heard as the EDA. After asking her to repeat it a couple of times, I just said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know what that means.” She laughed! Which I found kind of insulting, until she explained: “It’s the Environmental Protection Agency. I could understand why she laughed, though it wasn’t a very motivating response for me. I started to tell her what I heard and that I was wondering if I was supposed to call someone about the Erectile Dysfunction Agency. I resisted evil for once in my little misanthropic life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg, I hope it’s okay that I cannot stop laughing about the Erectile Disfunction Agency. That’s priceless. But I would have been completely miffed too, to be laughed at for misunderstanding. I’ve had similar conversations where I really cannot hear whatever they’re trying to say so they give up. Anyway, you just made my night.😄😄


  4. I’m sorry, but phones are the work of the devil. You didn’t know?? That’s really my bad, shoulda told you sooner (I’ve been in possession of this awareness since the early ’90s, AT LEAST).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate answering the phone too, not because of deafness but because of :
    Fear of not recognising the person’s voice and looking stupid.
    Hatred of telephone sales people (especially the ones selling solar panels)
    Not wanting to interrupt my dinner/favourite TV show to talk to someone.

    Even more than that I hate making calls because:
    The person might not be there and will call me back at an inconvenient time
    I’ll start talking to them and then find it’s not the person I thought and I will feel stupid
    The background noise will make it hard to hear. (Tradesmen, people in public places)
    They will be up a ladder or driving or doing something which they should not be distracted from.

    This is why I love emails and texting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I hear you on all those points. Texting is a great alternative, I much prefer it. Even some doctors offices here use it to confirm appointments so a simple yes texted back is all that’s required. Also they will email all appointment info if there’s extra things to know, rather than try to phone and get you to write it down yourself. Works great.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. YEA! I’m not the only phone-hater in the world!

    I used to think I was unique – everyone else around me lives on their damn cell phones – either texting or talking (or sometimes both at the same time) and here I am – just wanting an actual face to face conversation.

    We’re on the same wavelength this week – I was ranting about my cell phone (or the demonic rectangle) on my blog yesterday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • What’s really annoying is a group of people face to face to face, but all eyes down glued to their phones. I have the sound turned off on my cell phone and only check it when I think it’s likely that it needs charging. Then I discover missed texts and the occasional missed call. It’s good for taking shopping lists with you. lol


  7. Welcome me to the club of hating the phone!
    I never owned even a cell phone, and i don’t plan to do it for the foreseeable future, I got a land line just for emergencies, save the occasional telemarketer, that I don’t even tell them anything before hanging on them, I receive maybe half a dozen calls a month from friends, and do not like to talk on the phone for too long, since interrupts whatever I am were doing.

    My usual conversation on the phone: “Hello?”
    “You want me to pick you up in a few minutes to go to the cafe?”
    “Sure, give me 10 minutes to be ready.”
    “Alright see you then, bye.”
    Done,hung up. :-).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like the perfect phone conversation. I want to get rid of our landline, simply because we don’t need three phones for 2 people. Cells are great for taking with you and good in emergencies. And for looking things up. And for ignoring people around you….😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I need to do the binge reading thing too. It’s so easy to get behind, especially when I have to read Twitter now which I never did before but I’m loving all the snark there. Is that bad? It’s probably bad. Oh well. lol❤


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