Phone Phobia - Social Fears and OCPD

I have phone phobia. It’s not that phones themselves scare me. I don’t avoid blocks with pay phones, or refuse to enter a Verizon store. I love my iphone, and fill it with apps and games. But still, I call it phone phobia in my mind because that’s what it feels like. I hate to make calls.

Friends are hardest, but doctors, plumbers, job stuff… all of it provokes a deep anxiety. I have to psych myself up to hit that green button on my touch screen every time. I force myself to call, but only after I count to five, gathering my courage.

The fear is two fold : I feel that no one ever wants to talk to me, and that I will say the ‘wrong” thing.

No, I’ve never had a traumatic phone moment, or any real reason to be so insecure. But I still am. Always have been. Even calling my mom is slightly nerve wracking, but she is by far the easiest. I know she always wants (needs?) to hear from me, and that no matter what I say she will still love me. My dad is another story.

But friends? That’s tricky. I have trouble reaching out because I replay my words and actions from the last time together, obsessing over my social skills. Did I smile too much? Should I ask two days or three days before the event if they can go? Is that too desperate, and should I just text the day of? But then its impersonal…

It goes on. Until, I bite my lip, count to five, and force myself to press the “call button”

Then I pray I get voicemail.

At least if they call me back, it’s a buffer. I know they want to talk then.

I think the best way to cope with this is to push though the fear, and tell myself how irrational it is. Who cares if they don’t want to hear from me, or if I seem desperate? I should focus my esteem my own self , and know that the person on the other end of the line has no right to judge me. I can’t wrap up my self esteem in every interaction. It gives away all my power and confidence! And that is not the kind of person I want to be.

I have to stop being afraid of failing and getting wrapped up in what others think so I can live a more social life. Because if I play it safe and don’t make those calls that are scary, I won’t ever get past the dial tone to the voice at the other end.

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