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Featured Does your brain short-circuit when speaking on the phone?

Discussion in 'PDD-NOS, Social Anxiety and Others' started by Loren, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. princess gremlin

    princess gremlin New Member

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    Calling people up makes me feel a little anxious as well. It takes some time before I gain enough courage to make the call and than I just go for it. What worries me as well is that I don't seem to have any control of how well I am handling the call. Sometimes I am doing fine but at other times the whole thing is a toe cringing and akward experience for me because I start to mumble without making coherent sentences, I am not saying what I wanted to say and even my voice starts to sound weird.
    Receiving calls is hard as well, especially when the call is unexpected which means that I don't have time to prepare myself. I prefer to communicate by mail and so on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  2. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    My solution is pretty simple... I just refuse to use the bloody thing.

    If it rings, I will never answer it. I only make a call if absolutely necessary, and the only person I ever call is my father; usually when I'm travelling just so I can say "Hey, I got here safely, stop worrying".

    Other than that... my so-called phone is pretty much just a flashlight that doubles as a magical talking map. I rarely use it for anything other than those two functions.
     
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  3. Loren

    Loren Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you, all, for your input and support! Just about everything mentioned, resonates with me/ I've experienced. Thankfully, I, rarely, am required to use the phone, but, I'm sure it will be necessary, on occasion, for some time to come. I wish us all, an easier time of it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  4. Adora

    Adora Well-Known Member

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    I don’t like talking on the phone and hardly do it.The only people I talk to on the phone is my husband and my aunt but I notice sometimes I will either stutter or mumble up my words.i also find leaving voice messages difficult and prefer to text but I can also unintentionally talk over people and not know when it’s my turn to talk and sadly I seem to do this with people face to face aswell.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  5. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have difficulties with phone conversations, though not necessarily any more than I have with in person conversations (in an in-person conversation, though, I can play off the tongue-ties with humor in ways I can't over the phone.)

    The one thing I have trouble with over the phone is understanding people if they have a bad line or an accent that I have trouble with - I imagine this is common and don't know if I struggle more with it than average. (I don't know why telecom companies can't get their customer service lines right. You'd think of all companies, THEY would have a CS line that isn't 50% static and fading out.)
     
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  6. KillerMidget

    KillerMidget Active Member

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    All. The. Time.

    Phone calls. Face to face.

    Mispronounces words, says them in the wrong order, hesitates, literally just stops mid-sentence (...buffering...), panics, makes it worse..... And then tops it off with something embarrassing, usually a humour attempt...
     
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  7. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oh my gosh, me to. And my mom too. I thought it was just us LOL. I sometimes say something completely opposite what I mean, or my mind just latches onto a word that is related but doesn't have the same meaning (ie: I have said I 'stole something' when I meant to say I 'bought it' (I really did NOT steal it) because my brain went "acquired....stole! Close enough!")

    I've even gotten things turned around and turned compliments into insults...and not realized what I said (I heard what I meant to say, not what actually came out of my mouth.) The person I was talking to, offended, asked me to repeat myself, and I repeated the unintended statement again still not catching on that the words coming out of my mouth were not the words that were in my brain.

    Yeah, stuff just comes out....scrambled. At this point, I'll say something that I think makes sense...people start laughing and then I just ask what I actually said because I know myself well enough to know that this happens.
     
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  8. righan

    righan New Member

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    I am not certain I am aspie, but I struggle with phone calls as well, in the same way that you do. My mind goes blank and it gets harder to find information, to read what the person is saying, and to pick up on social queues. I think its because its a deceptive middle ground between being in person and the written word.

    With the written word (email), there is no body language to read, but there is also no pressure to know the answer right now - no sense of immediacy. You have time to analyze and pick apart the communication and determine what the person means and decide on your response. With the phone, you are often missing a huge portion of important queues used to determine what the person means, but they still expect you to know the answer right now. So the brain goes blank because it needs to do at least as much analysis as the written word in the time of a spoken conversation (among other things).

    Also, I know that the way I think relates to the creation of spatial data. By this, I mean I do not think in words or pictures as average people do, but in spatial data or I call them 'holograms'. Like memories or experiences. So if I am talking to someone on the phone, I am experiencing a sort of 'hologram' of them talking to me where my brain tries to construct a sense of them on the phone with emotions and expressions ... but then as they talk, my brain also switches over to creating holograms of what they are saying ... because that is how I think ... so I constantly have to switch back and forth between seeing/experiencing what they are saying and seeing/experiencing them as a person on a phone talking to me. Which is not only exhausting, it makes it harder to think creatively/abstractly because I'm already using a lot of my abstract reasoning constructing them as an experience. (note that this isn't a choice, its just what happens. I'm speaking as an observer of my mental process.)

    So I try to avoid phone calls as much as I can. However, if I know I'm going to have to talk on the phone, like at work .... I try to write conversation scripts and/or talking points, and important information that I might need before hand so that I have it. The less thinking I have to do when I'm on the phone, the more control I have over the conversation and the smoother it goes. I also have information that is often requested info in easy to get to places... such as a note card attached to the side of my monitor with addresses and numbers on it that I need to give people when I'm on the phone at work.
     
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  9. Loren

    Loren Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thank you very much, for describing what you experience. I experience the same, but, would not have been able to describe it so well. Additionally, my mind works in the very same way that yours does. Thank you, as well, for mentioning the things you do to prepare yourself. I truly appreciate it!
     
  10. anacrusis

    anacrusis New Member

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    years ago I noticed that I can't hear as well with my glasses off (I'm very short-sighted)...

    it's only been in the last few weeks that I've been shown scan results suggesting that the auditory processing of autistic people may not be as well developed as in NT folk, but visual processing is perhaps rather better than for NTs. If that is really so, then it might explain why so many autistic people find the phone horrible to use - I certainly do. I spent years learning how to read body language and when they changed my work to involve much heavier use of the phone, I struggled massively when all the visual clues disappeared. I find I can't hear as well on the phone, I have to plan carefully how to start the call, am stuttering when something goes wrong, and also forget what I was going to say, or say the same thing more than once. People have asked me if I'd find Skype calls any better - and I'm not sure I would... given that I'd also have to look at myself all frozen in front of the camera during the call. Plus, I rather like the doodling tip, I think I'm going to have to try that, and on Skype the other person would see me doing it and think I wasn't paying attention ;)

    - it's been six years since they changed my working pattern. I've got absolutely no more comfortable using the phone in all that time :(
     
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  11. novart

    novart Active Member

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    I haven't figured it out but I have distinctively noticed that in spite of my social abilities vastly improving in person that I still have a lot of difficulty on the phone even without explicit nervousness. I've had to warn people that I can't just have a phone conversation on the fly as many people get offended by this. I've lost potential friends for this reason. No idea why it is so hard though, just something I've become aware of.
     
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  12. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I have a phone interview coming up and really anxious about it.
     
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  13. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'd rather offer my own kidneys for transplant :)

    Do you have a method you use to calm yourself when anxious?
    a mindset? a mantra?

    you can't control what happens at the other end of the line,
    but you do have a small amount of control over what you can make happen at your end.

    You have my best wishes for your interview.
    I wish you every success :)
     
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  14. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    Oh gosh, an interview is bad enough, but over the phone :eek:

    Is your anxiety around the interview itself or the fact that it's via telephone?

    Whilst I'm really adverse to phones, I can actually see some positives to a phone interview. Not needing to dress up in uncomfortable interview clothing; easier to hide nervous state; can have notes to hand, which in some interview situations isn't allowed.

    All the best with the interview and the outcomes :)
     
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  15. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I'm telling myself that it really doesn't matter if it doesn't go well, because I have plenty of other work and this is extra.

    I make notes , a list of questions and social reminders - to say thank you for calling at the end of the interview. Some things to say at the beginning. I can act NT, but the question is, how well and will I pass?
    Both.
    True. Also I tend to stim quite a bit or pace, that won't show. This isn't a very formal interview (I don't think) - it's a meeting with a potential client to discuss a proofreading job. I'm much more comfortable discussing it via email, but he wants to talk in person.

    I often have to talk to new clients on the phone and it's never easy, but this is making me more nervous than usual.
     
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  16. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Interview done. I tend to leave pauses, but he put those down to the connection being slow. He left pauses too and there were one or two awkward silences. I don't know whether I will get this contract or not... time will tell. I really suck at business phone calls. If I don't get it, at least I tried. Glad it's over.
     
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  17. JDShredds

    JDShredds Well-Known Member

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    Argh. This has always been a problem for me. I can do friends and family if they're someone I'm comfortable with - in fact as much as I hate the phone, I can spend all night on a call with someone I'm super close to - but business type calls have always been highly stressful to me. Unless I absolutely have to, I won't call customer service of any kind if there are any other options.

    On top of that, I'm in the process interviewing for a call center job. I've never actually had a phone job and I'm worried it'll be a disaster, but my options are slim right now and a friend hooked me up with the opportunity.

    Also: I'm in a growth state of mind... "the only way around is through." Perhaps doing something I'm uncomfortable with will at least teach me how to do it well... even if I continue disliking it and move on to something else.
     
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  18. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    That's a big achievement - seriously. Well done!

    Hope you get the contract :)
     
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  19. Weeble

    Weeble New Member

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    I work in a contact centre, my job is pure telephony, dealing with inbound calls only. I have a structure to follow, certain questions to ask in a certain order, depending on the call nature. I'm very good at it. Four years in, no complaints, near perfect performance.

    I hate making calls. I hate using a phone. It's practically a punishment for a friend to phone rather than text.

    How I cope at work - they don't know who I am, or anything about me. I know I'm unlikely to ever speak to the same customer twice. I spend time learning more about my job, to the point it's practically a special interest, so I am confident in my knowledge. Helping people helps me feel better, so if I'm speaking to someone in trouble, improving their situation becomes my entire focus for however long the call takes, and knowing I have made a positive difference, gets me through my shift.

    Then I come home, refuse to make phone calls, and barely say a word all evening :D

    I used to find it impossible to make official calls, would have massive anxiety, but it easier now. I have learned and practiced my work telephone skills, and I will turn them on anybody who gives me any trouble - using my soft skills for EVIL!
     
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  20. Canismajoris

    Canismajoris Hypergiant

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    +1 from here. I hate speaking in phone. Video / Skype calls are slightly more easier. I just always rush to end the call as soon as possible. Not a good thing in my position.
     
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