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Featured Phone calls

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pats, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Why are phones calls such a dread?
    I will postpone making phone calls to ask about a bill, change an appointment, anything that requires having to talk to someone. I love this new 'press 1 for that and 2 for this' because you don't actually have to talk. I also used to answer my phone, they'd ask for me and I'd ask who's calling. If it was something important I'd then tell them it was me, if not I'd take a message. :) Now with caller id I just don't answer numbers I don't recognize and if it's important they can leave a message.
    But even personal phone calls are dreaded. I used to hate calling someone and they immediately say they don't like talking on the phone. I feel insulted so I can't do that to someone else. When someone asks for my phone number I don't know how to not give it to them. But then if they call and don't leave a message I'm not going to call them back. If they do leave a message, I'm like "Darn." I used to have a home phone and give that number out because I'd never answer it, but I don't anymore.
    I have a hard time calling my kids. I tell them that they're the ones with the schedules so I leave it to them to call me. But when I do need to call one of them I dread it like any other call and not really sure why. I always enjoy talking to them. It's getting harder and harder though.
    My oldest sister used to call me every single day and I hated that. Most the time I'd try to get off the phone by saying, "Well, I've got nothing" and she'd say she doesn't either (meaning nothing new to talk about) but then she'd keep me on the phone. And when she did have things to talk about, it was usually things I didn't want to hear about. But a several months ago - it's kind of of ironic. She kept wanting to discuss gun control and I didn't want to because I already knew we disagreed and not going to influence the other. I told her I didn't want to talk politics of any kind because talking politics these days leads to anger, which leads to people turning against each other and eventually leads to violence. She kept saying things, so I finally said something back, which made her mad and she quit calling me. LOL Since then, she calls me about once every 3-4 weeks. And since my fall out with my other sister and brother, so I don't want any of them to know anything my kids or I do, I still don't have things to talk about because I don't want her passing it along to them. Ok - this one worked out for the better.
    Oh, and when I am on the phone, I'm giving my undivided attention so it is taking me away from whatever I'm doing. And when the other person is doing things while they talk or even in moments of silence, I get very frustrated.
    But WHY is it so hard making and taking phone calls?
     
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  2. TheFreeCat

    TheFreeCat Active Member

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    Because you know your mind will be trapped. And you don't know for how long.
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    In a general sense I suspect for many of us on the spectrum it amounts to one of the most difficult- and taxing forms of communicating with others.

    I know in my own case timing can be very difficult, knowing when to respond and estimating whether or not a person has temporarily finished with a statement. Sounds simple enough, but my mind just doesn't always parse things properly in this respect.

    Also just focusing on whether or not I heard something correctly can be an issue. You never know with so cellular calls going one or both ways. Worse perhaps if and when people speak in unfamiliar accents.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  4. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hate making phone calls, hate it when the phone rings, even when the answering machine picks it up. I think it's something about going back into that world of rapid talking, which I no longer have to do. Had a falling out with an older sibling too, who would call drunk and rant for thirty minutes about something once a week. Sometimes I would put the phone down and do something else for awhile, don't think they ever noticed. Same with my mother-in-law, she didn't drink only ranted, although occasionally she would shout 'you there?':eek:

    Interesting thing was I never talked about things I was doing, or my husband or gram, couldn't fit them in. So they made things up so they could talk about me. Had to make some appointments today, and it took an hour to make the calls. Seems like I'm either annoyed or tired after talking quickly to people, like every second costs something.
     
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  5. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I never liked chatting. I'm also sensitive to negative rants and gossip/information that doesn't concern me. I need a purpose to a conversation. I end up screening phone calls based on my mood. It's all about timing for me. I don't like the interruptions when I'm otherwise involved in something that won't get done if I have to stop and chat unnecessarily. It kills my concentration. If a call is important, then the person calling will leave a message. If I know what the call is about, I can prepare for it prior to returning the call. I've learned to protect my time this way. It took me years to learn the it was my right to stave off intrusion.
     
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  6. Progster

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

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    I hate the phone too, I always feel so awkward on the phone. Another reason is that I find it hard to understand what the person is saying, especially if there's background noise. My mum has one or two friends that she chats to for hours on end, and I have no idea how she manages to find things to say, because when I talk to her, I really struggle to think of things to say. She wants to know my news, but I have no news, nothing that is really worth talking about. I only ever phone someone when I need to communicate quickly with them ,and when I have something specific to say, I never just phone to chat.
     
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  7. Theta.G

    Theta.G Well-Known Member

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    The internet of things.
    Before the phone, people had to meet up in person to discuss things. Or send letters back forth.
    The phone came along and everyone gradually started staying in their homes it was more comfortable for communication.
    At this point in time it was the most efficient way to communicate. Also, the most disconnected.
    Cell phones and internet come along. The bar has now been set higher (or lower depending on how you look at it)
    Now this is the most efficient way to communicate but it sacrifices intimacy + other things.
    You get a text while you're asleep? It's fine you can answer back when you feel like it. You want to SHOW you friend something? Now ya can from the comfort of your home any time.
    Society is headed in a scary direction.
    The next and upcoming replacement is going to be VR, virtual reality. Various companies are already working on body suits so you can get the sensation of touch. Neural devices. You name it...
    Hey lets go on a trip to cuba!!!
    Well... ya... but... we could still do that in vr together and save tons of money
    See the parallels?
    Hey do you want to come over and watch a movie?
    "Oh blahblahblah excuse excuse... but if your awake at midnight we can watch it together on rabb'it :) (a screen sharing program which has a chatroom and a shared video linked to netflix)

    Facebook of all entities bought the oculus company for 2 Billion dollars. Huge red flags. Their main objective isn't to entertain people.

    I'm getting off track.
    Basically we've become accustomed to detached social interactions. Here, our conversations aren't forced forward by awkward pauses. We can take our time and think before we send messages. On the phone however you have to be quick. There are more audio cues such as tonality that will allow the other person to get a better read on you and you on them. Cell phone companies can already identify your unique voice signature. All you have to do to confirm that you are who you are now is talk... Ya, wonder where else that data is going to end up.And who else is sing that technology. How private are our private calls anyway. I had a friend who worked hi up in the cell phone biz and would intercept text messages from those in his life to gain an edge on them.

    +many other problems with phone communication...

    Talking on the phone just sucks now but if there was no internet i realize there would only be a tiny fraction of people who are anxious with talking on the phone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  8. Sab

    Sab Active Member

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    I get really frustrated too when people are doing other things as I'm talking to them on the phone because when I'm on the phone it's something that requires a lot of concentration.

    I used to (and still do sometimes) avoid talking on the phone. The way I understand it, it's just really hard to have to talk spontaneously to someone when I'm not face-to-face. I never know when to talk, and don't like being «on the spot» and having to answer questions without having the time to think about it.

    I don't really like messaging either or any type of communication that requires me to be spontaneous and reply fast. I use messaging and phone calls mostly for practical reasons like to plan a hang out or make an apointment.
     
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  9. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I feel the same way!

    I'm also uncomfortable with other electronic forms of verbal communication. At my first job, I absolutely refused to talk on the radio. I just couldn't do it at first.

    I also can't do facetime or Skype and drive-thrus make me uncomfortable.

    I've always explained it as "I don't like talking to robots".
     
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  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I just got off the phone with my sister and then read this. She is the worst because she also does loud things while on the phone and won't hear an answer and asks me to repeat myself over and over, still while she's making other noise. After about the 3rd time I stop and refuse to say anything more. I get really mad when she does this. And the noise is always louder on my end and hurts my ears and I want to scream. She has a new puppy and I love dogs but the dog yip/barked non stop and I just refuse to try to talk over it. I'm still hearing the yipping echoes. arghhhh
     
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  11. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Can't stand talking on the phone. I just don't answer the phone because I don't like being blindsided by whoever it is that wants something from me. Cell phones make you 100% harassable at all times, I hate it. I've also had my phone used as a weapon against me before, long story, so I don't even trust phones.

    Sad, really. Phones could be such a cool and useful thing if people weren't around to make the whole thing suck.
     
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  12. TempeFan

    TempeFan Well-Known Member

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    The one phone/internet company in this area is the worst, we never know when it will provide service out here. We can't afford the caller id feature which shows every call as just "out of area" anyway. Then they spiked our line and completely fried our telephone/caller id/answering machine. We were down to one old fashioned $5 Walmart phone with 3 foot cord. We bought it decades ago because we needed something that still worked when the power goes out.

    Those Obamacare insurance salesmen and political surveying robocalls have been coming at us hot and heavy this season, with their "Push 1 to talk to our agent. Push 2 to be removed from our call list" We wore out the 2 button on our old phone and the same people kept calling and calling, usually at the crack of dawn AND the middle of dinner every day. Then my husband's mom gifted him a brand new cordless phone with answering machine. This thing is a beauty. It has this silent mode feature. We just push a few buttons and it doesn't ring for 12 hours, or until we push the button again. It still answers the phone and takes a message but we don't hear a sound until at some convenient time we notice the light flashing and push the play message button. And it's cordless, so I'm not tethered to the desk in the den if I have to use it. I can take it in the kitchen for a beverage and if you call and hear a toilet flush ........
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  13. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

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    I let whoever it is leave a message, and then like Peter I can prepare what to say when I return the call.
    At least there is caller ID now.
     
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  14. tlc

    tlc Well-Known Member

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    I don't like phone calls because I don't work well when being put on the spot, and that's what a phone call does to you. You have to fish for information to answer questions on the spot, running on half brain power and half hand ability. And if I don't then I appear as an idiot. I'd rather someone leave a message, then I can listen to it, think about what they want, and give them an educated response that is much better.

    I don't answer my cell phone if I don't know who it is. If it's important enough they will leave a message. Otherwise the unknown calls are just spam anyway. I also don't like being able to be bothered at any time. So many times I'll leave my phone off. Just like if I wasn't home. I have time that is mine. One of the reasons I don't social network. If I want someone to know my life, I'll tell them myself at my own will.
     
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  15. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don’t have a phone I use.

    Send me an email I can read when I choose,
    talk to me face to face.

    My ‘quiet’ is pretty precious to me.

    Yes I could put a phone on silent but then I would forget to change it back to ‘ Pester’ :)
    If I don’t carry a phone around it’s one less thing to misplace and lose.
     
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  16. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    Phone calls are often difficult because they are 100% talking, often to unfamiliar people in unfamiliar conversational contexts that can't be scripted for (or can't be adequately scripted) -- the less scripting/familiarity, the more likely it is the whole thing will end in confusion and misunderstanding for myself and the other person while the purpose of the phone call remains unaccomplished.

    Also, the only nonverbal information available is tone of voice, which means it can be harder to use nonverbal information to get by when I don't understand what the other person is talking about/where they are coming from. (Although only having the auditory information to process can actually be helpful, too....it depends.)

    The knowing when it's your turn to speak bit is also difficult, but I seem to have problems with that regardless of whether I'm talking on the phone or talking to someone in person.

    Caller ID is a wonderful thing. I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  17. Moomin

    Moomin “My servants never die!”

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    I’m so happy that I’m not the only one that has this struggle, so thank you @Pats for posting this thread!

    I have massive struggles when I have to use the phone. I prefer email, or heck even face-to-face communication because at least that’s something that can be handled but phone calls I feel so stressed when I have to call. Unless it’s my parents and even then I text them most of the time, I can’t grasp the calmness to even make one. I have never really understood why it’s problematic for me to use the phone but reading responses here has given me a few thoughts. I’m feeling quite relieved and vindicated that it’s not me being awkward.
     
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  18. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    I hate those "press 1 for this, press 2 for that" messages! But I can still remember when a human being actually answered the phone.
    I also hate it when they say that mother of all lies, "Your call is important to us".
    Alexander Graham Bell must be twisting in his grave.
     
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  19. JNZ

    JNZ Active Member

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    i hate phone calls. I always mishear or cane understand people on the phone, there’s a record of it so I feel I can’t make a mistake, it feels official and therefor any mistake is even more damaging. I’ll put phone calls off for as long as I can or get someone else to make them for me. I’ve even felt suicidal over not being able to make calls, so how will I ever do everything “official” required of me? It’s like never ending forms, calls, appointments. The dread of all those in the future.
     
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  20. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The only aspect of phone calls I hate is having to speak to non UK call centres, they just don't understand my strong local accent and I end up having to repeat myself constantly, which tries my very limited patience.
     
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