Anyone who knows me well knows how much I avoid the phone. I rarely call anyone other than my kids. Even my weekly call to my dad is stressful for me.
I didn’t connect this phone phobia of mine with my ADHD until I read Sandy Maynard’s article today on the ADDitude Magazine website.
Apparently a lot of people with ADHD avoid telephone conversations because they find it even harder to talk to someone on the phone than they do in person.
It’s easier to get distracted when you’re on the phone and lose track of the conversation. I find myself interrupting more, too, than I do in person.
For me, though, the biggest thing is knowing what to say.
That must sound ridiculous to some people, but it’s true. Even good friends I’ve known for years (are you reading this Kathy?) can still cause me to panic before making a call.
As Sandy points out in her article, we often put off making phone calls because of this kind of anxiety. Then of course, at some point, you’ve waited too long to respond and you’re sure if you call now, the person you’re calling will be angry. Oh yes. Been there, done that.
One of the things that I do to help me get the conversation started is to rehearse what I’m going to say. If it’s really important, I might rehearse actual lines or even write them down. If it’s more of a casual call, I try to at least have an idea in my head of what I want to say or talk about.
I feel like this is the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever admitted online. Don’t laugh too hard.
Sandy’s article makes some good suggestions as well; pacing while you talk and doing a simple familiar task are two of my favorites. I always make a point to call my dad on Sunday evening while I’m doing the dinner dishes. It helps.
Check out Sandy’s article if any of this sounds familiar to you. She’s a very smart lady.