Many Anxiety Blobs with social anxiety have a specific fear of phone calls. Not phones. Not texting. But actually answering the phone. Or picking it up to call someone. Personally, I find that it has to do with 1) an unscripted interaction (I have no idea why this person is calling or who they are), 2) not being able to see the person’s face for social cues, 3) the possibility of being misinterpreted. I MUCH prefer texting, though people without anxiety often find that form of communication to be more opaque and more likely to be the cause of misunderstanding.
However, I think I speak for a fair number of my Anxiety Blob brethren when I say that the reason we like texts better is that we have the time and space to think about what we want to say – anxiety can cause confusion and aphasia (that thing where you lose words). When I’m responding to a text – and I might not do so immediately – I can take a moment. I can edit myself. I’m not trying to be deceptive or craft an image. I just would like to not wake up in cold sweats reliving that stupid thing I sent where I said “your” instead of “you’re” and also, why would I say “coolio” to that person I barely know?
Sometimes, though, I’m afraid NOT to anwer the phone. Oh, anxiety. You saucy companion. Never a dull moment.
Dueling anxieties! Which is worse, unexpected conversation with a stranger or possibly neglecting a friend or loved one?
What kind of loathsome creature ignores a cry for help from someone who is probably pinned beneath a vending machine?
Add to list of irrational fears: offending salesperson I do not know and will never meet. This is how I end up with weird magazines I don’t read.