For Everyone Who Hates Talking on the Phone

For Everyone Who Hates Talking on the Phone

Posted by Dr. Julie Kinn on September 15, 2017

I hate using the phone. Wait, no ― I love using the phone, I just hate talking on it. This post is for all our readers who would rather [insert something you hate to do] than answer the phone. Whether it’s due to anxiety, busy schedules or because we're out of practice, many of us rarely speak by phone these days.

Here are a few tips that have worked for me:

  • Lower the stakes. If you need to make or return a call, do it as soon as possible. Delaying the inevitable increases your anxiety and turns a simple phone call into a burden.
  • Change your voice-mail message. I suggest something like, “Please leave me a message if you’d like a call back. For a faster response, please text me.”
  • Keep a check on your anxiety. If you’re one of the folks who avoid phone calls out of anxiety, ask yourself whether this is really a preference ― or a phobia. When anxiety and fear start preventing you from connecting with others or functioning at work, it’s time to seek help. Check out the AfterDeployment website's section on anxiety or consult with the DCoE Outreach Center for some options.

However, there are a few situations for which phone calls are essential:

  • To apologize: I’ve blogged before about the best ways to say you’re sorry. Let me add one more: apologizing by phone is always better than by text (but in person is always better than over the phone).
  • When a person is in pain: If a friend just had a death in the family, a break-up or is dealing with a legal problem, he or she may not feel like talking on the phone. But giving a call anyway can be comforting, even if just to leave a message, especially if you think they might be at risk of hurting themselves or someone else. I recommend saying something like, “Hey, it’s me. Just calling to let you know I’m thinking about you. I’m here if you want to talk or just want to be distracted. Feel free to give me a call or text.”
  • To connect with older adults: For some of our parents and other older adults, nothing will replace a phone call. Think of it as a good deed and call your mom once in a while.

What other ideas do you have for connecting with others using technology?

  • Community Terms and Conditions

  • If you have feelings of suicide, hopelessness or depression - please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

  • reserves the right to edit and/or remove any user-generated content that violates these Terms and Conditions. The contents of the site, such as text, graphics, images, information, and other material contained on the site ("Content") are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the site. If you choose to participate in the forums and/or blog ("Community") you agree to these Terms and Conditions.

  • Community posts and comments are reviewed by the Moderators for appropriateness before they are published to the Community. Posts and comments are reviewed between the hours of 0800 and 1700 hours Pacific Time, Monday through Friday and will go live immediately after review unless they are deemed inappropriate based on these Terms and Conditions at which time they will be deleted without notification.

    You will not be contacted at any point by any member of the staff, nor any related agency or organization. If you are in need of assistance or medical attention, please contact the DCoE Outreach Center or National Suicide Prevention Hotline listed in the top right corner of your screen.
  • You agree not to hold liable for anything stated within the Community. Messages and/or comments posted at this site are the sole opinion and responsibility of the poster. makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained within the Community.

  • and its Moderators reserve the right to remove, edit or delete without notice any and all content placed in the Community.

  • Moderator and/or action may be final. Actions may be reversed by or a Moderator after review of the matter.

  • Using the forum to solicit discussions contrary to the Terms and Conditions may be considered unacceptable.

  • It is your responsibility to be familiar with and remain updated to current Community Forum Terms and Conditions. All users of the Community must comply with these Terms and Conditions. Infractions of any Term or Condition may result in revocation of forum privileges.

  • General content that is inflammatory, vulgar, sexually explicit, rude or otherwise inappropriate will not be tolerated and will be removed.

  • Always be respectful of the Community, employees, and Moderators. Be civil, clean, and decent in all posts. Open discussions of varying points of view are encouraged but only if they remain constructive and not inflammatory. Personal attacks are neither allowed nor tolerated. Anyone using/ posting inappropriate content, language, personal attacks, engaging in hate speeches and rants, or being disruptive to the Community's positive environment may be barred from all further discussions and/ or the Community.

  • The Community is not a venue for personal or private vendettas or causes, including political debates.

  • Links to adult content, pages with links to adult content, or messages describing anything inconsistent with these Terms and Conditions will be removed.

  • Do not post copyrighted material or articles written by others without their permission.

  • Do not post altered-text as an attempt to defeat forum word-filters or otherwise circumvent the rules.

  • Nicknames, signatures, and avatars are not allowed on the site.

  • Keep forum thread discussions on topic, and within the subject of the forum. Please do not "hijack" or "bump" the thread to gain additional exposure to a post or yourself. Please do not
    cross-post within other forums and threads.

  • Content and Spam that is posted for the sole-purpose of unrelated promotion will be removed and may result in a permanent loss of forum privileges.

  • Anyone posting another member's personal or website details will be banned. Please do not post sensitive or confidential information to the Community about yourself or other members. Examples include account information, private communications with moderators, etc.