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tystie

I hate phone calls

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tystie

I know this is a bit of an Aspie thing, but I don't really understand why I have quite so much trouble with phone calls. I'm OK with calls to my close friend, but calling anyone else is just so stupidly difficult.

 

I had to call my car insurer this morning to get some damage to my windscreen repaired. As usual I wrote a few things down first and then ran through in my head how the call might go before calling. I then spent ages wondering if I could somehow get it sorted online, which I couldn't, so had to phone. At least I got through straight away.

 

Having explained why I was calling, there was then a long silence which didn't get things off to a good start. When I said, "Hello?", the call handler said, "Sorry, my system has just gone down". I thought, "Oh, this isn't going to go well", and I was right.

 

She had to input all my details manually instead of just putting in my policy number. Then she asked who my insurer was. This totally confused me as I thought I was already talking to my insurer. But I had in fact been put through to their preferred glass repairer and I had missed that bit of information when the call was answered.

 

Then her system crashed again requiring further manual input of some of the details again. Having finally got all of the details sorted, she then told me that she wouldn't be able to book my appointment today because of the computer problems. They are going to phone me back tomorrow to get the appointment sorted, so now I'll have to wait around tomorrow afternoon for that call.

 

Now I am ridiculously stressed and my head feels like it wants to explode in the way it does before a meltdown. Surely I ought to be able to cope with one call. OK it wasn't the simplest of calls, but it was just one call. Sorry, rant over. I'm going for a walk on the beach to try to calm down.

 

 

 

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King_oni

I'm quite the same with phone calls. Phoning friends and such is fine, phoning companies and such is a different deal. The less questions they can ask, the better it obviously goes, since I can prepare a bit better and not feel I'm caught off guard. Like last week when I phoned my doctors office to change an appointment; I know they'll ask me when I want to reschedule, so I prepare for that. But I guess when there are all kinds of questions and I need to have forms around, have to look up things, that's where things get a bit tricky I guess, since it's too much for me to "pre-script".

 

But I seem to have the same thing in real life sometimes; sometimes I'm still caught off guard if the cashier and McDonalds asks me "is it take away or will you be eating here?" and I'm all "uhm.... " and eventualy I'll blurt out I'll eat there. And I guess if I frequent the same places more often it's fine since you'll llearn... things do get interesting for me when I'm in Germany, which usually have all kinds of other things going on (on top of speaking another language); and since my location is so close to Germany, I end up there often.

 

But yeah.. phone calls of a more formal nature are a mess here. Luckily I don't have a meltdown, but I sometimes struggle. And to think I once tried working at a callcenter phoning people to sell them something... barely lasted a day, worst job ever, lol

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mysti

I don't have any advice but I can sympathise. I can comfortably talk to my immediate family & closest friend on the phone but I hate talking to anyone else.

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RiRi

It's the same issue for me as well. I pre-script, practice, write what I will be saying, word per word as if I'm reading it while talking on the phone. I sometimes over think the interaction for days, weeks. The before, during, and a feeling sucks.

Edited by Makelets

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PandaPrincess

I usually don't make phone calls unless I'm calling my parents, but when I do, I make sure that I script everything out beforehand. I would probably have issues talking to companies though. Unexpected questions always stress me out because they are hard to answer.

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collectingrocks

Yes I'm not the most patient of people at times, especially when I want something done or want an answer/solution and the person at the end of the phone doesn't get it. It's worse when you dial a number, get told by an automated machine to dial "1" for this service, "2" for that service only to then be told to select from another 354 options....

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Whoknows

I despise to answer calls in the name of parents, just because they don't want to talk over the phone to whoever's calling them.

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Sofi

It is the same for me too, I can talk to close friends on the phone (most of the time, but when I was younger I still had to plan the script what I was going to say to friends on the phone) I can't do any official phone calls to companies or anything like that.

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Nesf

I've never liked making phone calls either. I have to think through the call before I make it, what I'm going to say, what I may be asked, and if they ask me something I'm not expecting it completely throws me. Countless times I've phoned a company, reeled off my script, only to have them tell me that they need to put me through to a different department. Of course, these days you are lucky if you get to speak to a person at all. I hate it, and I get my partner to make that kind of call where possible. I hate answering the phone too, because I don't know what they may be phoning about and can't have a script ready.

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sarahjanesoprano

I used to be the same (I say "used to be", I still have problems, but they're getting less and less). If anyone called who I didn't know (and therefore, did not know me, I would get one of my parents to answer the call. When we got an answerphone, if they couldn't, I'd let the machine get it.

However, I've had to talk to some companies (mainly insurance companies, when trying to get them to lower the price for my car insurance, or the AA - roadside assistance company - again, to get a better price), and sometimes my bank, and it can get easier. I used to have my mum standing there listening to the call (on speakerphone), which helped as she was like a comfort blanket, plus after the call was done, she would give me feedback on how I did.

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mysti

I personally haven't found it gets easier with practise. A few years ago my parents stopped making phone calls on my behalf so since then I've had to make all important phone calls on my own. I have complex health problems so have to make a lot of calls to arrange medical appointments etc as well as sorting different types of insurance, making phone calls to apply for benefits, phoning the vet regarding my puppy... And for me it hasn't got any easier.

Edited by mysti

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StormCrow

I hate talking on the phone, and I leave the weirdest messages. 

 

Just send me an email people

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Sanctuary

For me the most difficult phone calls to make are social calls - more specifically calls to casual or "sort of" friends who fall in that grey area between good acquaintances and definite friends. Often these will be people I used to see regularly but one or both of us have moved on but they've suggested we "keep in touch" - it's not always certain whether they really mean that or are just saying it. These calls can be hard for various reasons. If it's calling their landline (less common these days) there's always the awkward business of figuring out who's speaking which can be difficult even when I know the other person's voice well. Sometimes the person answering the call is someone else in the household and that seems uncomfortable to me, especially if there's the dilemma about whether or not to make small talk if you know them a little as well.

However the biggest concern is over whether they want me to make contact at all. People can grow apart, particularly if they used to work or study together and are now doing different things. Social calls are of their nature unstructured so it's easier to get lost for words or repeat oneself. Because I'm unsure about whether they want to hear from me I will commonly put the call off time and again so weeks and months pass. Often I'm hoping that they will make the call but usually they don't - maybe because they have other things to do but perhaps because they have the same dilemmas as me. Ultimately the delay can be so long that it doesn't seem right to make the call at all because it will seem to come out of the blue and seem peculiar. I'm sure some potentially good friendships have faded away because of my dithering (which doesn't really ease my anxiety either because the possibility of making the call still hangs over me). I think quite a number of promising friendships more generally in society slip away when both people want to maintain them but take no action because they're not sure if the other person does. It's always a dilemma because no-one wants to burden someone with calls they don't want. I'm always wary of being seen as "pushy" so I almost always take the unassertive option and leave the initiative to what I see as the more socially confident person but of course they don't always want to take that initiative up.

I much prefer to receive social calls and they can be a very pleasant surprise. I can really enjoy the discussion but be a little worried if they suggest meeting up as it means disruption to the routines I've become trapped within. I can also find it difficult to end this kind of social call as I'm anxious not to cut the other person short and appear anti-social. This is less so if I have to do something and have little option but to end the call but I can feel awkward if it's just because I feel we've talked enough but could potentially keep talking. All these issues chime with my lack of assertiveness and lack of social confidence. 

Overall a key problem - and it may apply to others with AS - is I'm just not very experienced in making and receiving social calls so I find each one more of an ordeal and am less attuned to the conventions and cues of this kind of interaction. More experience would help but whether I would ever feel that comfortable with social calls is doubtful. 

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