If you have ever tried to reach my by calling my phone you may know that it is unlikely that I will answer, but if you text me two seconds later you will get an instant response. First of all, I apologize. Its not you, its really truly me. I cant remember a time when I was comfortable answering the phone or the door for that matter. My sister and I used to say that whoever was closer to the phone when it rang had to get it, so when it rang I would run to the other side of the room if not fleeing to the bathroom and locking the door.
So here I am, a 25 year old working woman with not only a cellphone, but now a work blackberry that I have to answer during business hours and check frequently after business hours. I will admit that receiving another smartphone was maybe one of the most anxiety inducing parts of my job. I think its safe to say that anyone who has reached me at that number would never know that before I answered I was taking deep breaths and saying to myself "you can do this, just say hello."
The conversations usually go well once I answer, and when I hang up I laugh at myself for getting so stressed out. But there is something about not knowing who is calling especially when it is very possible the person calling is experiencing some sort of crisis or maybe doesn't speak English all that well.
I feel like I am not the only one who struggles with phone anxiety. I have heard it is very common with people who have anxiety disorders like my OCD, but I don't want to settle with that. I want to get more comfortable with answering the phone and not always resorting to emails and texts.
Coping Strategy #1- Having two smartphones means that if I am getting a call on one, I can Google search the number on the other phone so I know who may be calling.
Coping Strategy #2- I never interrupt an appointment to answer my phone, so likely the caller will leave a voicemail and I can decide when to call back
Coping Strategy #3- Literally tell people (friends, not work related) that they will reach me easier by text/email so that they know what to expect.
Any other ideas to help with phone anxiety?