Thursday, August 17, 2006

A huge fear of mine


I HATE, fear and loath doing phone work and making phone calls. I will spend a whole day doing unimportant tasks in order to avoid talking to people, especially strange people, on the telephone. This is especially true in ministry. I feel whenever I call someone I am asking them to join something, participate in something, or do something. Thus, phone work in ministry makes me feel like a sanctified telemarketer.

And, when I am calling to talk to students, that is not all that easy either. Especially junior high boys. A lot of the boys I work with are not all that verbal.So trying to spark a conversation with them one on one is difficult, but trying to start a conversation with them in on the phone is near impossible.

However, I cannot put the phone phobia directly to ministry duties without considering how my phone phobia drives other parts of my life. For instance, I will drive across town to talk to a business face to face instead of talking to them via phone. I will also stew and stir about talking to a woman on the phone, even if I think that she might like me. And I would much prefer to text someone if it is only going to be a brief conversation.

The notable exception to this is talking with close family members and good friends. If I call you on the phone just to talk, know that I consider you a trusted friend. And, if I can talk to you for more than an hour, know that I really treasure our relationship.

Part of this stems from adolescence, and talking to girls I like on the phone and going into panic mode because I did not have anything fun or witty to say. I avoided phone conversations then too. Part of this has to do with my reliance on non-verbal cues in conversation. Having a small hearing deficit, and a larger one when I had allergies as a kid, I had to work on reading body language and facial expression as much as listening to the words people would say.

Anyway....I survived calling kids about this Sunday's activity. But not without sweating it out in the back of my mind for most of the day.

11 comments:

The Thief said...

I'm not sure why, but I am the same way about making phone calls. Imagine my horror when, as a new junior high youth group leader, we were charged with calling all the kids to tell them about upcoming programming. Since the other leaders had been at it for a while, they all picked the kids they knew, leaving me with a) all kids I didn't know, and b) all kids who didn't show up to anything on any sort of regular basis. You can imagine the kind of responses I got. I even heard one kid refuse to take my call...

Oricon Ailin said...

I guess this is one thing I am not afraid to do. Most of my job is on the phone. What I can't do is go to a place and try to sell. All my selling for my business is done by phone.

I am a phone-a-holic. I love being on the phone. I can talk to anyone.

Brownsoul said...

I don't like talking on the phone either. In my job, sometimes I have to call operators to find out why their businesses are not open. I hate doing this and as a result, their files will sit on my desk for weeks.

In my personal life, I have a few close friends that I like talking to because I know that we share in the conversation. (I liked our online conservations by the way.) Then, I have those friends (one in particular) who call me when they need to whine...I rarely answer those calls.

Stephen said...

I hear ya on this one!! I was like that for the longest time. I think most of it for me was that I was just overly shy. And I guess I still am but a lot of that I've had to overcome. For 5 years I was a computer tech. over the phone. So I guess that pretty much forced my hand. Now it's not so bad and I actually have to talk on the phone a lot with my current profession. Infact I have to meet a lot of new people everyday and that was scary at first but now I think it's one of my favorite parts! Well anyway - I know what you mean by the whole phone thing!

Lorna said...

I am a bit phone phobic too - I thinkit's the lack of visual input or something.

But I want to say too - it shows that you are a people person - that you want to do business face to face. In this day and age it's a dying thing - with impersonal email, blogs etc.

I think that they play a role too- and comments are an important way of giving a personal touch - but nothing beats face to face - laughing, crying and being with someone. The phone doesn't come close -even at its best!

Brotha Buck said...

I'm not much of a phone talker either, but wow! Talking to teens is difficult, I had a hard time with my own daughters. Much easier now that they are older.

The Gig said...

I don't have problems with calling people about church business because I am a people person. I don't like calling people when helping someone who is running for office. Even though I know that the rudeness I receive on the phone is not directed to me personally, I perceive it to be.

rubyslipperlady said...

Relax and enjoy. There is a lot that you miss on the phone when you are unable to see the one with whom you are conversing, but phone is far better than email. You're great! Just relax and enjoy. Don't be afraid to clarify and follow up in person later. Gives you another point of contact!

San Nakji said...

Phone sales would have to be the worst job in the world I think

'neice said...

Have you heard Doug Fields' in a convo with a kid? It is so funny and while they may seem "eh" on the phone you better believe they are happy you called!

I never used to have a phone phobia. Now that we have IM and email...I hate it!

SUPER said...

This depends on who I'm talking to and why. Work phone calls..not always fun and sometimes cause me to stress myself out before I even dial.
Talking to friends and family. I have with my sisters and a couple friends sat on the phone and said nothing for minutes, but yet refused to hang up. Sometimes we just need to know someone else is there! Thank goodness for those people willing to do that in those times!