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.