Hallelujah this subject, pretty much my BIGGEST life challenge of them all. I’m 45 ♀ in UK (diag.w. ADHD-pi, GAD, some depression; also have chronic c-PTSD).
Despite my ‘virtual communication’ issues, I too am popping my first-post-cherry on this forum today: I couldn’t not as i’ve searched high and low online for years to find answers/advice/help to this problem, others like me… but there is really very little I’ve found out about communication anxiety that doesn’t focus on the talking in public/doing presentations variety (which weirdly I can cope with better than personal telephone calls).
For me, I have most difficulty connecting with people I know very well (family, friends) rather than e.g. phoning to order a cab…. so i.e. when the call is not personally loaded somehow and i can have reasonable control of the call and distance from the person on the other end of the line.
But if the call is about me in any personal way I have a very uncomfortable guilt-filled knack of just avoiding/putting off/overthinking etc. to the point of total inaction… sometimes days, weeks, even years. I’m aware avoidance makes everything ten times worse but i simply have no other tools to help me break these cycles.
It’s so frustrating and life-disabling, but as yet I’ve found nothing to help the build up of stress/tension/feelings of threat i feel around communicating. Being prepared with bullet list notes can be very helpful but when it’s almost impossible to listen, think, read and speak all at once I struggle to refer to notes even when they’re right in front of me.
I often kid myself that as I frequently think about the people i love dearly, that they’ll somehow know this and can feel it back etc. Like I assume others to have the same empathic capacity as I do. But instead, most probably think I must be so busy in my ‘fascinating’ life (not!) or simply that i don’t want to speak to them or dont love them enough to drop them a line now and then; when in fact quite the opposite is my reality. At least I can laugh at myself when I apologise for being a rubbish daughter/suster/friend for the umpteenthousand time!! Exhausting.😔 Xxx