Reply To: Telephone Avoidance

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I feel that way, I was diagnoses with ADHD a few months ago at age 39. As a kid I could talk on the phone for hours, but I was sort of living a life like I was in jail, and it helped passed the time. Now that I’m an adult, the thought of spending more than 5 minutes doing something I don’t really want to do is impossible for me. This includes phone conversations. The only person who I like talking to on the phone is my mom, because I like to make her laugh. But since my mom quit smoking she doesn’t have nicotine to self medicate what I think is undiagnosed ADHD. She can’t stand to be on the phone. Sometimes she’ll call me and get off the phone within a few minutes. I guess I shouldn’t take it personal. Seeing this comment helped me see that. Sometimes I call and she doesn’t answer or call back. I usually don’t get sad about it, but sometimes I do if I’m at the depths of my PMDD and feeling really depressed and feel sure that no one in the world loves me. lol. I can usually call my grandma who loves to talk on the phone, but she’s 90 and won’t be there for ever. Plus, a lot of the time it’s hard for me to call her because I know we’ll be on the phone for a while and I don’t feel like I have the time to dedicate to that. Also, I can’t talk to just anyone on the phone, talking to people, especially now in this most stressful time of my life, makes me exhausted. With most people I’m working to project an image of “normal” or “positive” person. It’s an ingrained survival technique I learned in childhood to survive difficult home, school, and work situation. It basically goes as such; “If you’re making them laugh, they won’t want to kill you” this can result in unstable relationships that are dependent on me always being the one who is “up” and “funny” but even the clown gets down sometimes. And who is there to cheer up the clown when they are down? No one. Look what happened to Robin Williams. I would have loved to have at least tried to make him laugh, for all the times he made me laugh. OK, this go dramatic.
Yes, I too hate to talk on the phone, I love that I can text. I know there are people who are down on texting, saying it’s lazy and impersonal. But for us ADHD people, it’s a way to let some one know we are thinking about them while we are in the moment, and it doesn’t take up anyone’s time, and they can read and respond to it when they want.
I also read this great article about cell phones and personal space:

It really sums it up well! A phone is for our convenience, not some one else’s. My mom is really protective of her personal space, partly because her mother was always invading it. Her mother, or my grandmother was anxiously attached because her mother had ADHD or Bi-Polar disorder and favored her brother. Anyway, my mom doesn’t feel like she needs to tell anyone anything about what she’s doing. It feels like she’s answering to some one, I feel the same way. I got in a big argument when I worked in the lab over my not telling the other tech when I stepped out. I just didn’t want to because it felt like I was asking permission. This is just how ADHD and a little of the ODD and the RSD start to factor in.

In conclusion, not wanting to talk on the phone is pretty classic for ADHD people. We are in the moment, and at the moment, we just might not feel like talking on the phone.

This can be hard for people who just plain refuse to understand because they are basically being selfish and needy. I can tell my grandma a million times that I love her but that I often don’t have the energy to talk on the phone. Because of what she experienced as a child with her mom leaving her with aunts and going away for months at a time, plus the favoritism, has left her convinced that she is unloved and unlovable. Ironically, this needy behavior can be a self fulfilling prophecy and it exhausts people in her life, who get tired of constantly re-assuring her, or having their love doubted. My mom is always losing her temper with her.

We live in this impatient on demand world. People need a reminder about a little thing called, “Boundaries”

Don’t feel bad about not wanting to talk on the phone, shoot, I don’t even respond to text messages, because they can be annoying. Some people just talk and text way too much about what they are doing or not doing. Like who gives a shit. As An ADHD person with a very busy mind, I cherish and fight to create and maintain, a little f-ing peace and quiet!