Telephone Avoidance

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    • #76669

      I was curious if anyone else has issues with not wanting to communicate on the telephone? I recognize my issues with maintaining personal relationships in general but I have panic and severe irritation when I feel forced to have telephone conversations. There are certain people in my life that know that I do not like talking on the telephone yet they prefer to communicate that way. They feel insulted if i avoid their calls or do not call them so I try. When I am on the phone I have a really hard time concentrating on the conversation no matter how hard I try. I feel like I’m having a panic attack and sometimes I get angry because When I try to get off the call I feel like they hold me phone hostage. I have not heard anyone else with diagnosed ADD or ADHD complain about this but me. Just curios if anyone else deals with this. Thank you!

    • #76685

      Omg I thought it was just me. I have the same issue. It’s next to impossible to maintain personal relationships as a result. In the beginning I’ll try but after several months I get tired of forcing it. I noticed the toxic people always stick around while the good ones will get fed up. Like I do love connecting with people on the phone on a deep level because I find texting so shallow and impersonal but at the same time I hate answering phone calls. Like I hate really shallow conversations as they do not stimulate my mind and they just go on and on while I try to focus. lmaoooo I hate being held phone hostage and it happens every single time as I always feel bad for trying to get off.

      • #76935

        Hey! Thank you so much for bringing up this topic. It’s made my day. (my comment is down at the bottom)

        Has anyone offered you any information on ways to help you with this? If so – please let ne known! Even though I know I’ll probably never change…I at least want to TRY.

        Thanks for listening. Again, I appreciate your time and your strength in posting this issue. Very commendable. I’m proud of you.

      • #76962

        DITTO!!! I detest listening to phone messages, talking on the phone & answering the phone. I’ll delay calling back people, & think it’s because I’m fearful of what they might say. Messages stay unlistened. Plus I’ve had a partially broken neck & people complain they’re unable to hear me. I think it’s due to the wire in my neck. It’s so annoying to have others complain about not hearing me. Thank you for posting this. I’m grateful to know many others dislike talking on the phone.

    • #76697

      I signed up just to reply to this! I have the same problem. I just hate talking on the phone, doesn’t matter who with. in fact, it extends to voicemails too, I can’t stand listening to them. I let my inbox get full and stay that way so nobody even has the option to leave a voicemail. so I guess it’s not just phone conversations, but listening to any talking, recordings included. if I know I have to make a phone call, like to make dinner reservations or to get roadside assistance for a flat tire (things you can’t do by text) I go through just the worst episode of dread. if it’s something that can be put off, I will do so as long as possible. meanwhile it’ll be in the back of my mind, subtly dragging me down. having to make a phone call can seriously ruin my whole day. anyway, just wanted to say thanks for your post and helping me see I’m not alone in this!

      • #76958

        Exactly my problem, too. As for the voicemail, I turned off that feature on my phone. It’s better not to have one when I never use it. That way no one assumes that I’m going to listen to their message and call them back. I think it’s hard to talk on the telephone because there are no visual cues to help keep me engaged in the conversation. I am also so afraid of messing up, spacing out during bits of the conversation and getting things wrong and because I can’t see the other person I won’t know that something is wrong. And it’s so easy to get sidetracked.

      • #107185

        “because there are no visual cues to help keep me engaged in the conversation” – you nailed it.. that’s why its such a pain. thanks.

    • #76701

      And I thought I was the only one. When friends and family learn of my disdain for using the phone, they think I’m crazy, and/or just being weird. I’ve tried to explain to no avail. For years I’ve said I can’t hear good over the phone. Now, I just don’t do it. I don’t care anymore what is thought of my peculiarity. I make my email available to the world. It’s the same email I’ve had for 13 years now. If they want to communicate with me, they should just email me.

    • #76722
      Penny Williams

      ADHD symptoms could well be the reason you hate talking on the phone.

      Give Better Phone

      There was another discussion on this exact topic some time ago. I tried to find it to link you over to it, but I think it was on our old forum platform, which is now decommissioned. You most definitely aren’t alone in this! 😉

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #77029

        Hi! I have a different kind of phone issue. My imagination will carry me through most of the conversation but I don’t hear just the caller’s voice. I hear every click, shwoosh, and ping along with the voice, my hearing does not filter out what’s going on around me and inside the phone. I had a voice recorder for awhile that transcribed caller’s messages for awhile. It was free from Kaiser Permanente Hearing Center. My husband didn’t like the idea of his calls being recorded so we got rid of it, now my kids only text me. This has been a life long condition, I thought I was hard-of-hearing but it turned out that I have hyper hearing, at 64 years old.

    • #76853

      I don’t mind talking to certain people close tto me but in general, I do avoid phone calls. Had no idea.

    • #76863

      I wrote a short article back in 2010 for my friends and families to read and understand, why I never like to make or receive phone calls. I tried to use the term ‘telephonophobia’ to describe how discomfort I am when I have to talk via phone. Never ever came to my mind, it has something to do with a bigger picture of my problem, the recently diagnosed adult ADHD.

    • #76873

      Another one who signed up just to comment on this. I do have an ADD diagnosis and am on medication but it doesn’t help with the panic I feel on the phone. It extends to making needed appointments and follow-ups, so it definitely has a negative impact on my life.

    • #76876

      thanks me too!

    • #76877

      Ha, I think we ALL signed up, just to comment on this one!

    • #76879

      To clarify, I too, have ADD diagnosis, and am on medication. But this is one specific area, that I still can’t seem to deal with. I should add, that even though I can’t talk on the phone, I have learned to use FaceTime. That is almost like having the person right here in the same room! (But FaceTime limits me to just my Apple friends and family.)

    • #76893

      OMG! I signed up just to reply to this also. I had NO idea my hatred of the phone was ADD related! Even tho I am ADHD medicated, I hate when that phone rings! What an imposition! You gotta drop whatever you’re doing to answer it. It’s intrusive. Also, I don’t like not knowing what may come out of the other person’s mouth,what they might ask. And you gotta have an instant response! I feel so uncomfortable. I told all my family that I hate talking on the phone. I have yelled at people who knew I hated the phone, yet called me anyway. I’m always looking for ways to get off the phone & close the conversation. Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to talk about.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Mcgeorges3.
      • #76937

        Hey! Thank you so much for bringing up this topic. It’s made my day. (my comment is down at the bottom)

        (I’ve yelled at my family too btw. They know to just NOT call me anymore. Text or email (so I know what they want) or NOTHING… I feel so harsh and sad about it.

        Has anyone offered you any information on ways to help you with this? If so – please let ne known! Even though I know I’ll probably never change…I at least want to TRY.

        Thanks for listening. Again, I appreciate your time and your strength in posting this issue. Very commendable. I’m proud of you.

    • #76898

      It’s reassuring to know that there are others out there who struggle with this. My husband doesn’t understand why I will go out of my way to avoid talking on the phone, even to order a pizza. I recently started a new job working from home, which has some pros and cons. The cons are now I communicate mostly by conference calls. I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult it has been trying to stay focused throughout an hour long (or longer) call. And like many of you have stated, medication does not seem to help this situation.

    • #76901

      I always hate it when the phone rings. I hate it when I have to call someone. I have a relationship with my grown up kids via WhatsApp which is easier than phoning but also feel guilty too.
      I haven’t been diagnosed with ADD but all my symptoms are there. I see people talk about medication.

      I have been on Sildenafil an antidepressant for 2 years which helps to cope with life. With ADD is your medication similar?

      • #76930

        WOW! UNREAL. I am actually relieved to find this here as my husband and daughter whom are both ADHD loathe getting on the phone, talking on the phone or calling just about ANYONE! I am actually ADD and I would, most of the time, rather email or text but have also found myself engaging in very long phone conversations, depending on the person. Living across the country from any extended family it’s gotten to the point where I’ve actually become paranoid that my MIL might think that I am trying to keep her granddaughter from her b/c she ‘cringes’ whenever her Nana calls; knowing that she’s calling to talk to her!

    • #76902

      I hate phonecalls unless it’s one of my kids, and even then I have trouble if they go on for longer than a few minutes. I hate MAKING phonecalls. I dread it! I will put off phonecalls longer than any other chore I can think of. Why? I feel anxious. I don’t know why else.

    • #76903

      Same. It is very difficult to make a phone call, and then I get in trouble for putting off trivial calls that need to be done, such a scheduling an appointment. And yes, it would be much worse if I had to “chit-chat” and will avoid that at all costs.

    • #76904

      I also hate live internet chat because you are stuck in “chit-chat” that is hard to break away from without being rude. I also avoid that at all costs.

      • #79561

        Yeah I 100% agree! Texts, emails and my fave – forums, are the way to go for sure!

      • #79562

        Yeah I 100% agree! Texts, emails and my fave – forums, are the way to go for sure!

    • #76905

      OMG. I can’t believe I’m hearing other people speak out about hating phone calls. I’ve been in sales most of my life and that has been the Bain of my existence.

      I hate to call to make doctor’s appointments or schedule time with family.

      Of course as usual my husband just thinks I’m just being lazy.

      This is amazing. It’s of course something that I’ve hI’ve been hiding for a long time.

    • #76906

      I totally understand as I will forget the point of calling/being called. I lose my train of thought and can’t seem to regain it! Sometimes find it easier to text. Other times it’s much easier for me to continue a conversation on the phone if I am dealing with a loved one.

    • #76908

      Talking on the phone is the worst! I’m only comfortable speaking to a close friend or family…even then I have to pace around the house in order to focus. People who don’t have ADD just don’t understand. My husband left me because he said I’m just too much work. Remember, we are special people…

    • #76910

      I have Inattentive ADHD and I dread phone calls. I avoid them like the plague. People think I’m weird because of it or are offended. As others said, I thought it was just me. 🙂

    • #76912

      Awesome to know that like so many, I’m not the only one. I’m diagnosed and take meds; all this time I figured it was because of my current & prior job(police dispatch and now working in a clinic). Being that I spend a good bit of my day on the phone esp when I worked dispatch, coming home to be on the phone was the absolute last thing I wanted to do, even if I hadn’t talked to someone for awhile (days, months, sometimes years!). not only is it hard to focus sometimes (and frustrating omg!!) but conveying a message clearly and to the point in as few words as possible sends the anxiety into overload – and being held phone hostage doesn’t help either!! I was fine with dispatch because in a crisis I could pull it together but anything else? Forget it! XD

    • #76913

      OMG, yes! I cannot STAND talking on the phone! My only sister lives 1000s of miles away and loves to yak it up every single day! I think I will lose what mind I have left. And heaven help me if she’s had a couple of glasses of wine. She repeats herself over and over and over again. When I try to get off the phone, she thinks of 10 more things she didn’t tell me yet. SHEER TORTURE. And the morons at work who pick up the phone and call. WTF do you think email is for?? Unless the building is on fire, text or email! I TELL people I hate the phone and they laugh like I’m joking. NO! DO. NOT. CALL. ME. Not and expect me to be cheerful. Nope.

    • #76914

      Wow I never thought it could be related to ADHD, but I HATE talking on the phone. I get this feeling of such annoyance when I see a call come up on my phone and literally groan out loud sometimes LOL

    • #76916

      I signed up as well just to respond to this post. OMG im not the only one! I really thought I was
      Crazy or something seriously was wrong with me,and I’m the only one that feels this. I hate talking on the phone. I get anxiety attacks when i need to call someone. My family and friends know I hate it, and they understand, but it is interfering with my life. I have to make doctor appts, and other appts, appts for my son, and I avoid it as much as possible. People say that im procrastinating or Im lazy, and that’s just not the case. It’s like I’m afraid to pick up the phone to call someone. When I do pick up my phone to make a call, I freeze,start sweating,and my mind just races to find reasons why I can’t make that call at the time. It’s putting a strain on my relationship as well. My boyfriend feels like I’m disconnecting from us cause I don’t call him. He feels that” Im not that into him ” cause I don’t want to hear his voice during the day, or just to see how his day is going. I do call him, but not as much as I should. I feel horrible because thats just not the case, i love him with all my heart. I can listen to my voicemail, if its not important I won’t call, if it is well hopefully I call back. I think texting is superficial and is a cop out to connect to the real world, but at the same time Im relieved that texting was created, I don’t get so much anxiety to talk to people now. So I’m basically contradicting myself,I know that butit does help me.I do try everyday to make my calls, I feel atleast im aware of my problem, and hopefully one day soon ill be cured of this horrible feeling.

      • #79563

        I must say, I am very proud of you and admire you putting yourself outside your comfort zone ❤️ 👌🏻 keep up the good work.

        Ps I found BY ACCIDENT, a website that I can name an appt to any medical centre, AND choose the doctor AND time I want to see them 😲 so for my scripts, I book in advance and get the best times hehe! (Plus I don’t have to go through the dreaded phone call with the receptionist who honestly has NO people skills whatsoever)

    • #76917

      This has been a real hurdle for me as well, for many reasons, including hearing loss. I have “adapted” and often instead of phoning a business or whatever, i will physically go there before i will pick up the phone. i know who i can speak to for hours on the phone and who i can’t: Certain people speak clearly so it’s no problem. But my adult children both speak like they have a mouth full of marbles & have to repeat themselves to the point of frustration for us both–to the point that i’ve told them to just text me–PLEASE.

      Now i have a new job where i have to call and receive calls from customers and as terrifying as it seemed at first, as long as my attention doesn’t waver and wander or there isn’t any other distractions in the background, i do ok. Email is my best friend. BUT HOLY COW, i had no idea so many people have a problem with the telephone! Thank you all for sharing–it helps me know i’m not alone and neither are YOU!

      KrisBeeBee–i feel you! i have a sister who sounds like yours!

    • #76920

      I can sympathize with people comments here as i’m not a great phone lover myself. Things I experience are

      – Switching off when people are talking to me.
      – Fear when calling someone I don’t know such as a job interview, making up all kinds of stuff in my head, I overthink it, get into a major muddle and it all comes out as verbal diarrhoea. It can lead to massive drops in mood, getting myself worked up and anxious.

      I much prefer to talk with people face to face, as a lot can be said for reading peoples body language.

    • #76923

      Thank you everyone! I thought there was truly something (else) wrong w/me. When the phone rings, it’s as though I hear “BAM!!BAM!!BAM!!” & know the Secret Police have found me or something. My heart starts pounding, & I honestly panic & try to think if there is something I’ve forgotten to do, or someplace I’m supposed to be, or a bill I forgot to pay…I always let it go to voicemail, but if I come home & the machine is blinking, I still panic, but at least the blinking number doesn’t scream “Incoming!!” at me – not quite as loudly anyway. It still, though, almost always takes me several days to make myself listen to the messages. The problem w/people calling my cell is that they know it registers that they’ve called, even if they don’t leave a message, so they still expect a call back. And I am right now also avoiding a “To Call” list that is causing me anguish (I really did put away a bill that overwhelmed me, so now it’s overdue & accruing penalty charges & I REALLY don’t want to make THAT call). I’m so sorry you all are my fellow-strugglers with this.

    • #76926

      I am the same. 49 yr old female – have had adhd entire life. My phone anxiety/avoidance even extends to watching movies. If a phone rings in the movie my entire body immediately tenses and I am gritting my teeth until the phone is answered and the movie conversation is done. It does affect my ability to make timely appointments for my pets and children and my husband sometimes gets frustrated when I ask him to make the calls. The odd thing is that I don’t remember feeling like this when I as younger. I remember talking to friends for great lengths of time as a teen and in my early 20s. Now? I rarely even speak to my mom on the phone. If anyone has suggestions that have worked for them in getting past the phone anxiety, please share.

    • #76928

      I will literally watch my phone ring, and not answer. I also won’t send it to voicemail, because then they would know I was screening. I have to be in a specific mood for phone conversations. I feel like they just take up so much energy. My family/friends get annoyed with me a lot. My mom starts threatening to show up at my house if it has been a few days.

      On a similar note, if someone knocks on my door, I stay quiet and don’t move or make noise until they go away. I also don’t know my neighbors. I’m not good at people-ing

      • #76932

        I hear you loud and clear.
        Is there anything you TRIED that you could share with me so I could have a go at it?
        I don’t even know where to start.

      • #77018

        I do the same thing, I’ll watch the phone ring…even if it’s my husband calling from his work travel. I just text him that I’m out and call back. I definitely feel better when I make the call…except for the dreaded “you sound so much better” I vasilate between geelinh the need of reexplaining how mood swings work and/or saying I’m acting.

        I also never get my door.

      • #79565

        I’m so glad to see that someone else *also* hides from the front door! Even when it’s an exciting parcel from eBay for me!!! I let them leave it at the front door, and even then.. I STILL can’t work up the courage to open the door and get it.
        I wait til my mother comes over and she always brings all the mail and parcels inside ☺️ 😔
        God love her…she’s 60yrs old and still does simple tasks she sees that are undone as she goes.
        I’ll be in the bathroom for 15mins and I’ll come out and we chat some more and once we’re done I’ll carry on doing whatever – eventually head to my room for one reason or another…and I’ll see she’s folded the huuuuge pile of clothes on my bed from washing over the weekend😲! Don’t get me wrong it’s the best surprise ever, but I just feel bad my mum is still mothering me at this age, when I feel like the tables should’ve turned a bit by now and *I* should be fussing around her – not the other way around, like it has been for the past 30 yrs. she deserves more & I just feel so pathetic and can’t show her all the love I feel for her through actions ☹️ It’s all talk – and we know that actions speak louder than words.
        She’s getting frustrated but would never tell me so.

        I can’t even open the front door for her. I gave her a key instead and she shuffles in with bags on her arms and face-high piles of parcels and mail.

        😡 … 😢😥😪😭

    • #76931

      (Just quickly, I signed up just to reply to this! – I now see that many others have done the same also haha ❤️ it feels amazing to be a part of something. So thank you everybody ☺️)

      I can’t believe how much validation reading this thread has given me. I’m not a freak. I’m a 30yr old woman (who was only diagnosed with ADD 18mths ago, & am now), medicated on Dexamphetamines, & they help me immensely in MOST areas of my life… as do my antidepressants, anti-anxieties, & antipsychotics. Same with my pain medication… they ALL work to a certain extent unfortunately, so there’s still always a little work for US to do ourselves.

      I don’t answer calls, at all. I very rarely listen to my voicemails because they fill me with the same anxieties of the phone.
      My fear goes as far as that my MOTHER is now my legal representative on the phone, to all authorities like the government (I’m on the disability pension), centrelink, phone companies etc, she makes my weekly dr appt’s AND *goes* to those for me (when it’s just scripts, which is 99.99999% of the time. I only see him when it’s necessary each 6months to legally re-new my dex and oxy scripts, & for referrals)

      I also CANNOT answer the door. It’s more triggering to me than when my phone rings – because you can just leave your phone ringing.
      Someone at the DOOR is extremely confronting, & I always be quiet & hide
      (even if my tv is on FULL M blast & they know someone’s home)
      I’d rather them leave a note to have to pick up a package from the post office (no matter how much I’m DYYYYYING to receive what they’re trying to deliver)
      I’d rather wait for my mum to go to the post office and pick it up for me when she gets time.

      I have tremendous guilt over my head specific fears, as it puts so much pressure on my mum. I won’t even speak to my FAMILY on the phone.
      And when it comes to friends….they eventually fade aaat because they think it’s pointless with me 😔☹️ I do explain my situation but it’s not good enough for them unfortunately.
      I have no friends except for my best friend from kindergarten who lives interstate & has been travelling the world for the past 7years.
      I only WISH we went to the same highschool so that perhaps we’d be living life together and I wouldn’t be in this mess afternoon having been bullied so badly at highschool. It affected my mental health so badly that I have (MANY) failed suicide attempts, but the one that kind of “stuck” was 8yrs ago, jumping from the 9th story balcony of a hotel & I survived (sometimes I thank “god” for that….other times I fuk!ng curse it)
      I lost my left leg & an also paralysed from the waist down so I’m in a wheelchair now.
      I’m homehound. Not because of how I look, but because of how I feel.
      I hate myself, though I’ve always made friends easily – it’s just that the closer friends we become, I start clinging to a point, but then once we are almost inseparable & loving life together – I pull away….becayE I’m scared that because they know so much about me, that they might start hating me as much as I do.
      (Sorry. I went on a tangent there. I do apologise.

      Talking on the phone I feel like I have to be “entertaining” …7′ terrified of the awkward silences et. I just can’t live like this anymore.

      If anyone has bothered listening to me for this long…please have a good think Of if you might have any methods to cure my madness. It’d mean the world to me. I really can’t go on in life like this. How will I get anywhere? Succeed in anything? Have purpose outside of living for my mum. So:


      (Ps: before my “accident” 8yrs ago I was a party girl, I was shy inside (I have been my entire life) but I had an amazing group of friends, I was always out. I was always on the phone… I was also more if a “leader” than a “follower” …then, after a lonf time battling drugs, getting clean (10yrs thank you 😊), battled alcohol for 2yrs after that & lost my job, friends, & ended up on the street)
      THAT, is when I lost all my confidence and everything.
      Thus also coincided with the diagnoses of four mental health illnesses while in a psych ward, and got out on alot of medications. They helped so much.
      Except for the balcony incident. It’s since then I’ve been on the pain medications & having several PHYSICAL diagnoses….

      I am so broken. (Literally, but also mentally & emotionally)

      So much love to all of you who are fighting to get through each day. You’re strong warriors and I commend you and am proud of each and every single person here with our ADD.
      ADD just adds a whoooole bunch of symptoms & behaviours that just make life harder than what it already is. So I wish you all a happy day, with all the love, health and amazing moments to laugh & ENJOY life – all of which you truly deserve

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by bunneyoo. Reason: Needed to add a bit of back round info
      • #77038

        WOW… I am just blown away… this is SOOO Me…. I ALSO HATE answering the door. So strange. I never put 2 and 2 together, but reading this I just realized that is probably tied into my hate of talking on the phone as well.

        I also have very few friends but seeing me you would probably NEVER guess that. I go to work and am nice enough to ppl but have NO desire to befriend ppl. I feel judged too often and I am just too emotional I think to deal with ppl. I just don’t have the ability to connect thru talk sometimes b/c I just DON’T want to talk. The less I have to speak to someone or listen to someone most of the time, the better. The exception is when I’m learning something b/c I do LOVE to learn new things (this just started in my 30’s as I was NOT that way in school and barely passed) Now typing all this seems a bit strange b/c if you met me you would think I was such a sweet person. I go out of my way to help ppl and not make ppl feel uncomfortable, major ppl pleaser. However, ppl take advantage of me wanting to be kind and helpful so I find it’s better to just keep my distance unless it’s an acquaintance situation or work.

        Thank you for sharing!!!

        Feels so good to know I’m not alone.

      • #79566

        …you just described me. NO ONE would know my fears & shortcomings when they meet me. I’m well dressed, kind, selfless, & the less I know someone – the more I’m willing to have a chat if they start one.
        The instant I start to get close to anyone, and the more they get to know me – the more I pull away.
        I just know they’ll start thinking I’m a freak and start hating me as much as I do once they find out all my odd behaviours.

        Reading here – it SEEMS as though we’re normal…but the big bad outside REAL world is just that- big, bad, and it’s real.
        Online is safe because it’s manageable by ourselves & own wants & needs from it, it’s kind, accepting where you need it, and you can close the window/delete the email/unsubscribe to something if you’d rather “not answer that door” today.
        The internet…online, life is FAR from real (I mean; look at people’s Instagram accounts – that is just a frikken highlight real of what they WANT you to think they’re like. They’d take like 300photos and use 2 filters and a few photo editing apps just to make that “best of 300 photo” look how they WANT you to see it/wish they really had.
        It all a fantasy land. It’s all just a game that people play with themselves, thinking they’re “keeping up with <insert someone relevant here>”
        It might as well be the sims or something lol.
        I’m so sick of people portraying parts of their life with SUCH frills and sparkles and flawless skin, with dog ears and a licky tongue- & im SURE that there are more people who believe that all these people have these AMAZING & luxurious lives, who really do work out 6 days a week (when in reality they just wear active wear all day because they’re too lazy to wear anything else when they’ve got nothing on all day except for the grocery shopping. So they take a pic with a high messy pony tail and wet their face & hair line a bit after putting enough blush on to look puff out after their “spin class” (just take a sneaky pic of the gym on th way to the grocery store too, just to ensure legit-ness)
        I’ve witnessed it all!

        I’m rambling. Going to push send before I keep talking. I guess when you don’t talk to anyone in a while (easy to do when you’re a Nigel No-Friends) …things build up inside you and you spewwwww anything you can say as fast as you can say it 😂 SORRYYYYYY ☺️
        Have an amazing day you sweet one 💕

    • #76934

      Hey! Thank you so much for bringing up this topic. It’s made my day. (my comment is down at the bottom)

      Has anyone offered you any information on ways to help you with this? If so – please let ne known! Even though I know I’ll probably never change…I at least want to TRY.

      Thanks for listening. Again, I appreciate your time and your strength in posting this issue. Very commendable. I’m proud of you.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by bunneyoo.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by bunneyoo.
    • #76939

      I used to be very phobic about talking on the phone. I have trouble staying focused when talking to people, so people couldn’t understand me or I couldn’t remembered what someone juat said to me. I got over that by working in a reception area. Even though l got some grief because, I would mess up taking messages.

      I would still much rather talk with someone in person. I think I need to see person so I can read their body language. I see phone calls as an intrusion into my personal space and I get annoyed by people who call too often or who hold you hostage.

    • #76945

      Ok, first of all… HOLY ME TOO! I hate the phone and I have watched this hatred in me grow exponentially over the years! My hatred of it increases with time, in spite of various improvements and methods that I have had to come up with, in order to manage the various tasks that get me through each day. I must live with having ADD.

      I don’t speculate that I MAY have ADD. My diagnosis came a little late (18 yrs old), which I find common among us with the inattentive type. Let’s just say though that I “have ADD” like Oprah “has money”!! There IS plenty to go around! My 13yr old son was also diagnosed w/raging inattentive type too. His dad/my ex wasn’t diagnosed, but if it were up to me, I would make him the poster child for inattentive ADD! I’m 110% sure he has it. And I am also certain that my mother gave it to me. No doubt.

      ADD isn’t new. Which does lead me to wonder several things…
      I am 38 yrs old (born in ‘79). I can clearly recall a time when we didn’t have the option to text. #GASP! We paid bills using paper checks, snail mail and crossed fingers in hopes the check cleared before the due date. Our credit cards had raised numbers on them because they required carbon paper to process them and probably weren’t a whole lot faster than waiting for checks to clear. Way back then, we didn’t have call waiting either. Answering machines were a small appliance, next to your telephone that had to stay home when you went out. It just sat there ringing and ringing if you weren’t home. So you HAD to buy it a partner appliance to keep it company, and stop the ringing. Largely, those who had an answering machine, were likely to fall somewhere around the middle to upper class tax bracket too. Answering machines didn’t work at all if you called someone while they were on the phone. The phone would give the caller a BUSY signal that sounded worse than… hmmm… worse than when your chip-enabled credit card gets inserted backwards? Aaaangh!! Aaaangh!! Aaaangh!!
      My point is, things were WORSE then. By a lot! Granted, they didn’t know what improvements were coming to them in the future, so all of that was just accepted as how things simply WERE. But how on earth did the people with ADD NOT loose their FLIPPING minds?!? I was a kid then and I thank god for that! I would have likely been arrested at least a few times, if for nothing more than disturbing the peace, if my ADD brain were FORCED to deal with number of phone calls that my parents had to. Just – NO! Because, based on the level of irritation that I feel when someone attempts to call me or insists “we must talk on the phone”. Ugh!! #sidenote: I have yet to agree with a single one of those people, nor have I found one valid reason to say one single thing to me over the phone, that couldn’t have been said to me via any other method. Not one phone call worthy reason, what so ever.
      Phone calls are entirely unnecessary. There is NO reason to call me. The actual phone feature on my cell phone is exclusively reserved for calling 911. And if YOU ever need 911, DONT CALL ME and ask ME to call 911 for you either… that’s simply poor time management, in the event of an emergency. You should have known better. XoD So now that feature is reserved exclusively for MY OWN 911 emergency… or perhaps if I am a witness to someone who lost their hands or arms and literally can’t call on their own… then maybe I will use my phone to call 911 on that poor person’s behalf. But otherwise, phone calls of any other nature should all be banned and perhaps punishable by cutting off the callers hands. <see what I did there? !o9

      Lol! Did I go too far there?? I don’t think I did. I HATE PHONE CALLS!! If these people who call me claim to be my family or friends, then they should know NOT TO call me. I do apologize if I got a bit too colorful, but it gets my point across.

      I HAVE however come up with at least ONE single, truly compelling, and genuinely valid reason WHY we (us with ADD) have such a venomous opposition to the use of that GD telephone.

      <Insert drum roll here please…>

      Here it is… Newsflash! Our memories STINK!!! We have an exhaustingly hard time paying attention!! When we can’t pay attention, we CAN’T RECALL most of the details of this “super important thing” that they just HAD TO say to us over the phone. They could have sent a text, sent an email or use any OTHER helpful tool that we have grown so debilitatingly reliant on. We have grown to rely on ANYTHING other than our own memories, as our primary means of receiving any kind of information that we might like to or need to reread, recall, revisit or make use of at a later time (be it electronic, paper, physical, etc…).
      With any one of these other methods to use, we have all developed some semblance of a system to manage that tidbit of information. This relieves the burden placed on our nonexistent memory, which is some strange thing that the rest of the population seem to have been blasted with.
      If this thing that they have to say to me is so “important”, then for the love of all that’s good, whatever you do, DON’T TELLLL me about it!! Help me to remember this important item for you, by NOT forcing me to play a memory card game, at the same time as I am already playing 52 pick-up and expect me to do well with that. ADD needs tangible, retrievable, hell even word SEARCHABLE methods of communication or you are setting us up to fail. That’s not helpful to either of us, or appreciated when there are so many other options.

      Let’s leave it at this… to all of those who I know that still insist on the phone being a better means of communication, I say – good luck with that. Let us both hope that you know how to hitchhike, because if your plane ever gets delayed and you need ME to come get you in the middle of the night, I do hope that as your plane lands, and your phone battery is nearly depleted, that you DONT elect to call me to pick you up. Because if you do, 3 minutes after we end the call, I will have NO CLUE what gate you asked me to pick you up in front of or what time you would like me to be there. You had better call a cab with that sacred phone call, buddy. You could have used the last few drops of your battery life to send me the pertinent info in a text, but no… you had to do it “old school”.

    • #76949

      Just popped in to say, “Me, too!” and thanks for posting. I thought that I was the only one, too. I’m going to look at the link above. What’s really bad with me is that I am in a business in which talking on the phone is absolutely necessary. Every time I pick up my phone to return calls, I cringe.

    • #76955

      This is so helpful to hear. My oldest (ADD) son HATES talking on the phone. He’s ok with family/friends, but has anxiety attacks and gets really angry if he has to call someone other than a friend. He’s told me his mind goes blank and he panics. He sometimes has the same problem in face-to-face conversations with customers at work.

      When I was a teen/young adult I also would get really nervous making phone calls. My mom always made me make my own calls, which was super hard. But, through this I learned some tricks.

      1. I wrote down what I had to say or ask. That way, if I forgot, I could just read it.
      2. I’d write out answers to questions the other person might ask, so I felt prepared.
      3. I practiced saying ‘i don’t know, I’ll have to call you back’ or ‘excuse me, but I need to call you back.’ That way, if I was completely stuck, I had an out. They didn’t need to know why I was getting off the phone.
      4. If i spaced out, i’d say “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”
      5. I remind myself that most people are fairly nice and want to help. By visualizing the other person as friendly or caring, it reduces my anxiety.

      Hope that helps! While I still don’t like making calls, with a lot of practice, I’m much more comfortable doing it.

    • #76957

      I can’t pull away and I’m a terrible reader, but I keep reading…

      I had no idea that another person felt the same.

      I always feel guilty for thinking & feeling “Ug” when the phone rings.

      This discussion has helped me put my feelings & thoughts into words.
      – I walk off because I need the quiet, I can’t focus & it hurts my ears
      – I need to focus for when they take that little pause for a reaction, and I better know what we are talking about
      – I need to stay on track when responding, I can’t trail off into another story, and then a 3rd, and then…you know
      – It’s hard to sit still, sometimes I find myself out on the deck looking at the trees….it’s easier to reel myself back in. I ‘just now’ figured that out
      – When I’m done and I just can’t keep track, and I don’t want to hog the conversation, how do I get to hang up. I don’t want to hurt or offend, but I can’t keep up….mmmm hmmm, I just need wash those & make sure the dryer…..crud, what is she talking about…..Ah, okay….mmmm hmmmm, I could try and make it to the library by 7:30, get my holds & look up…crud! what are we talking about….pay attention, pay attention…think of a question you can ask, I could ask…..wait what is she talking about, they went were.., I thought they were making curtains

      Now I have to go back up and finish reading!

    • #76959

      I get this!!
      I don’t get why, when you have spoken to the person 3 times in the same day, they still ask how you are?…ummmm…kinda the same as 2 hours ago!!??
      I don’t get why someone would want to talk about everything in detail over the phone, unnecessary information for my brain to process!
      For me, I just need to carry the simplified message across as if it were a telegram…just the details that matter.
      I prefer to have deep and meaningful conversations face to face, that way I can see your expressions as you talk to me.
      When I talk on the phone, I have to wait for the other person to finish talking…by then I am distracted by 10 other things, I have only heard the key words and I forget what I wanted to say in reply…then the party on the other side of the line thinks I am rude because I don’t converse or give them the detailed reply they are looking for. How many times have I heard: “are you not interested in talking to me?” “are you still there”, “am I boring you”, “you say something now”.
      For example, if I have a conversation with my husband, he wants to tell me all about his day…in great detail, but in between I heard that I need to pick up my daughter – that is the piece of information that I will focus on so hard that I will just want to end the conversation, it helps to write it down…then suddenly my listening skills improve. I prefer that my husband tells me about his day when I can focus on him, he expects I should know what he is talking about based on our earlier telephone conversation (where I only heard some key words). I often stare in disbelief at an Aunt that can talk for 2 hours on the phone about stuff she spoke to the same person about a week ago, how is that not boring?? It would be boring to me, I don’t see the relevance in discussing the same thing over and over again when there is nothing to be learnt from it or it is not really interesting conversation. It seems a waste of time…time I could spend doing something rather than talking about it.
      I fake it well for work because I have to use the phone…but I really prefer not to talk on the phone…to concentrate on a long work conversation I need to write notes or doodle.
      I could probably go on about this subject the whole day, but I will sign off now.

    • #76960

      I absolutely hate when my phone rings…even if it’s my 85 year old mother or my husband. I’ll always let the phone go to voicemail so I can prep myself to call back.
      Like many of us here, I have anxiety and depression as well as ADD
      I have lost a lot of beloved friends over the years, many for not calling back. It’s sad and discouraging.
      Luckily I have a few friends that prefer texting but then want to meet which is a whole nother issue.

    • #76961

      hi ur definitely not alone i have sensory problems
      everything to destracting and one of them is sounds
      people eating crunching chewing breathing certain tones in peoples speach combined with 0 tolerence
      for boredom makes bad news for taking phone calls
      its like somebody talking to me directly down my ear
      and who wants that my mum is the worse holding
      me phone hostage night mere all this causes anxiety
      andanger and who wants to be around anxity and anger situtions i think every body avoids some thing due tothe stress it causes this is ours i put my phone on load speaker and carry on what im doing it at least takes the phone from being directly next to my ear arrrr

    • #76963

      Darlings! I have a working answer. My loved ones who are always loving and supportive are the only ones to phone any more. Also the very rare important call that I don’t mind, like to book a course. Everyone else gave up. I email or text back instead of phoning. Very very rarely also I get a cold call from a salesperson which also doesn’t bug me because there are no bad consequences whichever way I handle it. So the phone doesn’t stress me any more. Most often it’s my Mum who is the sweetest most forgiving person I know. So my phone has become quite safe. My close friends WhatsApp or text and I email them long stories. And we set up face to face dates for picnics which works perfectly. You need to be happy to be rude.if you have grandparents or whatever, good luck. I tend to text or email people to email or text me first so I can take the ear plugs out of my ears. My important close loved ones are comfortable with my phone manners by now. They know no news is good news and if my phone battery is flat it’s just because my own battery is flat meaning I am tired so then I don’t charge my phone. Or if I see a missed call I text them back to apologize and tell them I’m here now. Then they call and we enjoy a happy conversation. I am on meds now and forty years old so it helps for the stubbornness. Also where I stay people are quite rude so it’s normal enough. Most employers WhatsApp me jobs so that’s OK too. When I have a busy job (full time as an Advanced Life Support Paramedic) I generally only answer if it’s Control Room or Operations Office. Colleagues catch up with me when they see me face to face. Unless it’s a very valued junior colleague who may be calling for advice or help. I treat them as an emergency. They are non threatening people. If anyone not so special to me says they were looking for me I say oh and look at them inquisitively and they spill the beans. I don’t apologize. People seem to find it easier that way.

    • #76964

      Fyi, I responded to the first message on this — a typical mistake for me. Wanted to add that I just resigned up to post on this topic since I detest t as long on the phone so much. It’s seemed so odd to have anxiety about something so common — something we’ve done our entire lives. I also delay responding to personal emails. I get so sick and tired of email since I get so many at work. It seems as though one’s entire live can be taken over by communication of email PLUS dreaded phone calls.

    • #76966

      Hi, all

      I am Roger from UK
      I have had adhd from birth and used to run a very succesful business until my forties when i got this dread of answering the phone which soon led on to my dread of actually wanting to speak to people. Its ruined my business and had a huge effect on my life in general…friends used to say i could talk the hind legs off a donkey cos i never stopped talking.
      I think this Adhd syndrome changes as we age and i find its extremely irritating because its stops you having a full life.
      My son def has it too although i dont see it in my daughter.
      I often look in on this web site, its the best for finding out if its me or everyone else.
      Good luck to all you sufferers out there.

    • #76967

      OMG I never thought of posting about this yet it makes my life miserable. Sometimes I just can barely function much less talk on that &*** phone. I tell people to email but they won’t do it. Just won’t.


    • #76970
      bippety boppety hat

      I have to walk up and down like a loon while talking on the phone, or do a million other things and/or lose track of the conversation as my mind wanders off… walking seems to help me focus on the thread of the convo. One good thing about mobile phones..

    • #76974

      With the massive amounts of phone calls I receive these days I hate talking on the phone. Most of them are telemarketers, but I have a few friends that call or text me numerous times a day to just talk for no reason. It’s these types of phone calls that really set my anxiety off because unless there is an important reason to be on the phone I don’t use the phone. It can be very hard to make others understand this. I’ve started using just one or two sentences to let people know that I have to get off the phone. The first: I’m sorry but I have many tasks to get done today so I can only talk for 10 minutes. The second: (not used as often) I’m sorry, but I am getting ready to step out and I do not talk on my phone while I am driving. They are legit statements because while at home I am trying to get a lot of projects done quickly, and I cannot multi-task them while on the phone because I am too focused on getting the housework done and miss what the person is telling me on the phone, and I refuse to talk on the phone while I am in my car. I don’t even use GPS, because being ADHD I need to be hyper focused on my driving and the other drivers around me.

      I have a few friends that get upset when I don’t pick up the phone when they call my house line first, and then immediately call my cell. If I am in the middle of a task I do not answer the phone, and I have to explain to them all the time. I always say that I will call when I am finished with what I started because chances are if I interrupt myself I will never go back to finish the task. And if I am going to be on the phone I do not want my attention anywhere but talking to that person who called, just part of having the respect for them to have my complete, undivided attention.

      But it is all about setting up the boundary at the beginning of the conversation to let them know how much time I have to be on the phone.

    • #76979

      I feel the same way and always have. I think it is because I rely so much on body language for communication and the absence of this causes anxiety and attention difficulties. You are not alone!

    • #76985
      Inge Houck

      I, too, signed up just to comment on telephone avoidance. I feel anxious when answering the phone, but the real difficulty is making phone calls. I literally have to write a script for myself to read. My dad used to call once in a while, but now it’s been months. I included an explanation in a letter, but I don’t know if he understood. I lose track of everything I wanted to say if it’s more than one topic. Another thing I HATE is the mandatory “How are you” “Fine, how are you?” “Fine”. I prefer to just tell them why I’m calling! Thank you to everyone who commented or told their story. I especially liked the one that had helpful suggestions in it!

      • #76987

        Arggggh ‘re the “How are you … fine” thing.
        Me too!
        I struggle with this everyday big lie, to the point of me saying “Actually I’m not fine… blah blah blah …… well you did ask!”
        I try to remember that the asking/replying thing is simply a common courtesy, but I feel so disingenuous saying “I’m fine” when I’m actually not!
        Ho hum xx

      • #76991

        H: I have asked close friends and family not to ask me how I’m doing because it’s too difficult to answer and I don’t want to talk about it.

    • #76986

      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

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by H.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #76988

      You’ve just described me! My psychiatrist calls it :avoidance addiction” but hasn’t given me any guidance; guess he figures I’ll work it out. Haven’t in the last 20 years (I’m 57). I won’t even answer the phone if my 86 year old mom calls. I have to be up to callings her and my friends and family back. I’ve lost a lot of friends.

      • #76994

        “Avoidance Addiction”? How interesting Fern…

        Avoidance: “In psychology, avoidance coping, escape coping, or cope and avoid is a maladaptive coping mechanism characterized by the effort to avoid dealing with a stressor. Coping refers to behaviors that attempt to protect oneself from psychological damage.”

        Addiction: “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming […] to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.​”

        … but how to unpick such a chronic mess is anyone’s guess 🤷 (but any thoughts/solutions would be warmly welcomed I’m sure!) 😉

    • #77001

      I have always had the same predicament; over the years I have discovered that if I pace while I talk on the phone it helps me from becoming focus long enough to at least be able to share my life and get some ideas out.
      My biggest issue with friends and phone conversations is how to advise on their fears and concerns since it is hard to judge their mood on the topics being discussed and I end up not engaging and becoming or appear to be disengaged.

    • #77011

      I don’t intend to in any way take away from the seriousness of other blogs … or from this one … but this feels like a “me, too” thing. Incredible how much comfort and reassurance all of your posts have brought me. Thank you all for sharing your perspectives and experiences.

    • #77030

      Wow! I really thought this was just a ME issue. I absolutely HATE talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter to who. I also have a hard time with ppl who talk slowly or tend to share “extra” information. I feel like inside I’m just screaming “hurry up”, I could be doing SOOO many more things on my lists. I always feel rushed, even sometimes when I’m not. I also get very frustrated when I do have to talk on the phone…like seriously irritated and the longer I’m on the phone the worse it gets. I wasn’t like this before I had kids, so maybe that has something to do with it, but I can’t BLAME it on the kids, because it isn’t like they bother me while I’m on the phone and that’s why I’m angry. I just feel STUCK when I’m on the phone… like I have to put too much concentration towards it and I’m used to doing multiple things at once. Hard to do when I’m talking on the phone.

      Thank you for sharing!! I feel better!!

    • #77031

      I also tend to tell people that I will call them back or “talk to them later” but I don’t ever call them back. Not because I meant to lie or be rude, but I just DESPISE talking on the telephone… EVEN TO MY OWN HUSBAND AND CHILDREN…

      My husband says it makes me come across as having no integrity when I tell ppl I will do things but don’t… probably true. Definitely need to stop doing that.

    • #77036

      I too try to avoid phone conversations, especially with my partner who frustratedly LOVES communicating on the phone. Also diagnosed with ADHD..he’ll call me several times to say basically the same thing and add one or more new details. Repeated information drives me nuts, especially if it’s something I’m already sensitive about. I often start having a anxiety attack trying to focus on what he’s saying. It’s like I can hear the words that are being are being said but I can’t process WHAT is being said fast enough. I think it’s because I can’t see his face or body language. Especially as I mentioned if it’s a subject I’m already feeling anxious about.

    • #77047

      As for things that have helped, one that works for me sometimes is seeking out a landline for making a call, rather use my cell phone. I’m guessing that it makes it more impersonal or maybe just reminds me of an earlier time when I didn’t have this issue. Also, I admit that I may deliberately call when I know the person is unavailable so I can leave a message. Returned calls are slightly lower on the anxiety scale.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by terryo.
    • #77053

      I am so glad I found this post. I also felt that it was just me who could’t make or answer the phone. I am sitting here right now trying to make 2 doctors appt it has been almost 2 weeks since I was supposed to make them and still haven’t been able to. I also never answer the door when I am home.

    • #76938

      I’ve had this same issue my whole adult life, well even as a teenager. I learned a little trick to get me to make calls. First of all, I make a list of the calls I need to make WITH PHONE NUMBERS so I don’t have some reason to put it off. Next, I write the reason for the call. I decide what I’m going to say. Then if I have a number of calls, I do them first thing in the day or as soon as I’m sure I’ll get hold of the person I need to call. When I’m really anxious, I choose a reward for myself when I make the call, or I set a timer for 10 seconds (see below) and I have to start the call before the timer goes off. I know this sounds crazy, but I have found these tactics work for me. I only make calls at one time of day and I set aside 30 minutes for all my calls. When that time is up, I don’t have to do any more until the next calling period. It relieves a lot of anxiety. I also saw this for my other procrastination bugaboos that I want to get off my list.
      Good luck everyone!

    • #76953

      Hi ADHD Friend There is a treatment for those who get anxious talking.

      In my last life, I was working as a Speech Pathologist.
      People that stuttered also have difficulty on the phone.
      It is due to Anxiety.
      Here are some information and links that I hope help you
      When do you feel the anxiety of talking?
      Some say the minute the phone rings?
      Treatment that focuses on the Anxiety is critical.
      Most everyone I know with ADHD has some form of Anxiety.
      The trick is to determine the type of anxiety and treatment that best fits you.
      I hope this helps

    • #77067

      Wow! I still can’t get over all the responses to this topic! I really thought I was the only one. And I never thought about it being caused by my ADD. But after reading all of these, I am sure it is! I’m not sure I found a solution, but I will keep checking back. Good luck to all the rest of you. Oh, and DON’T CALL ME! 🙂

    • #77080

      I, too, am amazed that I am not alone in this. I have been X’d by so many people over the years because I don’t answer phone calls and have an extremely difficult time returning phone calls, so for the most part I don’t. Naturally, people take it personally. I get that. People,including extended family, think I have no interest in them because I don’t call them back. That’s not usually the case. It has gotten worse over the years. As a criminal defense attorney I am forced to return calls to maintain my practice. However, I tell clients I prefer to text because I am in court a lot and I can respond to them quicker. The vast majority of clients have no problem with it but there are some that want to talk on the phone period. I cannot count the number of times I get messages like, “CAN YOU PLEASE CALL ME BACK? I KNOW YOU’RE BUSY BUT I REALLY NEED TO TALK TO YOU.”
      To Bunneyoo, I think my anxiety was triggered when I was 31, I am 56 now, and my son died in a sudden accident. I shut down. I refused to talk on the phone. In hindsight I think the stress of having to deal with other people’s emotions, words of condolences, etc. was too much. I have never recovered from my phone anxiety. Maybe that’s part of your deal too. I don’t know.
      I never answer my door. Even if it’s UPS delivering a package I am anxiously (no pun intended) waiting for. I guess we just learn ways to deal with this after a while. Medication has helped with a variety of other issues but nothing has ever addressed this. Unless it’s business related or an absolute must to answer the phone, remember that the phone is for our convenience not the other persons.

    • #77081
      Saffron Flowers

      Thank you for posting this. I too have this. It’s an issue at work as I don’t understand what they are saying ans I ask them to repeat. Some get irritated. If I make a call, I write up bullet points of what I need to say so I stay on track. It’s a friendship killer for sure. My husband calls everyday to say hi but doesn’t hold me hostage on the phone.

    • #77132

      I don’t get as much anxiety as I am irritated. I screen ALL of my phone calls at work and personal. Just send me a text or email me, please! LOL!!!

    • #77140

      This is so much me also, I hate to talk on the phone. When texting was developed it was the greatest thing for me, because you answer what is sent and get to the point and you’re done. If I have to talk on the phone it has to be absolutely quiet, no one else talking in the room, no T.V. on at all and no motion going on or I can’t concentrate on the call at all.

    • #77162

      I remember back in the days when all you had was your house phone connected to the wall, I could only carry on a conversation when I was alone behind a closed door confined to the bottom of the staircase (which was all the farther the cord would reach!). It would be impossible to focus if I had to be out in the main room with the TV or others around. But, I would have hour long chats with friends.. and now looking back I keep asking myself… have I changed? Or has it always been challenging to talk when in a normal room?

      I find that if one of my adult kids MUST talk about something serious on the phone with me then I have to find a quiet closet corner where there would be no chance of being interrupted or distracted by whats going on in front of me.

      I honestly have no idea how people can work in an large office, and have to talk on the phone, and still get work done.

    • #77115

      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!

    • #77301

      Wow! I’ve struggled with this my entire life! Very difficult when you work in sales and customer service. I used to have to leave the room to order a pizza so no one would hear me, I was so paranoid. The sound off a ringing phone will send my heart racing. I have lost opportunities, friends, family because I can’t/won’t return phone calls. I know my depression is part of it because I don’t want to be a downer but I know it goes much farther than that. I can’t even listen to voice mails because I am afraid of what they will say or feel shame I haven’t done something I was supposed to. Thank you for bringing up this topic. I never thought it might have something to do with my adult diagnosedADHD

    • #77304

      I suffer from the same thing. Through years of research, I discovered I have CAPD (central auditory processing disorder). It makes phone conversations terrible. I need to be in front of people to basically read their lips to confirm I’m hearing/seeing the correct words. This is a major problem for me on top of the ADD issues.

    • #78045

      OMG …. BRILLIANT ….
      best discussion EVER
      so amazed i found this tonight,
      Brilliant !

    • #78653

      Yes. This. 100 percent me. Texting is a godsend.

    • #78655

      Oh my gosh, so that’s it!
      I have spent a good deal of my long life just staring at a phone, either unwilling to make a call or to answer a call. I am just plain scared of phone-calls.
      I always wondered why, when everyone else seemed so telephone-friendly.
      Thank you, everybody, another piece of the puzzle is in place – or at least we now know it’s a piece.

    • #79421

      Amen to this! The amount of messages I get from dissatisfied people (mostly men tbh) upset over my unreliable social media and phone use is a joke. I try my best with my closest circle, but that takes genuine effort to maintain and it seems like everyone Tom, Dick, and Harry expects the same from me.

      Only my Mum, Dad and a friend get immediate responses and answered calls. They’ve always had a genuine reason for contacting me – won’t drag me into an irrelevant conversation. The whole world seems to expect the same standard, and to be honest, when I message people, pretty much the whole world affords me this standard. – So, I don’t have anywhere to run here.

      It takes a real toll on my self perception. It’s hard not to view yourself as a selfish person, when everyone else seems to find these levels of communication second nature, but me. Makes me wonder if I’m just a shitty friend who doesn’t care enough about other people, which confuses me, because I’m sure I do care for people, but in this regard, my actions say otherwise.

      I set alarms and send text messages TO MY OWN NUMBER :/ reminding me to text people back etc. Nothing works. I hear the alarms but don’t take notice and shut them down, not realising what they were for, and I don’t read my own text messages, alike everyone else’s. Ink fades from my hands and other people never come through when I ask them not to let me forget (fair enough, neither would I).

      To everyone else, these things seem unachievabley easy. Yet when I get caught up feeling obliged to have a phone conversation, I get frustrated by how unproductive I’m being. They just seem to take ridiculous amounts of time and concentration. I can’t understand how most of the world gets things done whilst simultaneously reliably replying to various forms of messages – But they do!?

    • #79560

      Hey girl don’t you worry ok – just by reading your response I drew the conclusion that you ABSOLUTELY love your family and of course – friends! You’re not a shitth friend (wish I could take my own advice when I say that, cause I feel the same way about myself lol) …but my REAL friends, who *care* – just know not to call me! If they do, it’s just to leave a voicemail cause they cbf typing lol (god i get sick of typing too…it can take me a good hour to type a (long) text to a friend, particularly when responding to a voicemail – do you know how much can be said in just 2minutes?? A whole freakin LOT! …seriously, some of my texts are so long that my iPhone shortens them and makes them like 7 lines, then you have to click on the box the text’ in – and it opens my novel sized message in a completely white screen (so there’s plenty of room) and the text is just all in that…from edge to edge of the phone, & you’ve still gotta scroll down several times to read it all.

      I HATE TYPING, but I can’t even press the little microphone next to the space bar to just dictate to my phone doing voice-to-text, cause I’m too shy to even hear my own voice when telling the phone what to type! Even when I’m 100% alone I can’t do it 😩 I swear..ohh! I just can’t imagine the TJME it’d save.

      Anyway. yeah. Good person. Good friend. Good friends (yeah real friends will comply…they’ll do whatever they have to to talk to you if they really want to 🙂 Promise 👍🏻

      I probably COULD answer my parents phone calls, and they know my situation and have witnessed the phobia – but I don’t answer them. I always text mum back instantly…and SAY I’ll call her back later, but we usually end up in a tech convo for the next few hours and then lucky for me the phone call is not all that necessary anymore hehe 😁 Love her. And dad actually, cause they both send strictly short texts so it’s fun, quick back & forth & I love the short & sweet…(with them there def no long winded goss-sessions – which of course are long by necessity – I mean…HELLO?! – what’s a good story without details? I mean..I don’t even know, but what’s the point lol 🙄

      I don’t know why this is so long and how it got so long – allbi wanted to do was tell you you’re def NOT alone, and you are faaaf from abnormal- you’re just the right amount of weird hehe 😜❤️ You sound kind, thoughtful, and your whole post was very endearing.
      If you take anything away from this looooong thesis of ADHD first thing in the morning 101 chapter: “before your eyes have even unblurred” ….exhibit A <this post, while typing this last line I swallowed my adderall with the last couple of sips of my coffee ☕️🚬☕️☕️ 💊💊💊=☺️👌🏻😍😇🤓☮️☯️

      I’m so sorry but this is too long to proofread… plus I’m not in the mood to do so 😂
      I hope this is all makes, and that it’s just easy spelling errors and poor punctuation. If my structure is so poor that you don’t understand a certain part – just know that I was on your side, comforting you, and hoping to remind you how awesome you are (cause you sound like someone idnooce to have in my own close friend circle (just quietly to anyone reading this – I’m in a new city and I don’t have any friends yet 😕 The 3 friends that I’ve kept from my old city are 1-freshly married, 2, overseas & in places it’s impossible to find Internet cafes, and 3, just found her bf of 17yrs (had been together since we were 13 in school), and they had to kids together. The asshole said he’d rather leave my friend because the slag he was with let’s him takes drugs whereas my friend does now (SOMEHOW, he got hooked on speed (he’s a truck driver so that’s well entrained in their industry, so maybe he got offered some one day and he jus hasn’t been able to stop since…my friend tried EVERYTHING. She sacrificed sooo much to try and help him but he was a lost cause. AND YOU KNOW WHAT, that “slag” I mentioned…is currently 8months pregnant. We worked it out and it seems as though she got knocked up on the time my friend walked in 😕 Karma is a bitch lol!
      So sad though. His and her family were entrained within each other. 6brothers, all with gfs, the parents and uncles are all pretty lose so there was always shenanigans going on or a BBQ etc – but they were all each other’s “social lives” …none of them had their own separate lives.
      Ugh, i don’t get it.

      They’re all bogans anyway so I cbf trying to work them out. I’m just sad for her loss and her two kids (one of them my god kid)’s DAD. He’s dicing with danger.

      😂 🤦🏼‍♀️😂🤦🏼‍♀️😂🤦🏼‍♀️😂🤦🏼‍♀️ why am I telling you this? I can’t stop talking. I must be so lonely and I don’t even let myself realise it sometimes….buT it just spews out of my thumbs sometimes ☺️😔

      Ps bogan = red neck…maybe🤔
      A bogan is the aussiest Aussie possible. A total parody of ourselves – but they are for real.

    • #81218

      This is me, it is so hard at work, I send emails praying they get them and respond so I don’t have to call. I hate when my boss gives me tasks to remember during a phone conversation–I WON”T REMEMBER! I NEED to have some kind of way to trace things back either text or email or forget it. This thread made my night.#notalone

    • #107184

      absolutely! talking on the phone irritates me, makes me anxious and I struggle to stay focused on the conversation. In fact I HATE IT. If I have to talk on the phone i’d rather a quick 5 minute call about where we are catching up next.. not a 20 minute phone call because they are bored in the car driving home from work.

    • #107468

      the other thing I hate about it is there is NO ESCAPE. You have to be present for the call the whole time. At least if you are out to dinner with a bunch of people you can have a rest and let others speak, but on the phone you need full attention.

    • #108872
      Nelson DG

      Hello to you all-

      I do not have ADHD, but my best friend does. I use to get upset at her because she would much rather text me than talk to me as a human being. I used to think it was because she could have control over the conversation. I don’t like to text because it misses tone or humor or even facial exprpessions and so messages get misinterpreted and then an arguement emerges.

      Boy was I wrong! I’m finding after reading this forum that I was wrong about a lot of things.

      Thank you all for sharing in this topic, it has helped me greatly!


    • #109164


      My hatred of phone conversations has only worsened in my adulthood. This hatred was based on fear. Fear of missing the conversation, not hearing important details, not being able to respond because I’m too busy thinking of how to respond, forgetting what we were talking about… All of these things lead to feelings of embarrassment, shame, inadequacy, failure…or, at best, (even if you do keep it all together,) pure mental exhaustion.

      I’ve known I had ADD since I was a teenager, but only started medication a couple of years ago. One way that I first knew the medication was working was that I could successfully participate in phone conversations. This has been a life-changing development. At work now, if I need information from a co-worker, I can just pick up the phone and ask. I used to procrastinate phone calls and prepare a list of notes so I wouldn’t forget what to say. It’s so much easier now! I also started calling friends and family that I had not spoken to in years. It has been so great.

      But man do I understand the fear and loathing of the phone conversations.

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