Why I have my phone on silent

It’s not because I’m a misanthrope who hates everyone.

I love people and I love talking but I hate talking on the phone.

The reason is this: I worked in PR for a long time. I was superglued to my phone for about 10 years and, during that time, I developed a severe stress response to the buzzing, pinging and ringing of my phone.

Calls and messages meant I had to work. Somebody somewhere wanted something from me, and they usually wanted it right now. It could be 10pm on a Sunday night and I would blithely oblige because I am a people pleasing idiot.

Let’s be clear. It’s not like I’m a Vietnam vet who leaps under a table during fireworks but I do experience some very real anxiety around ringing phones.

To me, it’s like having someone show up unannounced at my door. Maybe they’re bringing me flowers or maybe it’s the po-po here to tell me that SOMEONE IS DEAD.

I’m not saying it’s rational but the fear is real. This is why I prefer scheduled conversations. Oh, you want to talk about me doing some writing work for you? YES! You want to catch up for a casual chat about podcasts and TV shows? YES! You want to sell me solar panels, financial services or Google ads. NO. And also, f*ck off.

My family hate that I never answer my phone and I have probably missed work valuable opportunities because I didn’t pick up but you know what? I have also missed a bunch of scammers and telemarketers too.

So people, please text me, even if it’s just to text me to tell me you’re going to call me.

I don’t hate you. I just hate ringing phones.

Image credit: Phoodie @phoodiegram

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