Why is talking on the phone so difficult for us?

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tksteph
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20 Jul 2010, 9:42 pm

I don't really hold genuine conversations over the phone, but I can usually get things done over the phone without a problem. I am really reluctant to call house phones though, I just find it awkward talking to family members of my friends...

Also apparently I sound really angry whenever I have to call a company (like the phone company or a pizza place). I'm not usually angry, I just tend to speak loudly and over-enunciate so I don't have repeat things.



metoikos
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21 Jul 2010, 12:08 am

Wobbuffet wrote:
My friends nowadays prefer to communicate via text or Facebook, which is awesome for me. I can be funny and quick when I'm typing, but when I used to speak with friends on the phone I'd just be silent unless they asked me something directly.


Text messages are a godsend. I was so resistant to them at first, but they are so much better than talking on the phone.



flowerncsu
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21 Jul 2010, 8:56 pm

One thing no one's mentioned yet is that many NT introverts hate talking on the phone. So for many of us, it could be only partially related to the AS.



Todesking
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21 Jul 2010, 10:52 pm

I loath talking to people on the phone I do not know. I am so afraid of accidently stammering or mumbling because the person on the other end might think I am mentally slow or retarded. 8O I fear the unexpected call from work not knowing what is about, Expecting a call and havng it not called in until a half hour or more after when it is expected causes me more anxiety than you could believe. Having to wait for it takes an enternity causeing me to avoid going to the bathroom or leave the house for anything. It could seriously ruin my day worse than a kick to the groin. :roll: It is the reason I do not carry a cell phone. They are to much of a bother.


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21 Jul 2010, 11:20 pm

I used to have a HUGE problem with calling anyone on the phone but I overcame it due to a position I had where I answered the phone a lot and made a lot of calls. I guess for me I would describe my original fear as being self tought. I always imagened the the telephone connected world as a giant room full of people socializing and me being in "wallflower" mode.
I was scared of innapropriatly inturupting. Now I realize that unless you call at an indecent hour, anything goes.



selin
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17 Jul 2015, 6:04 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
For me it's the opposite. I am far more comfortable with a disembodied voice transmitting from the receiver of a telephone than the harsh and chaotic transactions that occur between people face to face. Those terrify me to no end. It's the randomness of it and the fear of what people will say and how they react. I hate it. On the phone, it's easier to fake my way through.
I loathe cell phones because of the weird sound they make, but cordless landlines are cool. They can get uncomfortable and irritate the outer ear, but that's the only drawback.



agree completely



starfox
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17 Jul 2015, 6:09 pm

My problem is sometimes I accidentally talk when they start to talk lol.

I was given a tip that might help you guys. Smile on purpose when you speak on the phone and practice varying your voice pitch. If your talking about something sad though then don't smile. Your emotions kinda show in your voice a bit if you do that.


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tinyteddy
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17 Jul 2015, 6:28 pm

i like talking on the phone!



selin
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17 Jul 2015, 6:33 pm

tinyteddy wrote:
i like talking on the phone!



so do I. I really value it and lament the fact that most people only ever interact online or face-to-face. A lot of allistic/neurotypical people dislike talking on the phone as well. It's easier for me because I get to just focus on their voice alone. If i try to give eye contact whilst listening I sometimes find it too distracting.



steelysunshine
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17 Jul 2015, 7:08 pm

I am so glad this topic was brought back up. I hate starting threads. Despite reading message boards most of my day I usually make less than 10 posts a day. I rarely do a start a topic thread, I am working on that it's not going well. I post on Facebook about once a month, but I digress. I picked out the things in the thread that I relate to, agree with, or found interesting. Those things are in bold and my response to those things in italics.


Talking on the phone is one of the WORST aspects of being an aspie.

I haven't been diagnosed, yet. However, today instead of picking up the phone to make an appointment I got on a bus rode it for an hour got off the bus and walked five blocks in the blazing heat (I had a bottle of ice that made it tolerable) got to the clinic only to find out on Monday I have to wait by the phone until noon to take a phone call. They won't just make the flipping appointment. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. I am hoping my daughter will come hang out with me(watch tv while I ignore her) and when the phone rings she can answer it and if it's to make that appointment then I can cope long enough to do that.

As difficult as face-to-face can be, at least the other person is visible.

I totally agree. I don't exactly read lips, but it's easier for me to guess how someone feels by looking at their mouth rather than their eyes. I get the eye emotions wrong almost all the time. I get mouth emotions about half the time if I feel like paying attention. I also can sort of guess with body language, but not really.

You have to keep talking CONSTANTLY because the only communication is VOICE. If you go even 2 seconds without saying anything, it's already "awkward".

Yep, I get are you still there?'', a lot. Or, 'are you listening?" (no not really you are boring the snot out of me, I never say this). I usually say something along the lines like, oh I thought you weren't finished talking.

It's my slowed (auditory) processing speed

Yes, people have told me when listening to me talk on the phone that I sound impaired in some way. No kidding I felt impaired. No one made you call me so tough. On the other hand I am not too swift in how fast I listen to people in person either.

I don't like phoning the doctor and asking the reception for repeat prescriptions sometimes i am so anxious about that i go in and ask instead.

I live two blocks from the clinic I go to. I have only called them once in 6 years. The only reason I called that time was because my knees were so inflamed it hurt to walk.


Tone of voice is hard enough to understand.

I don't get the thing with tone of voice. I have heard I should modulate my tone more than once and I don't know what they are talking about. They usually think I am being mean or something even when I am not feeling angry or they think I am stepping out of my boundaries or whatever like I am arrogant and I rarely feel like that, but when I do feel like that and I am able to project it in my voice I am not inclined to care that it bothers someone in fact I am thinking good you get what I am conveying.


On the phone, there's a compressed frequency range--the mid-range is really all you get.

I didn't know this. That is fascinating. It's probably why phone converstations seem more boring?

One thing no one's mentioned yet is that many NT introverts hate talking on the phone. So for many of us, it could be only partially related to the AS.

I am an INTP, I think my problems might be going far beyond some personality quirks though. For now I think of myself as someone with Aspergers personality syndrome, because I haven't been diagnosed. I am dreading that phone call that might lead to a diagnosis though once I go through the assessment.



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17 Jul 2015, 7:44 pm

it's hard for me because it's hard to hear what the other person is saying, and the other person a lot of the time can't hear me because I speak softly. also I can't use body language to communicate so I'm forced into saying things to acknowledge what the other person is saying.


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17 Jul 2015, 8:22 pm

Happy anniversary!

I hate both equally. Any necessary interaction is stressful whether on the phone or face-to-face.



Kitty4670
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17 Jul 2015, 10:05 pm

I don't like talking on the phone too much, it hard for the right words to come out of my mouth. I rather texts ppl or email them, it easier for me.



Anachron
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17 Jul 2015, 10:20 pm

Before I got married, I'd keep the phone unplugged until I needed to make a call, and then unplug it when I was done. My current cell phone has no service, I just use it for the organizer, calculator, timers, memos, and camera.



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17 Jul 2015, 11:03 pm

When I was younger, my parents would talk to my grandmother or grandfather on the phone. Or an aunt or uncle. Or whoever. And, they would always pass around the phone. I hated when it was my turn. As I never knew what to say. Nowadays, I only talk on the phone to exchange information with others. Actually, that’s the only time I like to talk to people in real life as well.