Difficulty with answering or talking on the phone

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Noamx
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17 Sep 2022, 4:40 am

I was hoping if you can explain what you think about this type of difficulty. Its probably related or caused by Asperger Syndrome, but I have no idea if there might be many other people who struggle with talking or answering the phone, including those without Autism spectrum disorders. I can say generally, the difficulty happens only sometimes for me, not always. It happens mostly when I dont know enough, or at all, about the other person. When I dont know, I dont know how to talk to him/her properly, so I can become nervous. But sometimes after a Vodka shot or something of that nature, its easier. Do you think Vodka really helps with these things? And if you can also explain, what you generally think about all this. Thanks.


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Raleigh
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17 Sep 2022, 4:45 am

No, I don't think vodka really helps.
I generally think its counter-productive to rely on drugs and alcohol for social lubrication.
Its a false confidence and a crutch.

I generally feel better about myself if I can communicate without the use of intoxicants.


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17 Sep 2022, 4:49 am

I have no issues picking up a phone and just talk.
Or initiate in general. To me I'd start out aimless.

But communicating with a goal or intention in mind?
That wildly varies from awkward and confusing, to very productive and connecting.


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Mountain Goat
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17 Sep 2022, 5:45 am

I am usually ok on the phone when the conversation has already begun. Is the initial going to phone that I can take months to do. Is overcoming the bit that holds me back from phoning. The decision making part.
What I can't usually do and I get others to do for me is those calls where I am met by an answering machine or a series of automated messages. Somehow my mind goes blank and I don't process what the automated voice is telling me, and yet a human I am usually ok with though it depends. If I am nurvous is direct questions that hit me so I can say yes to things when I mean no because yes is an automated response and I have to pick up the pieces afterwards by cancelling things or things like that! What happens to me on phonecalls is I only remember small parts of what was said so I can go away happy but forget about what I needed to do or say to whoever it is on the phone, but I can also be like that off the phone as well.
I am a strange mix because masking and I can be the opposite and very precise, but what I call "Job" masking is tough to do these days since the last few burnouts which is why I can't at the moment work. I get dissabling anxiety when I tried to work or go for appointments etc which drifts into partial shutdown mode and then shutdowns if I can't avoid them... So it has often happened where if I get to somewhere early I am thinking about it so I can end up frozen to the spot and unable to get out of the car (I am fine with driving as my mind is on the driving), but if I get there last minute I can sometimes avoid this, but then I can be hit with an all out shutdown instead where I end up on the floor so I don't really like appointments that have deadlines where one "Must" be there at a specific time and date as these can give me the issues especially morning appointments. I can get through by being in a determined conquoring mode, but these tend to come sparadically... Is the mode where I can do a few things but they only last a short time... Is why people are puzzled with me because I am inconsistent. They think "He did that before and came over confident. Why can't he do that again?"
People assume that others can do things again and again if they can do it once or twice. This is the issue as most people can do that.
Sometimes I can but it is like riding the crest of a wave. While the crest is there I can do things and even imprss myself, but when the wave crashes into the shores I am the opposite and this is what confuses people and I can't explain it to them!



naturalplastic
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17 Sep 2022, 5:48 am

Actually, that does seem to be a "thing".

I have met folks who just have trouble talking on the phone. And they say it's because they "cant see the facial expressions" of the person they are talking to.

I dont have that problem. When I was a teen I was shy and prone to getting discombobulated while talking on the phone in more purpose driven conversations (like dealing with beauracracies). And had to learn to make a mental list of goals before calling. Or learn to say who I am before calling that girl I wanted to ask out. But even then, even when talking to strangers, my mind would create a picture of their face in my mind, and could at least talk.

But if you need to drink vodka every time you talk on the phone then thats not a phone issue, and its not an autism issue. Its a drinking problem. Or thats my non pro opinion anyway.



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17 Sep 2022, 6:15 am

If it's a friend, I don't have much trouble phoning them. If it's a service provider or a bureaucrat, it tends to be rather more difficult, though dealing with them is always difficult whatever the medium, because such people are often quite good at fobbing me off with nothing, and they often have these automated menu things which might not have a suitable option for my purpose. So for service providers and bureaucrats it's often better to communicate with them in writing, so that I've got time to work out exactly what to say. It also gives me a record of the conversation so it's harder for them to fob me off and leave no evidence of what they did.

I used to spend a lot of time worrying and planning difficult phone calls, but these days I just get on with it. If the call goes wrong then I can always call them back later. I usually do quite well without preparing much. When I'm in doubt about what to say, I just ask myself "what do I want from them?" and that usually clears the block.

I hate it when they offer to call me back later because that gives me no time to prepare and I feel unable to focus on other things in case I suddenly have to switch my brain over to the phone conversation. And they don't necessarily call back at all.



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17 Sep 2022, 9:30 pm

I don't have any problems when I'm phoning friends or family members, because I know that they understand me okay. I run into problems when I call the big companies or call to make an appointment that I run into trouble. Sometimes, I get asked to repeat myself 5 times and I give up to the point that I hang up the phone.


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17 Sep 2022, 9:56 pm

I don't answer phone calls.
I only make calls to three people, when absolutely necessary.
I've never left a voicemail message in my life.

For business-type calls I often use TTY / Relay services.
They do the call for you, like they do for people who are hard-of-hearing.
You get a full written, legal transcript of the call.
You can tell the speaker what to say by text.

I can't do those calls myself because of the "hold music" and Press 1-2-3 options.
I get really overwhelmed and end up having sensory / auditory processing meltdowns.



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18 Sep 2022, 1:52 pm

While I can do it I have always had trouble and great frustration talking over the phone.

Video chat and text is slightly better. Text being the best as all I have to do is read the words.
(though I notice a trend with the increased texting of those who are extroverts/highly verbal they get confused through text and don't text very well or send confusing texts)