Talking on the phone gives me panic attacks. Luckily for me, I don't get cell phone reception at my house, and since I work from home and am basically a shut-in, that works out nicely.
Oddly enough, I do get text messages at my house. Apparently God wants me to type out all of my communication (which is obviously fine by me). Unfortunately, my friends and clients aren't always on board with God.
I get a lot of flack about the phone thing. Some say, "It's so much easier just to pick up the phone than to try to type out a message." Hmm. Easier for YOU maybe. I can type faster than I can think. On the other hand—and maybe this is a holdover from the days of my childhood spent endlessly dialing a rotary phone—I don't particularly find phone conversations to be quick.
First of all, you always have to do the formalities thing on the phone. That bugs.
And I never know when it's my turn to talk. Maybe it's PTSD from whatshisface (my last boyfriend) who would threaten to have me excommunicated every time he perceived himself as being interrupted by me, but I am always anxious about interjecting my words into the conversation.
I tried an experiment for a while where every time I talked to someone on the phone, I would wait patiently for my turn to talk. I would not interrupt anyone, under any circumstances, ever. But what I found, with some people, was that they were so uncomfortable with silence in a conversation that they would simply keep talking until interrupted, keeping us in this endless loop of being on the phone basically forever while they repeated things over and over again and came up with all sorts of imaginative filler statements.
And then I started to feel like I wasn't being patient and mindful, but in fact I was being cruel by letting this poor person spin out to depths of anxiety that could easily have been placated by my compassionate interjection.
Also, when you throw in the whole Right Speech factor, it's much easier to pause and think about the skillful way to say things in an email versus over the phone.
Maybe it's the misanthropic writer in me, but if I could have all of my interpersonal communication take place electronically I would be pretty happy.