Quotes about Fear of Talking on the Phone

Welcome to my page of quotations about a form of social anxiety known as phone phobia. Yes, this is a real thing. I’d rather drive several miles to have a face-to-face conversation with someone than make a 30-second phone call and be done with it. Whenever I make or take a call, my heart races and I experience several other effects of anxiety which persist long after the call has ended. If this describes you too, please know that you are not alone. All I can say is thank goodness for the age of texting and internet! –ღTerri  #infj #hsp

Talking on the phone is a unique kind of social interaction that can in some ways be even more daunting than in-person conversation. In person, you pick up a lot of emotional cues by watching someone’s body language. But on the phone, you lose those small gestures (like a smile) that subtly give you encouragement during the conversation. ~Tiffany Chi, “Could Your Fear of Talking on the Phone be Social Anxiety?,” Joyable.com, 2016

When the phone rings, it’s like an attack on my life. I get confused. ~Leonard Michaels, The Men’s Club, 1981

I recently read a quiz on how to tell if you’re an introvert and one of the questions was:  if, when a phone rings in a room, do you react as though a gun has gone off? Yes, that’s me. Annie Get Your i‑Phone. ~Debora Robertson, “It’s not just millennials: the rise of the midlife phone-phobe,” www.telegraph.co.uk, 2018 September 12th

I’d rather sit down and write a brief note than call someone up. I hate telephones. ~Henry Miller, Q&A with Digby Diehl, 1972

All phone calls are obscene. ~Karen Elizabeth Gordon, unverified

I don’t answer the phone. I get the feeling whenever I do that there will be someone on the other end. ~Fred Couples, unverified

I may have some grey hairs and eye liner older than Ariana Grande, but in one respect I am youthful, vital, and absolutely au courant. Along with those decades younger than me, I will do anything to avoid speaking on the phone. ~Debora Robertson, “It’s not just millennials: the rise of the midlife phone-phobe,” www.telegraph.co.uk, 2018 September 12th

Being afraid to speak on the phone can have serious consequences: you might pass on a dream job, avoid scheduling necessary doctor’s appointments, or hurt relationships with your friends and family all to avoid talking on the phone. ~Tiffany Chi, “Could Your Fear of Talking on the Phone be Social Anxiety?,” Joyable.com, 2016

I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child… My hemmings and hawings over the telephone cause long-distance callers to switch from their native English to pathetic French. At parties, if I attempt to entertain people with a good story, I have to go back to every other sentence for oral erasures and inserts… In these circumstances nobody should ask me to submit to an interview if by “interview” a chat between two normal human beings is implied. ~Vladimir Nabokov, Strong Opinions, 1973

But when I get in the telephone booth I may get tongue-tied, and that’s why I send you the letter. ~Henry Miller, letter to Anaïs Nin, 1933

I don’t know if you write letters
or you panic on the phone —
I’d like to call you, all the same
If you want to, I am game…
~Lisa Hannigan, “I Don’t Know,” 2008 ♫

Even when it is not used with malice aforethought or for the purpose of elevating the breeze in your vicinity it is an exhausting instrument. If you pass a friend in the street you can say, “How do you do?” and let it go at that without being expected to stop and thrash the matter out to the last symptom. But if you have an impulse to swap a fleeting greeting per telephone you can’t say “How do you do?” and hang up. The telephone tradition demands that you lean with one elbow on the wall or both on the table and strain every nerve to be bright. Face to face with the other party you would merely be yourself and, however painful that might be, no offence would be taken. But there is something about the telephone for social purposes which causes you to behave in a manner which would brand you as “nuts” in normal circumstances. To add to the pain of social telephonetics, neither party to the ordeal is ever willing to ring off. Both keep on saying, “Yes—oh, yes,” “True, true,” “That is so,” “Quite,” while both vainly try to think up some remark that will close the song and dance without leaving a wound that the years will fail to heal. ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), “Telepholunacy: Word Without End,” in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1940 April 1st

Telephonophobia, in plain terms, means fear of telephones but it’s not the physical telephone that haunts. It includes fear of receiving or making a call. ~Maitreya1969, UrbanDictionary.com, 2013

Sometimes I long for a lazy camp
Five hundred miles from home,
Where the eagle flies in the clear blue sky
And the grizzly bear does roam,
A snow white peaklike giant stands
In the midst of the tall pine trees,
Away from the constant ring of the phone
For ever calling me…
~J. H. Stallings (b.1874), “Zanjero”  [Quoted 1934. –tg]

It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone. ~Mark Twain, quoted in Caroline Thomas Harnsberger, Mark Twain at Your Fingertips, 1948, cited as “source undetermined at date of publication”

Phone Phobia Quotes
Words of Comfort for Kindred Phone Phobics & Phone Haters
Original post date: 2017 Apr 19
1st major revision: 2019 Apr 14