The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Phone Phobia
& Hating to Talk on the Telephone

Welcome to my page of quotations about a form of social anxiety known as phone phobia. I'd rather drive several miles for a face-to-face conversation than to make even a 30-second phone call. Whenever I make or take a call that isn't with immediate family, 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. I used to think it was because I couldn't see the person's face and visual cues but later discovered that it applies to video calls too. Anyway, thank goodness for email and texting! There are also some quotes here about just plain hating to talk on the phone.  —ღ Terri  #infj #hsp

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

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

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?,", 2016

[T]here were only a few people he felt comfortable with on the telephone... Ordinarily Ernest advanced upon a telephone with dark suspicion, virtually stalking it from behind. He picked it up gingerly and placed it to his ear as if to determine whether something inside was ticking. When he spoke into it his voice became constricted and the rhythm of his speech changed, the way an American's speech changes when he talks with a foreigner. Ernest would invariably come away from a telephone conversation physically exhausted, sweated, and driven to stiff drink. ~A. E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway, 1966

The best phone call is a text, the second best is an email, and the third best phone call is two traded voicemails. Everything else is a complete nightmare. ~John Oliver, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, "Mental Health Care," 2022 July 31st, HBO,  [S9, E18]

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,", 2018

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

Apparently, my final attempt was detailed enough, because I was presented with the holy grail. By that, of course, I mean live chat. I'm not some weirdo who wants to talk on the phone. ~Ben Sarid, "Reviews and Expert Opinion: SiteGround,", 2023

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,", 2018

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?,", 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

Dying's not so bad. At least I won't have to answer the telephone. ~Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy, 1993  [Frazier Armstrong —tg]

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  ♫

      "...The first victim, or one of the first, was my telephone. Murder most foul. I shoved it in the kitchen Insinkerator!... Poor thing strangled to death. After that I shot the television set!"
      The psychiatrist said, "Mmm... Suppose you tell me when you first began to hate the telephone."
      "It frightened me as a child. Uncle of mine called it the Ghost Machine. Voices without bodies... Seemed to me a phone was an impersonal instrument. If it felt like it, it let your personality go through its wires. If it didn't want to, it just drained your personality away until what slipped through at the other end was some cold fish of a voice, all steel, copper, plastic, no warmth, no reality. It's easy to say the wrong things on telephones; the telephone changes your meaning on you..." ~Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun, 1953

"Give them a ring"
"I've emailed"
"Be quicker to ring"
"I've sent a text as well"
"Just ring them"
"I'll send another email"
~Rob Temple, Very British Problems, Volume 3: Still Awkward, Still Raining, 2017,

I hate talking on the phone. I especially hate talking on the phone to strangers. I tell myself: I can't do this. I tell myself: I have to do this. With trembling hands, I reach for the receiver. ~Aaron Latham, Riding with John Wayne, 2006

I hate phones. I often tell my congregation that if I wake up in eternity and hear a telephone ringing, I'll know I've gone the wrong way. ~John Hagee, Being Happy in an Unhappy World, 1989

The word phobic has its place when properly used, but lately it's been declawed by the pompous insistence that most animosity is based upon fear rather than loathing. No credit is given for distinguishing between these two very different emotions. ~David Sedaris, "," Me Talk Pretty One Day, 2000,  [Agree! Half of my phone phobia is actually talking-on-the-phone aversion, but there seems to be no word for that. The object of Sedaris' loathing in this quotation is computers. —tg]

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,, 2013

I hate phones with a passion, and have nightmares about them. ~Mark Carwardine, On the Trail of the Whale, 1994

In the nineteenth century, among other things, they didn't have telephones. You can become the victim of telephones. That's why I hate talking on the phone. Sometimes I put it in the refrigerator. ~Willie Morris, 1982

I doubt that I'm psychotic, but I do hate phones. I don't like people much, either, especially when I have to observe complicated rules of etiquette like those that the phone requires. ~John Philpin & Patricia Sierra, Tunnel of Night, 1999

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published 2014 Jun 11
revised Apr 2017, Apr 2019
last saved 2023 Oct 25