Anxiety often stems from lack of experience in something, and in a world where I can text, use a messenger app, send a chat, etc. there just isn't as much need to make phone calls as there once was.
Which means a whole lot of us turn into flaming dumpster fires when we can't avoid it.
Note, I said "us" - I'm right here with you, fam. Yes the phone call is easier and often cheaper than downloading the app, paying a processing fee and a delivery fee, and then tipping the driver - but is paying an extra $7 for pizza really SO bad?
Yes. The answer is yes. Over time that adds up and that means I have less money, which means less pizza!
Reddit user mildmusings asked:
"Have you experienced phone anxiety, where you get extremely nervous and embarrassed when answering/making a phone call, even when its something as simple as ordering a pizza? If so, how do you deal with it?"
Reddit, as always, came through with some helpful and not so helpful advice.
My major takeaway from all of this is that pizza is the main motivator for LOTS of people to get past this. That makes me feel so much better about myself.
Hesitation Makes It Weirdmusic video phone GIFGiphy
"100%. I just have to pick up the phone and call."
"The longer I think about it directly corresponds to how much weird sh*t comes out of my mouth. By just calling or just answering with no thought about it I’m able to be myself at the least."
"Yes! And when someone calls just pick up right away."
"It's tempting to mute it and say you'll call back later but the anxiety will just grow. Just answer the phone and get it over with, before you start constructing a weird script in your head."
"Same. It’s always the anticipation, allowing myself to think of everything that could go wrong, making up scenarios in my head, that makes it difficult."
"Just need to pick up, dial, be relaxed and take it as it comes."
"I try to tell myself that there’s absolutely no need to be prepared for every eventuality or to rehearse responses to every possible question, but I always work myself up anyway."
Pizza Is The AnswerI Love You Reaction GIFGiphy
"I went the exposure therapy route and took a job answering phones at a pizza place."
"Once I realized I was kinda playing a character (pizza phone guy) and could hide behind that I was fine and that spilled over to other calls."
"Same for me!"
"Super introverted 16 year old me eventually got over answering calls by working in the pizza shop and taking calls. Still hate making calls to people that aren't expecting me though."
"I was made by my parents to order some pizza to collect, but I was talking too quickly that one of the pizzas was the totally wrong one, so my mom needed to wait for the right pizza."
"Maybe try talking to strangers more often. Because most of the time isn't it the phone call itself that is scary, but knowing that you are talking to someone you dont know."
Scripting SuccessLaverne Cox Abc GIF by EmmysGiphy
"Oh my dude - I got you. LET ME TELL YOU A THING."
"I will literally write down a short script. I'll have my phone number, my address if needed, DOB stuff for me and my kids, health care numbers... all that stuff written down or close to hand."
"I'll have notes, questions I need to ask, etc. If I'm particularly upset about something I'll even write down my greeting and key phrases. I'll rehearse if I need to."
"I have been doing this since I was a kid. My mum made fun of me for it once (I had to call in to a radio station to post an ad and I even wrote down my "ums" because I was so nervous about how to sound) and I thought for yeeeears that I was just dumb and the LAMEST."
"Fast forward to age 36."
"I have debilitating anxiety, ADD, genuine auditory processing issues, and possible ASD."
"I don't f*cking worry about whether it's lame anymore - scripting is literally a tool for people with my issues, I've had counselors recommend it many times."
"Turns out little kid me was a smart cookie. Wish I could tell her that."
PracticePractice Makes Perfect GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
"Yes. Then I worked as a receptionist for two years where I wore a permanent headset due to the volume of calls. No more fear of phones."
"If it helps, rehearse what you want to say before hand."
"If you're ordering food, have the menu at hand. If it's a billing issue or you're calling the bank (or anything related), have your ID at hand and any membership number or account number (whichever applies)."
"This way you avoid scrambling to get your info."
"Always have a pen and paper ready - ALWAYS. If you are taking down an email address, don't be shy to use the Nato phonetic alphabet. ("So that's A for alpha, R for romeo, full stop, zero, @gmail.com. Is that correct?") Then read it back to them. In my reception days, I literally printed this out and read from it when spelling a name or email address."
"Start the call with who you are and why you're calling. For example: 'Hi, my name is x and I would like to order a pizza.' "
" 'Hi, my name is X and I need assistance with my billing for January. Could you help me or transfer me to the correct department?' "
"And end your call with 'Thanks for your help, keep well. Goodbye.' "
"I always address people as sir/ma'am unless they correct me or tell me to call them by name. Don't be shy to ask 'I'm sorry, could you please repeat/confirm your name?' "
"The only way you get over this fear is with practice."
Trauma TimeParks And Recreation Thumbs Up GIFGiphy
"Went to therapy."
"After a few weeks, I realized my phone anxiety was a convoluted leftover from PTSD from something seemingly unrelated as a teen. Cured almost literally overnight."
"Truly bizarre how I went from feeling like I was made of lead and unable to do anything except wait in dread if I needed to make/was expecting a phone call to saying on multiple occasions, 'Oh I'll just call, it's easier [than texting/emailing].' "
Do The ThingDo It Love GIF by TV OneGiphy
"Stop giving a sh*t what people think of you and just do the thing."
"People in customer service deal with idiots all day long, they don't care if you stumble your words or don't know what you're doing as long as they can get you through the transaction."
"I have the same problem as the person posting this and this was how I decided to approach it. I work through the nerves and get it done even if I don't want to make the call."
"There's no brilliant 100 point solution for this, you simply bite the bullet knowing the person on the other end of the phone has heard worse and wants to get this over with just as much as you do."
"I've said the dumbest sh*t to customer service people and still got the help i needed. Just stay friendly is all it takes."
Avoid Whenever PossibleNene Leakes Reaction GIFGiphy
"I didn't realize I had phone anxiety until I got my first call center job and was a wreck before every single shift."
"I never had a problem talking on the phone every day in high school with friends, girlfriends, etc... but as soon as I get on the phone with a stranger that has expectations for me (and is probably already irritated), my stress levels spike."
"My theory is that it stems from the depersonalization of not being able to see a real human; it's just two voices on the phone."
"You have no body language to use, and any period of silence you might use to gather your words feels incredibly awkward, so you feel pressured to respond to everything really quickly."
"Because of that call center job I never got over the phone anxiety. I don't even like talking with friends on the phone anymore."
"I don't have a strategy, I just try to avoid talking on the phone whenever possible. When I have to, I just grit my teeth and bear through it."
Move Out, Call A Doctormoving GIFGiphy
"Yeah, I refused to make phone calls when I was in high school because it was seriously nerve-wracking."
"Like, if I had to book a doctor's appointment, I would simply not see the doctor at all because I didn't want to make the phone call. Ordering a pizza would be out of the question."
"Once I moved out of home, I got a bit better at it - especially since stuff happened and I was constantly having to book doctors/specialists/tests over the phone."
"I still don't like doing it, but after a few years of practice, I can answer the phone and make necessary phone calls without having panic attacks or anything."
"There are some strategies to help (e.g. writing down any relevant information and having pen/paper in front of you). In saying that, if it's affecting you (especially if it's paired with something else like social anxiety or general anxiety), it's worth talking to a doctor about."
Nobody Caresjim nobody cares GIFGiphy
"Heck yeah! I used to pathologically avoid making calls to check on things, to order stuff, to pay bills, and ESPECIALLY to ask questions / get support from a company."
"I got over it by realizing that there's nothing WRONG with calling and asking. And, that not only do they not care who I am (past whatever they have to do right now), they'll forget about me as soon as they hang up, possibly earlier."
"If I'm calling to get something fixed, it's their JOB to answer that call and take care of it. They expect to do their job, they're getting paid for it. And in an 8 hour day, I'm just another random person they won't remember."
"I got over it by realizing it didn't matter to the people I was talking to that I was talking to. That random people calling me are not sincerely looking for a relationship, they're doing a job they're getting paid to do, and I owe them nothing."
"And after I say 'no thanks not interested' and hang up on them while they're trying to take advantage of social custom and politeness, they'll forget and move right on to the next one. Not even a blip in their day."
"There's something called the spotlight effect, where we think everyone is watching us and judging us. The reality is, most people don't care, so you can drop the niceties in these transactional conversations."
The Assistantseason 3 episode 6 GIFGiphy
"The best technique I found was to act as if you're an assistant making the call on your boss's behalf."
"Nobody is very mean to an assistant (except true a**holes and they would have been awful anyway.) And it's so much easier to make 'unpleasant' requests or be clueless if you're passing the buck."
"I learned this by being an assistant and having a terrible boss who made me make all sorts of awkward phone calls, lol."
Readers, if you have phone anxiety what methods have you used to get past it?
Does it actually impact your life that much in the world of apps, chats, and messengers?
Sound off in the comments.
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Don't be alarmed: There are some terrible corporations out there (looking at you, Nestle) but there are also some great brands that are selling decent products.
I know, surprising, right? Maybe we've all just gotten used to brands selling things of questionable quality that when we stumble across something worthwhile it stuns us.
Hold on tight when you find a brand deserving of your loyalty!
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor spwf asked the online community,
"What brand(s) do you swear by and why?"
"Their cast iron pans..."
"Lodge. Their cast iron pans are super durable and can last a lifetime."
Not just a lifetime. Your Lodge cast iron will outlive you, if (and even if you don’t) take care of it. Even if they get rusty they can be resurfaced. And damn is it satisfying to resurface a forgotten cast iron pan.
Asics, specifically the Gel-Nimbus series. I've suffered from joint pain and unbearable plantar fasciitis from a relatively young age... These shoes are life savers. Very pricey and I don't love the look of tennis shoes of any type but nevertheless I will praise these shoes to the end of days. Hopefully, I will always be able to afford them once a year.
Glad to hear you've found some much-needed relief!
"Warranty and service..."
"Victorinox. Excellent pocket knives, multi tools and their kitchen knives are probably the best ones you can get under 100 USD. Warranty and service is top notch."
Anyone who cooks, but can't afford or doesn't want to invest in a professional-grade chef's knife should get a Victorinox. They aren't nearly as good as a top tier professional chef's knife, but they are night and day compared with everything else in their price range.
"This one brand..."
"This one brand of granola bars called Sunbelt Bakery. Every other granola bar brand is so dry I can't eat them anymore."
Yes, these are so good! An excellent choice.
"Dickies. High quality pants. They're meant to be work pants so they're pretty durable and breathe well. Very comfortable."
"High quality" is right. Those pants last forever.
"It helps clean..."
"Dawn dishsoap. It helps clean dishes and it's great when one of my kids has an accident and I have to wash their clothes. Sometimes leaves a small stain but no smell. It has saved so many outfits."
Fantastic – it sounds like you should be their salesperson.
"They don't use..."
"New Balance. They don't use slave labor to make shoes."
They are comfortable and fit well.
I personally still don't like the aesthetics of many of their shoes, but still recommend them to people who want a good shoe.
"They are a retailer..."
"REI. Stand behind everything in their store. They are a retailer but you can beat something up they sell and they give you a full refund."
Many people use them for shoes, for camping gear... all kinds of stuff. They're very reliable.
"I wear my Timberland boots..."
"I wear my Timberland boots almost every day, I’ve had them for almost ten years, and they’re still just about as sturdy as they were the day I bought them."
These shoes tend to last forever. "Durable" is the perfect word.
"One large bottle..."
"Dr. Bronner's Castile soap. One large bottle lasts me about a year and I use it for everything. No toxic BS in them like pretty much every other soap and they smell fantastic."
"Also when I say everything I really mean it. All purpose cleaner, dish soap, body wash, shampoo, carpet extractor wash, dog shampoo, it’s called 18 in 1 for a reason."
If you're interested in the story behind the company, the documentary Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox might be right up your alley.
See? Not all brands are terrible. After reading about some of these, it might be time to change of your buying habits.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
You know what would be great?
If society could just stop with arbitrary dress codes. If you're not working with the public, why should you have to dress up so much? If you're a police officer, then it makes sense that you'd wear a uniform that identifies you as a police officer. If you're Ted from IT who sits in the backroom all day, I really don't see why you have to come in every day in a suit and tie.
Let's just toss them out, shall we?
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor Levels2ThisBrush asked the online community,
"What should be socially acceptable but isn't?"
"Leaving the office..."
"Leaving the office whenever you've finished your tasks for the day."
This is why I'm so glad remote work is the new office.
"And yet, I get it!"
"Taking off sick from work, WITHOUT giving an invasive reason. I supervise a small team and so I see all the OOO emails, and for gods sake I want people to PLEASE not feel the need to explain in detail what kind of diarrhea is afflicting them, or how bad their period cramps are, or how much bad sushi they ate the night before. Just say “I’m under the weather, I won’t be online today.”"
"And yet, I get it! I do it too! I feel guilty or like I’ll be looked at with suspicion if my reason for taking off isn’t sufficiently debilitating enough!"
"But… we need to stop this. As a manager I don’t care, I don’t THINK the people above me who are also on these emails care… let’s just all agree to take sick days without any details from now on!"
I do not miss my retail days where I had to organise someone to cover me and beg on bended knee.
"Cashiers or workers who don’t need to be standing all day not having a stool or chair."
Another thing I do not miss from my retail days. Having to stand for hours and hours only to come home with my feet killing me was not fun.
"Prices on apartments..."
"Prices on apartments and their respectable reasons for such price directly on their websites or advertising without the need for a tour or any secrecy."
I always assume if I have to ask the price I probably can’t afford it.
"Being quiet/not wanting to engage in conversation all the time."
In Finland, if somebody tries to talk to you, they are probably a tourist.
"Choosing not to..."
"Choosing not to have toxic family members in your life."
It feels very liberating once you accept that you don't have to put up with it.
"Employees calling customers out in public for being a**holes."
Absolutely. Many customers get away with treating employees horribly because they know they can do it without any pushback... most of the time.
"The fact that I sometimes..."
"The fact that I sometimes need to take my insulin in public. No, Karen, I am not doing drugs, I need to live."
You’re getting that sweet sweet insulin high… the high of being not-dead.
"Afternoon naps. I’m on team nap. Give me 25 minutes to charge up and I’ll give you back 3 hours of high quality work. Everyone wins. Plus I go home with extra energy instead of dead tired."
Short naps don't work for me. I can't do a 25 min recharge. When I take a nap it needs to be like a solid 2 hours
"Salary transparency. For some reason, in the US, there’s a taboo or stigma around discussing one’s salary. This should be done openly and freely, with zero embarrassment or judgment. The only winners from avoiding these conversations are the corporations that are able to pay people differently for the same roles. Speak up!"
The "for some reason" you're referring to is simply propaganda on behalf of corporations.
It's evident that something's got to change around here, and we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
As much as many of us don't like to disrupt the status quo, there is only so much time a person can tolerate a miserable situation before things become so unbearable that they ultimately have to peace out.
For some people, it takes a while for them to reach a breaking point. Eventually, there comes a time when they realize their self-worth is more important than continuing to please others who don't appreciate them for the sake of keeping up with appearances.
Curious to hear from people whose patience ran thin and made a strong decision, Reddit Prestigious-Order-62 asked:
"What made you say 'f'k this sh*t im out?'"
The unwarranted reprimanding was something that was never mentioned in the initial job description.
"In the late 90’s."
"One time I got pulled into the Security office at a Department store I worked at. They accused me of constantly using the sales day coupons for people that didn’t present one (we always kept an extra copy at each register). I had watched my own department boss do it many times so I assumed it was okay. We didn’t even collect the coupons to be counted for the cash office, we just chucked them after use."
"They claimed I lost the store hundreds of dollars and had been watching me 'for months' do this awful, unforgivable crime for people spending 90 bucks on already bloated price designer jeans. I’m sure the occasional 10% discount was just devastating. 🙄""I got this huge lecture of how I was LITERALLY stealing from the store and they COULD call the police but would give me a chance to work off the damage. I couldn’t believe how criminal I was made to feel over it. The best part when they called my boss in who pretended to have never done it before to save her own a**."
"I asked if they were firing me. They said 'Yes and No. You will be let go, but you can choose to work off the damages so we don’t take you to court.' I told them I will just quit and asked for my last check. They said they will deduct what I owe from my last check. And I said 'Well then you need to show me all the footage and prove that I was stealing.' They wouldn’t produce footage, finally called the cops, and when the cops arrived, they were just as confused and called it an internal problem and advised them that this was overblown. I think they felt sorry for me. So finally upper management came in and just said 'just issue the last check, I will sign it here.' So much drama over so stupid a thing."
"It was sad because that actual day my Mom and daughter had come to the mall to meet me for lunch and I had to explain I just was forced to quit that job and was never allowed in that store again like I was some awful jerk."
"It was nice a few short years later, the entire chain bankrupted."
"A coworker waited until we were in front of a large group of people to start 'disciplining' me for something 'wrong' I did (I took my lunch 15 mins late to help another coworker) when she wasn’t even my supervisor. Applied for a job transfer the next day and couldn’t be happier where I am now."
"I had a piece of sh*t of a boss. He'd praise you in private but berate you in public. In front of coworkers and customers. Always about stuff that didn't matter."
"He'd also happily break company policy to side with customers after you spent an hour telling a customer you can't give them stuff for free, for example. Any time he was around, everything was miserable."
"My only regret is that I wasn't there to see him marched out by corporate when he got fired, because I had gone on to a better job by then."
Human Punching Bag
"I used to work in a Kitchen at a pub, it was grim work, but I had freinds there and had worked there for 3 years, So it wasn't too bad."
"One Christmas season we were being absolutely pumped, full out functions and busy services. My boss at the time was very stressed and fair enough, We were busy, We were all working overtime and full out. He used any excuse to completely blow up and absolutely scream at me for little to no reason, essentially him yelling at me was his stress relief. But fine, whatever, kitchens are rough places, no appolagies or anything, move on."
"I then go away for 3 weeks over the Christmas holidays and spend the time road tripping around the country having an amazing time."
"First shift back, not pleased being back, he makes a snarky comment."
"F'k this, Im out."
Even though these employees weren't chewed out in front of co-workers, the low salary without room for negotiation made them not wanting to stick around for much longer.
You Only Get One Job
"They cut my hours so I had to get a second job. 3 days before I was supposed to start said second job, my manager at the main job told me that I couldn't get this second job because I had main job first and I needed to make it my priority. That's when I said f'k you and left. I didn't even give a notice, I literally just sent an email saying I wouldn't be coming in the next day, grabbed my sh*t and went home."
"I used to work Retail and after 7 years at the company, I found out I was only making 50 cents more an hour than someone who just started yesterday. I understood if they couldn't pay me more and asked for a good schedule. 7-3 or 8-4 every day and the same two days off every week. I didn't even ask for weekends off."
"I was told that they couldn't give me a good schedule so I quit."
Situations weren't much different outside the work place. Social dilemmas prompted these Redditors to say, "nope."
"Went to a pub because a friend kept asking. When I got there, he was with a group of people I didn't know, so I introduced myself and got the next round. As I come back with the tray, I hear them saying something along the lines of 'why is that b*tch still here? I thought she was just supposed to drop off a bicycle?' 'Ya, we don't want her to come to <this other town with more pubs> and now she is drinking with us?' 'She's so dumb' *proceeds to imitate and ridicule me as I was actively listening and nodding when I was having a conversation with my friend."
"Gave the beer to random people and walked right out after saying good evening to my friend and briefly explaining I did not appreciate being tricked into being a bicycle taxi for people who hate me directly after meeting me."
A Shocking Incident
"I was on my boat fishing for bass. I casted out my line and watched the lure hit the water but the line just floated in the air. Lightning and thunder crashed and the line fell to the water. F'k this sh*t, I'm out."
"She lined my bed with broken glass put the blankets over it and I dove on in lol."
"Edit: She was violent/crazy and on drugs, was like the 20th attack I took and that made me really think lol."– MyLifeForAuir1
Ally For The Ex
"I found nudes of his ex (from ten years ago) that I’d previously asked him twice to get rid of tucked in a pair of MY socks. Our couples counselor asked why he’d kept them and he said, 'You know. In case I ever needed to blackmail her.' He said it like it was a perfectly normal and reasonable thing to plan to do. The therapist and I locked eyes and I noped the f'k out of there and moved out."
Most of these Redditors realized leaving their situation was better than dealing with the consequences of sticking around.
The latter is never a good option. Why remain in a scenario you know is already going to consume your soul?
The lesson for today is–Don't be miserable. Your sanity is worth saving.Besides, you would never know that something better awaits if you just don't get the F out.
As we enter into the summer months, people now have to decide whether or not they want their morning coffee to be hot or iced.
Lucky for them, it's delicious either way.
One could make an argument that foods that are equally delicious hot or cold are perhaps the best, or at least the most reliable.
And this can include foods which are not customarily sold both hot and cold (cold pizza anyone?).
Redditor NectarineOther4989 was curious to hear which foods people enjoy either hot or cold, leading them to ask:
"What is something that tastes good both hot and cold?"
Fresh out of the oven, or the next day!
Chocolate withstands all temperatrues
"Chocolate."Chocolate Satisfying GIF by HuffPostGiphy
Can't go wrong with fruit and pastry
"Apple pie."- Hak_Saw5000
This doesn't only apply to food
"Revenge."- pushthestartbuttonkarine vanasse revenge GIF by HULUGiphy
Let the flavor develop
"2 totally different flavors depending on warm vs cold from fridge."- nonkowledge
So many to choose from!
A matter of textural preference
"Cheese, ya fools."- eat_dontpray_loveCloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Eating GIFGiphy
Under a hot greek sun, or during a cold winter's eve.
While there's no better smell than a batch of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, those eating them the next day likely aren't missing out either.