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."
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"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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Love is so elusive these days isn't it?
Who knows what anyone is looking for in the relationship department anymore.
It's all too exhausting.
But people we keep trying.
RedditorProblemNice5257wanted to hear why so many people are still on the hunt for that perfect one. They asked:
"Why are you single right now?"
I'm single because I've given up. And I'm good. For now.
PeaceSnoop Dogg Reaction GIFGiphy
"I put absolutely no effort into meeting someone."
"Same! Also it's extremely difficult when you feel so at peace being by yourself. The fact that I have to find someone whose presence outweighs my level of comfort being alone seems impossible."
"Hard to meet people when you are a hermit."
"Yeah, I describe myself as a shut-in, lol. I leave my apartment to work, I leave my apartment to buy food, and occasionally I’ll bring out the trash, otherwise I just watch Hulu, play online chess, surf Reddit."
"Same. I've spent months trying to find an apartment I can afford without a roommate and finally settled on a small studio apartment for $1100 a month because I'd rather living in a tiny space and be left the hell alone than share a much nicer place even with a good friend."
"I have too many unsolved issues, i can't in good conscience bring someone else into them."
"Idk your issues but everyone's got some crap. Not sure how unique yours are but everyone's got some crap. It's good to share some of your struggles with other people. Just don't open with it haha."
"Issues unresolved or not, (in my case) only makes it worse when you feel like you could open up to them, and they just take those to use it against yourself afterwards."
"I hardly go out and expose myself to people. I'm uncomfortable with the notion of myself being in a relationship at this point. Also, I'm very dry in terms of personality."
"I spent a year entirely isolated due to covid and now I can't handle physical contact. It makes me really uncomfortable and a hug is enough to make my body shut down. I'm hopeless."
truthCaptain America Lol GIF by mtvGiphy
"Supply chain issue."
"Best answer here."
That's funny. But it feels oddly true.
Ahhh...Think Winnie The Pooh GIFGiphy
"I'm attracted to many, and unattractive to all."
"Last relationship was so toxic, I've sworn off dating, at least for awhile. I haven't had this much free time in ages. It's nice."
"Edit: Hey, it's really great hearing from so many people with similar experiences. Like many of you, I've been taking it in stride and focusing on bettering myself, both physically and mentally. It's done wonders for my health and I feel a whole lot better. I wish y'all the very best. Stay excellent, my friends."
"I'm 35yr old single father to a 5yr old and I work nights. It's hard to find free time to meet someone, especially in my area. If I do have free time to myself, I like staying home and ordering a pizza while drinking some beers and playing video games. I pretty much faced the fact that I will probably be alone for the rest of my life."
"I was in an 8 year relationship (married for two) to my high school sweetheart. Exactly this same time last year, we got divorced because I found out he was cheating on me with my best friend. The best friend I had known LONGER than him and was friends with since fourth grade."
"She was living with us to try to get back on her feet. Yeah lol. So I lost my best friend and the man I had been with for 8 years within the same night. So I moved to another state, got an apartment by myself, and am now single and divorced all by 26. Not really looking unless the right person comes along."
"It’s pretty happy and peaceful now that they’re both out of my life though honestly. You realize people’s toxicity and flaws the most once you get space away from them."
Bad LoopSeth Meyers Whatever GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"Because my relationships end before they even begin."
"This is my story right here."
Alright. Now that we've laid out all the excuses, let's get to matching with some people.
There is no bigger mystery than what happens to us after we die.
But even those who don't practice an organized religion tend to believe that there is a Heaven, a happy joyful place where our souls will remain for eternity.
No two people share the same idea of what heaven would be like, but everyone who believes in it probably has an idea of the first thing they'd do after entering the pearly gates.
Redditor WeDidItGuyz was curious to hear what would be top on everyone's list upon entering the afterlife, leading them to ask:
"If heaven exists, what’s the first thing you’d do?"
Overcome with joy
"In all reality?"
"Probably cry for about 30 minutes because the biggest existential fear at the very core my humanity has now been lifted."
"If Heaven exists, like 50% of the awesomeness is just the very fact that it exists."heaven gate GIF by South Park Giphy
A re-match long in the making
"Ask my childhood friend Kevon for a race."
"He used to beat me handily when were younger (9-13) and he’d always brag."
"When I got older and faster I moved away so I was never able to race him again."
"We arranged for a race but he was shot multiple times and bound to a wheelchair until he passed a few years ago."
"I wanna race him both in our prime."- Abethegreat1
Reunite with loved ones
"Find my husband, give him a huge hug and never let go again."
"Live our forever together."
"I f*cking love him and miss him so much."- jessdfrench
"Embrace my sweet wife and tell her how proud I am of the kids."- RifleShower
"Try to find my brother."
"Man, I miss him."
"He died in 2020 at age 34."- grummlinds1
"Give my mum and dad a big hug."- goonerjack007Miss U GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
Achieve the "firsts" we never got to do
"Find my son and have a beer with him."
"Something we never got to do in real life."- tanukis_parachute
Hone new skills
"Try to play Smoke on the water on my harp."- Ashtar-the-Squid
The joy of doing nothing
"Rest."- BanzaikoowaidCare Free Black Girls GIF by AuroraDrawsGiphy
Live on without pain
"Enjoy my healthy back without pain."- Knackbein_
Who knows what's in store for us after our lives come to an end.
But living with the idea that something wonderful awaits when our time has come is all people need to continue to live their lives to the fullest, and treat others with the respect and kindness they deserve.
"Fun facts" generally refers to a tidbit of information about a specific topic which the general public might not have otherwise known about.
But the first word in that term can be misleading.
Indeed, some "fun facts" reveal information that isn't remotely "fun" in the slightes.
Redditor Alternative_kachocho was curious to hear some "fun facts" which were anything but fun, leading them to ask:
What's a 'fun fact' that isn’t fun at all?"
Ironically, something you likely don't think about...
"Your brain blocks you from feeling your organs moving around inside you."- Aydengeist06
Try watching Finding Nemonow...
"Only one in a thousand sea turtles born actually make it to adulthood."- Sebs_123
Shocking new light on an age old classic
"In the books, Stuart Little was never explicitly called a mouse."
"He's pretty much described as a deformed mouse-esque person born form human parents."- Red_Beard47stuart little mouse GIF by VIASAT3Giphy
Nature running it's course...
"There's a bird that feeds its younger offspring to the eldest."- Teacup_Cult
I have no allergies... yet
"Speaking from personal experience here, but your body can randomly decide to become allergic to damn near everything edible at any time."
"Not very fun."- smallemochick
Those poor, innocent creatures.
"In some regions of Australia, 90 percent of koalas have chlamydia, which poses a threat to the species' extinction unless a vaccine is created or widespread koala culling takes place."- tiffanyjcrusekoalas kiss GIFGiphy
They'd still be here if they weren't so delicious...
"The giant tortoise was so delicious, it caused not only itself to be hunted to extinction, but also the dodo."
"Giant tortoise meat was supposedly better tasting than chicken."
"It's fat tasted better spread on bread than butter."
"Also, it was the perfect food for sailors at the time, as their bladders stored 1 litre of purified water, and they could survive without food in hibernation for almost a whole year in the hull of a ship."
"Not to mention, because they evolved without humans, they were easy to hunt."
"You could tie one to your back, and roll another to the ship and they would just let you."
"It was so delicious, they went unrecorded for a long time because expeditions to bring living samples of wildlife to Europe kept eating them on the way."
"Conversely, the dodo, while as easily captured by sailors, tasted awful."
"It was completely unpalatable."
"HOWEVER, one day, someone discovered if you cooked dodo meat in the more delicious tortoise fat, it tasted just like chicken."
"So now, sailors were hunting a few tortoises at a time for their fat and water, storing them, and then hunting dodos on the daily."
"Overhunting, plus the introduction of rats to the environment (because sailors) which would eat eggs, led go the population to decline at a rate they could not breed to keep up, leading to both animals going extinct."- Kyhan
Don't forget the nose plugs
"Antarctica smells like penguin poop."
"Antarctica is a desert, it is too cold for bacteria to live."
"Nothing there to clean up penguin droppings."
"If you are close enough to see penguins, you will also smell them."- gummby8
Makes those long lines so worth it...
"The TSA missed 96% of contraband during an inspection in 2015."- omegasix321All Falls Down Tsa GIF by Kanye WestGiphy
"The person who had the first facial transplant had her face chewed up by her Labrador dog while asleep due to sleeping pill overdose." - User Deleted
It's hard not to read some of these "fun facts" and wonder if there should be an alternative term for the facts which aren't fun.
Oh yeah, probably not....
It's amazing how one change to your lifestyle can improve your daily life.
Be it starting your day with yoga, eliminating foods that don't agree with you, or simply seeing your friends more often, something we're all eager to do after months of quarantine, it's amazing how one little change can make waking up and getting through your day more bearable.
Perhaps the only frustration that comes with this change, is that you only wished you'd started doing it sooner.
"What improved your life so much, you wished you did sooner?"
There is always fun to be had!
"I stopped living my life just waiting for the weekend."
"When you work 5 days a week and have just 2 off, it's not good to be always waiting for those 2 days."
"You can plan something meaningful or fun every day, even if it's just a small thing."- cake_or_cookies
Listening to your dentist can pay off.
"Actually, I use a water pick now."
"Now my hygiene and cleaning visits are a breeze, and I haven't had a cavity in years!"- perrydolia
A change of scene was just the ticket.
"Just packed up and moved thousands of miles away."
"Left everything behind and just started over."
"Besides some debt, a suit case, and contacts for only the non-toxic people in my life, it's been an extremely liberating experience."
"And looking back, nothing was really preventing me from doing it sooner, no real reasons at least."
"I just kept coming up with excuses not to do it until one day I couldn't think of one."- SpicyRiceAndTuna
No more language barriers!
"Now I have a lot of amazing latino friends and I got a lot of great gigs and opportunities because of it."- kellytai1478
Can't beat the commute
"Not everyone can afford this, but moving closer to work."
"My commute went from 45 miserable minutes in traffic glaring in hatred at the tail lights in front of me to a pleasant 15 minute bike ride."
"I got an hour of free time every day and better health."- munificent
When in doubt, check with your doctor
"Got a proper diagnosis."
"I think a lot of people that for years questioned themselves 'what’s wrong with me?' when they finally got diagnosed it’s a big relief and changes a lot in a better way."- popcornostar
There's no expiration date on education
"Bachelor degree at 47 years old."
"Master degree at 50 years old."
"Doubled my salary in 4 years, from just getting by to on track for retiring at 60."- scientistzero
Get your body moving!
"Exercise every day."
"Anxiety and depression are much easier to manage, and I got some confidence I haven't had in years."- darodardar_Inc
"Low impact cardio."
"F*ck, I loved to run, but it destroyed my legs."
"I can swim my little heart out."- Hyperion0000
Stop and enjoy the beauty of the world once and a while
"When I was told that I would lose my eyesight it made me pay more attention to how beautiful the sky was."
"I can still see and I enjoy watching the clouds on a level I can't even explain."- DaniB3
It's hard not to stop and wonder if our lives would have been even better had we made these changes earlier.
But no point in stopping and looking back, when you can just appreciate how great your life is now.