phone calls

making phone calls

dephinia:

making phone calls

realsocialskills:

Do you have any tips on how to make important phone calls when you need to but it’s difficult? I always end up getting myself all panicked about them and sometimes consequently unable to make them, but I can’t not worry about them…

dephinia

I make notes before difficult calls, and that makes it easier to utilize assertiveness skills (like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy’s skills for interpersonal effectiveness). I think about what my goals are I’m advance and write them down so if I feel like I’m getting sidetracked I can try to gently return to my focus. I also use positive reinforcement, by planning to do something nice for myself as a reward after the call and, crucially, following through. It doesn’t have to be big.

I have on hand things sensory stimulations I can use to calm down while on the call – pad and pen to doodle, a water wiggly to fidget with, favorite scents in bottles, velvet, lotion. It’s amazing how grounding and soothing it can be to have that option on the phone, where it might be looked at strangely in-person.

ischemgeek:

making phone calls

realsocialskills:

Do you have any tips on how to make important phone calls when you need to but it’s difficult? I always end up getting myself all panicked about them and sometimes consequently unable to make them, but I can’t not worry about them…

ischemgeek said:

I also find phone calls very hard. If audio processing is an issue, try closing your eyes - I find eliminating visual stimulation helps my auditory processing and makes it easier to make out what people are saying (if there’s background noise or the speaker has an accent I’m unfamiliar with, I might only understand a third of what’s said if my eyes are open, but that might rise to about half if I shut my eyes).

Also, if the auditory processing stuff is hard, make up scripted socially-acceptable ways of asking for clarification/repeat. Some I use:

  • I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Can you repeat it?
  • So you want me to [rephrase of what I think I heard]?
  • Pardon me?
  • Excuse me?
  • I’m sorry, it’s noisy here. Can you repeat that?
  • I’m sorry, my phone sound quality is bad. Did you mean [thing I think I heard]?
  • I think I misheard you. I heard [thing that makes no sense]. What did you mean?

In my experience, just saying, “What?” is considered rude.

If I know I’m having a bad auditory processing day, but I need to make the phone call and putting it off isn’t an option, I’ll start off the conversation with something like, “I can’t hear very clearly on my end, so I’m going to need you to speak a little slower than normal so I can make out what you’re saying.”

Having a stim toy for calming stims is useful, to. Something soft and fleecy works for me if I start getting too anxious.

dohegotthebunty:

making phone calls

realsocialskills:

Do you have any tips on how to make important phone calls when you need to but it’s difficult? I always end up getting myself all panicked about them and sometimes consequently unable to make them, but I can’t not worry about them…

dohegotthebunty said:

This might not work for everyone because it could lead to allowing more procrastination. But when I call someone and the answering machine picks up, I hang up immediately. Then I call back with the EXPECTATION that I’m leaving a message, and do so. Helps me feel prepared.

making phone calls​​​​​​​

youratheistfriend asked realsocialskills:

Do you have any tips on how to make important phone calls when you need to but it’s difficult? I always end up getting myself all panicked about them and sometimes consequently unable to make them, but I can’t not worry about them because then I’ll put it off too long or forget about it. Thank you so much for having this blog, by the way, it’s amazing.

  • I write out notes for what I need to say
  • Sometimes I write a script, and sometimes I just write bullet points for topics I need to hit or questions I need to ask
  • If there’s a possibility that I will need to leave a message, then I write out a script for the message.
  • (One of the worst parts of phone calls for me has been worrying about what will happen if I have to leave a message, so writing out exactly what to say helps a lot. It makes the thought of leaving a message more bearable, and less of a barrier to making calls)

Here’s how I use my computer during the call:

  • I type notes on things that sound important 
  • Or that I think I might not understand
  • And if I’m not sure I understand something, sometimes I type out the question I want to ask before I ask it (It can be hard for me to use my voice to generate questions in real-time)
  • Writing out notes is considered normal; writing out questions is not
  • But if you say you need to write something down, people won’t know which it is. So if you need to type things out in order to form a question, you can say “Let me write that down” or “hold on a minute”, and then actually just type the question then ask it

I’ve found that, now that I have strategies in place for managing phone calls a bit better cognitively, I procrastinate slightly less. It’s still not great, though.

Sometimes I also have someone sit with me while I make the call, or tell me to make the call. Like, I will ask a friend “So, I should call x now, right?” and they will say “Yes, go do it”, and that will get me unstuck.

Do any of y'all have suggestions for dealing with phone calls?