I have an irrational fear of making phone calls. Basically, this means that if I need to call anyone other than my mother or my husband it will take me one to fifteen minutes to psych myself up to make the call, and I will do my best to weasel out of it by making someone else (usually my husband) do the calling or by doing it online. Part of this can no doubt be explained by my fear of rejection, but this does little to explain why I am also afraid of calling restaurants, businesses, and any number of other places that would be happy to take my call as I will be giving them money.
Sometimes, I must admit, this is a great inconvenience. I have been worried all week because one of my participants, who is normally very responsive via email, has not responded to me even after a reminder email. I know that it is a busy time for this participant, but since I also have an overactive imagination, I am stressing out over one of the following scenarios:
a) Participant has decided they hate me, and hate my research, and is maliciously ignoring me
b) Participant is lying deathly ill/injured in a deserted ditch
Since even my insecure self realizes that Participant is far too nice a person to be capable of a, I am increasing worried about the occurrence of b, even though there are no deserted ditches (or deserted anything) in elmedina elkabeera, and if Participant was ill, they would likely be in a nice hospital. Rationally, the fact that I know Participant is busy is a much better explanation.
I confess these various possibilities to my husband when he comes home, and he says "why don't you call them?" I think, eek, no way, no phone calls for me. But I do muster up the courage to send a text (much less scarier than calling, but still scarier than email). Participant replies immediately, apologizes for being so busy and not paying attention to their email, and promises to call or email me tomorrow to figure things out.
So I've been exercising the stress ball in my stomach all week for a problem that was solved in a two-minute text exchange. Because I'm scared of the phone. Now, off to google cures for phone phobia!