Today I spoke on the phone with a very dear friend. We have been friends since high school but now we live thousands of miles apart and have seen each other once in four years. Due to our busy schedules we only talk once every few months. And yet when we do have time to connect, the bond is solid and affirming. I always end our conversations with a smile and a profound sense of happiness.
I hate talking on the phone. The only person I call with regularity is my mom. And so I find myself avoiding calling this friend at times, forgetting how good I feel when we share our lives with each other. I could avoid this feeling by forgoing the phone for an email, I suppose, since writing is an easier form of communication for me, but writing can give this friend panic-attacks and, to be honest, I hate newsy emails. I either go into too much detail about my life or not enough, and I feel pressure to write in an engaging and perfectly polished manner. And so then I put off emails as well.
My fear of connecting with people stems from my fear of putting myself on display. I worry about judgment, even from friends. It makes no rational sense.
Phone calls like the one I had earlier today are good reminders that I do enjoy talking, sharing, being social. I have started writing down notes about these positive experiences to myself, so that when I feel like hiding and avoiding I can draw draw strength from these moments and engage with the world.