Ring. Ring. Most people accept that sound as a normal daily occurrence, pick up the phone and carry on a conversation with a friend, relative, doctor’s office or whatnot. The only time they get annoyed is if the phone rings during a meal or if there’s a robot on the other end asking you to hire him/her/it to clean your carpet.

Unlike some people who have a bad reaction to spoiled food, certain medications, relatives who annoy them or incessantly barking dogs, I get annoyed to the bone when the phone rings and worse, if that call is for me: I have an immediate adverse reaction. Not because I don’t love my family and friends, but because my ADD makes it hard to stay connected on the phone… and I get totally frustrated. You too?

It makes sense that this might be difficult if you have ADD. Here’s why:


  • Hate to be interrupted when we are in hyper focus mode, having to stop whatever interesting activity we were doing before the phone rang.
  • Hate to be interrupted when we’re not in hyper focus, having finally forced ourselves to get something done, like paying overdue bills. Getting de-railed by a phone call at times like that is like being thrown in front of a train.
  • Abhor small talk. As we hear chit chat about this’n that, our brains are already miles ahead, waiting impatiently for the story to end to save us from all the details. Little do our callers know that we’re yessing and “mmmhmming” to disguise the fact that we’re thinking up an invention, planning a vacation or just floating away in our heads to somewhere much more interesting and exotic than a play by play of Aunt Gussie’s recent cataract operation.
  • Interrupt out of fear of forgetting what we want to say. Then, we look rude. And feel bad.
  • Can’t filter out extraneous sounds, like the cat’s belly growling from hunger. Or the faucet dripping two floors away, making it hard and frustrating to concentrate on the call. Of course, no one else can hear such things- only us.
  • Struggle to hear the words on the other end when there are no visual cues (can’t see the mouth, so can’t hear the words). And God forbid if the poor soul has an accent. That, for me, anyway, makes it nearly impossible to stay connected.

How about you? Do your jaw muscles tense up when the phone rings? How do you manage when someone you care about calls? How do you stop yourself from mentally checking out?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.