Phone Anxiety: the Fear of Talking on the Phone (and How to Get Over It)

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talking on the phone anxiety

Do you find yourself feeling anxious when you are talking on the phone? Chances are you have phone anxiety.

Phone anxiety may sound a silly idea in our age when it’s impossible to imagine our life without a smartphone in our hands. Still, except for bringing us all kinds of comfort, technology has also messed with the way we deal with social interaction. Although communicating has become a lot quicker and easier than it was for our ancestors, with that brings a whole new bunch of problems.

30 years ago, people used telephones or wrote letters if they wanted to speak to somebody. They simply didn’t have all those countless ways of communicating that we enjoy now.

Nowadays, we have technology that allows us to speak to anybody around the world in a matter of moments. But that can also mean we’re becoming disconnected from one another as we’re replacing real-life interactions with technological ones.

Phone Anxiety in the Modern World

Having so many ways to communicate without actually having to speak to other people means when we do have to speak to them in real life, it can be difficult. Enter phone anxiety: a fear of talking on the phone.

It may sound a silly idea, but plenty of people have it and you may even be one of them. Do you let your phone go straight to voicemail and then send a text message, claiming you missed their call? Do you avoid making phone calls and prefer to send emails or texts instead, convincing yourself it’s quicker and easier for yourself to do so? If that sounds like you, you may well have phone anxiety.

What Exactly Can You Do to Get Rid of Your Phone Anxiety?

Well, over recent years, psychologists have been looking into this phenomenon and have concluded that there are a few tips that may help you overcome your phone anxiety:

Remember That It Is Actually Pretty Common

A lot more people have phone anxiety than you may think. In fact, most introverts hate talking on the phone and prefer texting or chatting. Some socially awkward ones will literally do anything to avoid making a call. They will think up an excuse such as being on vacation abroad or having a sore throat. These are just some of the weird things introverts do to avoid uncomfortable social interaction.

So the next time you have to speak to somebody directly, remember that they may be in the same situation as you are. It may help you forget about your worries.

Rewire Your Brain

Changing the way you think can change just about any part of your behaviour. You need to programme your brain into thinking that speaking on the phone is fine. The trick is to convince yourself that it’s a non-scary part of your daily life.

For this purpose, you can try repeating positive affirmations that make you feel confident and secure. The main way to do this is just to put it into practice. Encouraging yourself with positive statements before having a phone call will gradually help you stop feeling phone anxiety.

Get Prepared for a Phone Call

If you feel anxious before making a phone call, you might want to get prepared for it. Introverts and socially anxious individuals often find it difficult to put their thoughts into words when it comes to speaking to other people. Written communication is much easier for them as it gives them time to think it over and find the right words.

So why not use your good writing skills to prepare yourself for a phone call? When you need to arrange something by phone, just write down in advance what you need to say.

This trick has worked for me so many times when I had to call someone I didn’t know well or at all. I wrote down my problem/question in detail exactly the way I would explain it by phone. When the time came and I made the call, I just read aloud what was written in my notes. Believe me, it’s much easier than putting all your efforts into trying to tame your anxiety and explain a problem to a stranger.

Using this trick will ensure that you won’t make a mistake or miss anything important because of your anxiety. You may also want to write down what the other person told you on the phone so that you don’t forget anything.

 

Start Small

Identifying your problem with talking on the phone could be a good starting point. But not everybody has one specific issue they can put their finger on. Whether you are able to identify yours or not, start by making small changes to your daily routine. This is the most challenging but also the most effective part of dealing with phone anxiety.

If you would usually send an email to that client about a change in their order, give them a quick ring instead. Start by pushing yourself to make one new phone call a day if you are in an environment where this is possible.

If not, try to call a friend once a week just to have a chat. Start small and build up gradually. Eventually, it will build up your confidence and will have you chatting away on the phone in no time.

Are You Scared of Talking on the Phone?

If so, let us know your thoughts on our tips or if you have any of your own that you would like to share. Similarly, if you used to have phone anxiety but have overcome it, let us know how you did it.

I personally just bit the bullet and forced myself to make phone calls and it became a natural habit to me in no time, and it can for you too!

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Christina

I'm a psychology student with a passion for books, good food and movies. I can often be found reading self-help articles snuggled up in bed with a cup of coffee or writing about anything and everything in a quiet cafe somewhere.




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One Comment

  1. seen ikar August 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    i personally prefer face to face over phone calls becuase i am an old school and i find hard to answer the phone beside people like small talks specially on the phone so i am also agains that since i am an introvert.

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