Could Your Fear of Talking on the Phone be Social Anxiety?
Many people have an intense dislike of talking on the telephone, and some have a true fear of doing so. Having a fear of talking on the phone is called telephone or phone phobia. There are a number of different reasons why people might be scared to make or receive phone calls. For instance, some people develop telephone phobia after they have received bad news over the phone. In many other cases, the phobia is rooted in social anxiety disorder.
Relationship between social anxiety and telephone phobia
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by overwhelming anxiety about social situations that is disproportionate to the events that happen. It affects people in various ways. Some people might be anxious about social situations in general while others have fears of specific types of social situations, including talking on the telephone. However, making and receiving calls are important in our daily lives. If you often try to do everything possible to avoid telephone calls, you may have social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety involves worrying about the judgments of others so much that it interferes with some of the important things in your life. Social anxiety is more than a feeling. It includes physical sensations, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. If your telephone phobia is caused by social anxiety, you may experience several symptoms and signs.
You may have negative thoughts about what the person on the other line thinks about you or about how you sound on a phone call. You might also experience negative feelings like panic or dread, which may be prompted by simply thinking about making a phone call. Physical symptoms of telephone phobia that arises from social anxiety include such things as feeling nausea, having sweaty palms, and experiencing a racing heart. You might find that you take behavioral steps to avoid phone calls. For example, you might always let incoming calls go to your voice mail or ask others to answer your phone for you.
Why some people fear phone calls
Talking on the telephone can sometimes be more daunting than having a conversation in person. When you are having a conversation directly with another person, you can read nonverbal cues that might encourage you such as a smile. You might also worry about the way in which you sound over a phone. People who have social anxiety commonly worry that others can hear how nervous they are in their voices.
With the increasing popularity of sending text messages, people may also worry about not having time to create their messages when they are talking on the telephone. Some people may also be worried about disturbing others by calling them since phone calls are becoming less common.
Overcoming fear of talking on the telephone
There are several strategies that you can use to overcome your fear of talking on the phone. Remind yourself that pauses in conversation are normal. You should not worry about pauses. If you count in your head during a pause, you will likely find that it only lasts a couple of seconds even if it feels like it is much longer.
Remember that businesses want people to call them. You are not bothering anyone when you call a business to schedule an appointment or to talk to customer service. You also should remind yourself that no one expects you to be perfect. You do not need to feel that you should know the answer to everything that is asked of you instantly. An advantage of talking on the phone versus texting or emailing is that you are able to ask questions for clarification during your conversation.
Think about phone calls that you have had in the past that were successful. Before you make a phone call, think about times in the past when you have placed similar calls that went well.
Set goals for yourself and take small actions to confront the fear that you feel. You can start small by making calls that make you just a little nervous. You can then work your way up gradually to making calls that are scarier for you. By doing this, each successive call will become easier for you to make or receive.
Contact Premier NLP Life Coaching
Having telephone phobia can cause you to lose out on opportunities that you might otherwise enjoy such as getting a great job. It can also harm the relationships that you have with your family members and your friends. If you have a fear of talking on the phone, neuro-linguistic programming can help you to address it. Fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with Premier Life Coaching today.