Does the idea of making a phone call terrify you? You’d rather send a telegram than actually call someone. No worries – you are not alone. Many people go through phone call anxiety, even if they have no other anxiety triggers. In this two-part guide, we will go over the causes of phone anxiety and how to overcome them.
Why Do I Get Anxious Talking on the Phone?
Phone call anxiety is more common than you may realize. Some people experience it as part of general anxiety disorder, but others experience it without any other anxiety symptoms. Why are phone calls so scary? What causes anxiety on the phone? Here are some possibilities:
- It’s hard to tell what the other person is thinking. Most forms of communication rely on non-verbal cues, such as body language. That’s how you can tell if a person is upset, even when he or she says otherwise. If you can’t see the other person’s reactions, your mind may assume the worst.
- You do not feel in control of your words. This could be because you get flustered, or it could be because you cannot convey your body language through the phone. You cannot emphasize something with a gesture. You have to use your words. That can feel daunting at times.
- You feel like you’re in a time crunch. There may not be a time limit on the phone, but because of the nature of the call, you may feel rushed. This may cause you to lose track of your thoughts and feel embarrassed – even though that happens to everyone.
- You don’t like having other people around you. They only hear half of the conversation, so they’re forced to fill in the gaps. This may make you feel like they’re judging you because they do not know the full context.
- You’re not used to talking on the phone. If it’s something you don’t do often, it may feel like you’re stepping out of your comfort zone every time you pick up the phone. Being nervous in an unfamiliar environment is completely normal.
- You feel like you’re giving a public speech. You might just be talking to one other person, but in your mind, you’re giving a speech to the masses. It’s the same feeling of discomfort, just re-routed in a different way.
- You feel like a nuisance. You may not be bothering the other person on the phone, but you feel like an inconvenience in the moment.
No matter what is causing your phone call anxiety, you can get through it with a little preparation. Check out Part 2 of this guide to learn several ways to overcome phone anxiety.