We all hate making phone calls, but for some, the idea is truly terrifying. Phone call anxiety is fairly common, but it shouldn’t stop you from living a productive life. In the first part of this guide, we discussed the causes of phone call anxiety. Now we’re going to focus on the solutions. Here are some tips for overcoming phone anxiety.
Avoiding Phone Calls Isn’t the Answer
If you have phone call anxiety, you’re probably a professional at avoiding phone calls. You’ll send emails, texts, Facebook messages, and all other non-verbal communications before you’ll actually dial a number. While that may be effective in some ways, it isn’t doing much for your anxiety. In fact, avoiding your fears only makes the anxiety worse when you’re forced to make a phone call (which will inevitably happen).
Rather than avoiding phone calls entirely, you should find ways to reduce your anxiety symptoms. We’ll discuss those options in the next section.
Ways to Reduce Anxiety During Phone Calls
Here are some steps you can take to reduce anxiety symptoms during phone calls:
- Before the call, write down a list of things you want to say/address during the phone call.
- Have paper and a working pen ready to take notes.
- Think about why you’re calling so you can clearly ask questions or state your purpose.
- Listen carefully to what the other person says.
- Ask questions if you get confused on any point. You can say “Sorry, there was a bad connection. Could you repeat that?”
- Repeat information back to make sure you heard it correctly, especially phone numbers and other contact details.
- Don’t worry about sounding awkward. You’re probably never going to see this person in real life, and even if you do, they won’t remember the five minutes they spoke to you on the phone.
- Just breathe. This won’t last long.
As you can see, most of these steps focus on being well-prepared for a call. When you have the right tools, you feel more confident at the moment. Taking a few minutes to prepare ahead of time will help any phone call go much smoother.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more phone calls you make, the more natural they become. You could practice with a simple, no-strings-attached task. Call a business in another town and ask them about their operating hours. Instead of ordering a pizza through an app, call the pizza place and order the old-fashioned way. Call a friend or family member you normally talk to through text – someone you won’t feel judged by in the heat of the moment. Give yourself a chance to get used to the phone, and your anxiety feel less pressing.
Treating Phone Call Anxiety through Anxiety Counseling
Phone call anxiety and all other forms of anxiety can be treated through anxiety counseling. In this process, you work one-on-one with a therapist to understand your anxiety triggers and find ways to overcome them. This is a completely personalized process, specific to your lifestyle, experiences, goals, and concerns. It is highly effective, and it can help you improve many areas of your life – not just making phone calls.
To learn more about anxiety counseling or to schedule an appointment at one of our counseling centers near you, contact Oakland Psychological Clinic.