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Advice For Phone Call Phobia

Updated on September 9, 2011

You don't have to panic when making a phone call

Making phone calls can be distressing.
Making phone calls can be distressing.

How To Dial The Phone Without The Jitters

Making A Phone Call Without Anxiety:

I dreaded making phone calls. I hated having to call a company and explain that I needed a service, like canceling my credit cards, or switching plans for my cable. I was elated when our local pizza delivery place implemented an online service so that I didn’t have to talk to someone, and wished the local Chinese take-out would do the same. I would rather talk to someone face-to-face than call.

I never really thought of why calling strangers caused such anxiety, I just tried to avoid it as much as possible. This all changed when I was accepted into a position, at a company I worked for, that required me to return phone calls and answer calls all day long. We had a week-long orientation that changed how I dealt with talking on the phone. Below are some of the techniques I learned and use to this day, and now I can call anyone without my palms getting sweaty and my heart palpitating (although I still prefer to use the online form for pizza delivery).

When I started the phone job, one of the first things we learned, during orientation, was to have a script ready. This can allay many of the anxieties that you may have, especially for things like ordering food for take-out, because you know exactly what you want to say and have everything you need laid out in front of you. Another technique I learned was to pretend I was calling a friend, not a stranger. By smiling and imagining that I was talking to a friend and not a customer, I found it easy to communicate my message to the person on the other line. It really works, try it! In addition, I found it easier to talk to someone when I knew the conversation would be quick. Calls that required me to confirm an account and names were quick and simple, and I went through the routine without much anxiety. Try making calls quick, but do not rush through it!

I learned through that particular job that my biggest fear with talking on the phone was getting misunderstood and having to deal with the hassle of re-explaining a complicated feature or spelling a name out. During the orientation we had to record ourselves talking to “clients” and I found out that I tended to hurry through the calls, barely taking a breath before rushing through the spiel. I discovered that taking a deep breath before I dialed or picked up the phone help a lot. When I did this, I started speaking slowly and the person on the other end had no problems understanding what I said.

Remember that avoiding what you fear makes it something worse than what it really is. So, keep making phone calls, and expose yourself to it, and soon you’ll find that little-by-little you won't mind making calls so much. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is actually a common phobia, so the person on the other end might just be as petrified as you are. Now you think, “Why would anyone be terrified to speak to me?” Exactly. Why would you be petrified to speak to anyone on the phone? They can’t physically hurt you and if they do say something condescending or rude, you don’t have to take it, just hang up. If you still have anxieties, remember this little bit of “advice” that my manager told me when I confessed to having phone phobia: “Everyone’s going to die sometime.”

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    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I've had a dislike of the phone for about 20 years. I moved out from home before I was finished high school. I got a job, shared an apartment and things were all fine until I started using a credit card, lost my job and got into some debt. All those collector calls made me hate answering or using the phone at all. I'd still rather use any other form of communication. I also had a job where I had to phone a lot. But, I was able to do it on the job. Once I leave work I am back to phone phobia. I'm glad for email. People who know me don't phone, they just send me an email.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      It definitely helps to know that I am not the only one!

    • Paschelle profile image
      Author

      Paschelle 6 years ago from Maine

      Yeah! I'm glad you're getting better at it, even though it wasn't a good circumstance that forced you to face it. I didn't know that there were that many people who had phone phobias until I started looking it up and it seems very common. I hope I can help others even just by feeling better that they aren't the only ones. Thanks!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Wow...I had never heard of anyone else having a phone phobia. Mine was so bad at one point that I didn't have a phone...if I didn't have a phone I wouldn't need to talk. The only thing that changed this was the nasty divorce that I went through. After that I had to use a phone to call the schools for my kids, call the utility companies to get services turned on, call the lawyer to find out when I had to go to court again, etc. etc... I still have difficulty with using a phone but I can do it easier than before...Thanks for writing this!

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