Staying in touch during the pandemic means reaching for the phone to call friends and loved ones while we’re apart. But for some people making a phone call is fraught with stress that can lead to dread and leave them exhausted. Many people dislike phone calls, but those with phone anxiety will often delay and avoid calls or feel nervous before, during, and after a call. There are several reasons that contribute to our phone fears and several ways to combat them.
If you fret talking on the phone, you probably feel pressure about time constraints, perceptions of your performance, and just rules of phone etiquette.
So, then, how do we get over phone anxiety? First, try to reorient the way that you think about the call. Consider why you are feeling nervous. You might say to yourself “If so-and-so didn’t want to talk, then they wouldn’t have answered” or “So what if I trip over my words? It won’t be the first or last time they’ll hear a slipup.” The key is altering your thought process in order to see that what seems like a big deal to you isn’t for the other person.
Then, set a goal, and make sure it’s an achievable goal. Your goal might be to talk for ten minutes and ask two questions. That’s a much more feasible goal than one such as “Make sure to sound excited.” When the call is done, take time to acknowledge what went well to motivate yourself.
Over time, set higher goals, and with more exposure, your anxieties will ease. Practice will make you more confident to stop procrastinating and start dialing.