For some people, making a phone call is no big deal. They can pick up the receiver and chat away without a care in the world. But for others, the very thought of having to make a telephone call is enough to trigger a full-blown panic attack.
If you’re in the latter group, don’t worry—you’re not alone. You might even be surprised to learn just how common your fear is.
How to Overcome Your Fear of the Phone
The first step to overcoming your fear of the phone is understanding that you’re not alone. Phone anxiety is perfectly normal, and plenty of other people out there feel exactly the same way you do. Knowing you’re not alone can help ease some of your anxiety.
The second step is to start practising. Yes, it sounds counterintuitive, but making regular phone calls —even if they’re just short calls to friends and family—can help desensitise you to talking on the telephone and make it feel less daunting.
Another option is to practise with a therapist or counsellor who can help you work through your anxiety in a safe and supportive environment.
The more you practise, the more confidence you’ll have; eventually, making phone calls will start to feel like second nature.
Top Tips for Making Phone Calls like a Pro
Once you’ve started practising making regular phone calls, there are a few other things you can do to make them even easier:
- Think about what you want out of the call before you make it. A plan will help you feel more confident and in control when you’re on the call.
- Start with a bit of small talk. Once you’ve gotten past the awkwardness of making conversation, small talk can be enjoyable. It’s also a great way to transition into talking about why you called in the first place.
- Be polite—and be aware of your tone of voice. Saying please and thank you goes a long way, especially when you’re on the phone. And being aware of your tone of voice can help ensure that you come across as confident and professional (even if you don’t feel that way on the inside).
- Keep a pen and paper handy, so you can jot down thoughts or ideas during the call—or doodle if it helps calm your nerves. As a stress relief strategy, doodling has been shown to be surprisingly effective.
- At the end of the call, thank the person for their time. This helps build rapport and leave a good impression. Besides, it’s just good manners.
Following these tips should make telephone calls easier and less daunting for you.
If making phone calls gives you anxiety, remember that phone anxiety is perfectly normal! The best way to overcome it is by regularly practising till it becomes second nature. With time and practice, you’ll be a phone person in no time at all.