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How do I deal with my "phone call anxiety" ??

I don't get anxious in person very often, or even speaking in front of groups most of the time.. but for some reason when I have to make calls my words get all jumbled and I have a hard time being clear / conveying my thoughts.. and so after years of this now I am anxious when I have to make calls.

I need to call a few family members to invite them over for cake and icecream on my son's birthday (I have no expectations that all of them will come or can come) - it's a week away.. I've been putting it off for a week.. lol

I need to do this TODAY. Give me a good verbal kick in the behind or tell me your anxiety calming tricks!!


Asked by Anonymous at 12:03 PM on Feb. 20, 2010 in Just for Fun

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Plan what you are going to say ahead of time - write it down if you have to! Having a plan usually helps alleviate nerves related to ANYTHING that gives you anxiety. I spend a lot of my time at work on the phone but I used to be like you. Practice makes perfect - force yourself to do this!

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 12:14 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • I get a little nervous on the phone too, because for some reason I have a hard time understanding people. One thing I do is to go over in my head a couple of times exactly what Im going to say. Sometimes I even write it down so I dont forget.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:10 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • Jeez, thank goodness I'm not alone! I have the same problem, and I use to work for a telemarketing company, lol, I quit after 1 week! I can't really help, but I just wanted you to know that you're not alone!! Good luck!!

    Answer by wishwish at 12:10 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • I have this same problem. For now I have just decided to not make calls. When someone says "oh just call XXX" I say "I don't make phone calls. Is there an email/website/place to go in person?"

    Next time you have a party like this go old school and sent out snail mail invites. Depending on who you are inviting you could also send them an email, text, or facebook invite. Although some older friends and relatives don't like or won't know what to do with such an invite and you would be better off with the snail mail one.

    For today why not write a script and go with that? Have two scripts in case you get voicemail.

    Answer by tash11 at 12:15 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • Wow...and I thought I was the only one! What IS IT about phone calls!!! Sorry, I'm no help at all!! Okay wait..sometimes if I take the phone outside for some reason, I feel calmer...not sure why that is...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:15 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • I vote AGAINST having a pre-rehearsed script..that would make me MORE nervous...just try and go with the flow of the conversation...focus on the other person, what they have to say, ask them how they are doing, focusing on yourself and your own agenda causes more anxiety imo...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:18 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • I'm the same way. I hate calling people and I hate talking on the phone to people that I'm not raelly comfortable with in person. For example, i worked as a therapist for kids. I would have to call probation officers, case workers, parents, etc. all the time. If they had email, I ALWAYS emailed. I got better at it because I was more comfortable with what I was saying. But I hate calling and orderig pizza or calling a customer service line. I got to the point when I would try to call at times when I KNEW they wouldn't answer (like when my boss was in a meeting, or parents were at work) so I could leave a voicemail. I also screen my phone calls. I have everyone programmed and if I don't recognize the number, I don't answer. If they want something, I assume they'll leave a message.
    I would say not to write it down verbatim, but maybe jot down some notes (date, time, location, etc.) just to jumpstart it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:20 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • just put on your big girl panties and PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE ALREADY!!! or don't and hope that they'll call and ask what you're doing for his birthday or have no guests there :) (well you did ask for it)

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:42 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • I have the same problem, lol! I HATE talking on the phone other than to people I'm really close to. I fear awkward silences, lol! No advice to give, other than to just do it, lol.

    Answer by StefanieN84 at 2:05 PM on Feb. 20, 2010

  • I just want to say you're not alone! I HATE making calls. I used to have a job where I had to call and verify info, and it's amazing I stayed at that job as long as I did. I actually just got off the phone with a customer service rep, and I don't think I got what I wanted accomplished. When DH & I got married, I kind of handed over everything involved making phone calls to him. He's great at it!

    Answer by Journey311 at 2:12 PM on Feb. 20, 2010