Does this sound like you? Your significant other is the one who always calls for take-out. You avoid answering your phone at all costs. You struggle at work when you know a phone call must be made. If so, you are not alone. For those who struggle with anxiety talking on the phone can seem to be an impossible feat. Regardless of how long you have struggled with talking on the phone, change can happen. Below are some simple strategies for attacking fears associated with talking on the phone.
Chances are if you struggle with talking on the phone you are stuck in your head, makes sense that it would be hard to concentrate on the actual conversation, right? Attempt to quiet the loud voice in your mind by fully engaging in the conversation that you are having on the phone. Internally you may have spent a lot of time predicting what is going to happen if you say “blank” or say the “wrong thing”. It is time to start challenging some of these unhelpful worry thoughts by asking yourself, “How likely is it that blank will happen?” Ask yourself, “What are the actual consequences if I say blank while on the phone?” By the way, is there really a “wrong thing” that you could say? How often in the past have you said something horrible in a conversation that was clearly the “wrong thing”? Give yourself more credit and improve your confidence for the future.
Practice, practice, practice! We call this exposure therapy, but exposure therapy is just a fancy name for practice makes perfect. Think about this, ask yourself who or what is enabling this fear to be maintained? Next schedule your first phone call. Praise yourself for putting yourself in a vulnerable position and addressing your fears after each call. Each phone call is a chance to build a positive experience or memory of talking on the phone and thus regaining control over your fears.
For more information and support in addressing this or other common fears call my office today to schedule your first appointment!