40 million people experience an anxiety disorder in the United States alone. Those of them who have crippling social anxiety disorder are also likely to have phone anxiety. Such an anxiety refers to the insistent nervousness and fear that takes over when one has to make or receive phone calls.
Most think that they are alone in their struggle against phone anxiety, but that is not the case. Psychologists have addressed the problem as well. They blame the habit of text messaging in this digital age that has reduced people’s ability to communicate via voice calls.
Knowing that conversations via text are safer and give you more time to say the right thing, many have started depending on it. However, no one can completely rely on emailing, social media, and other text-based modes of communication.
Symptoms of phone anxiety
Phone anxiety sufferers don’t only panic when making important professional calls. The anxiety may also kick in due to calls with relatives or friends. Here are some common symptoms of this fear:
- Sweating palms
- Shortness of breath
- A sense of doom
- Racing heartbeat
- Upset stomach
Causes behind the condition
To be able to understand what a person can do to improve his phone anxiety, he first has to pinpoint the cause. Following are some of the common causes that make people struggle with voice calls:
- Talking on calls can make one feel like all the attention is on him much like how it is on a podium. This can cause anxiety because of the fear of being judged.
- In the case of phone calls, one is also under pressure by time. He doesn’t have the space to think and edit his words like he does so when he texts.
- Some people experience phone anxiety simply because they don’t normally talk on phone calls. This lack of practice can cause fear of trying a new thing.
- Many fear they’d embarrass themselves because their past experiences with talking on call have been negative.
Treatment of phone anxiety
Phone anxiety can be treated with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy. However, self-help is often the route that is picked. In this regard, people with phone anxiety can practice making phone calls to improve their communication skills. Doing it more often can reduce one’s fear of it. In this regard, some helpful tips include preparing beforehand.
This means someone who has phone anxiety should make notes of the content he can talk about. Moreover, he can calm his nerves by smiling before talking on calls and thinking positive thoughts about it. One shouldn’t look forward to phone calls with pessimism and the creation of negative scenarios in his head.
Zooming in on practicing, this can be started by simply placing one’s own orders for delivery. Then he can move on to calling customer service to ask any relevant questions. Following this, regularly calling friends and family for talking can help. A person can start by doing his practice work alone, then in front of one person, and then in a group.