How to dial down the fear of making phone calls

We use mobile phones every day. They're our browser, our alarm clock, our calendar, our shopping trolley, and even our pocket library. Phones play a vital role in our daily lives. They put us in touch with the rest of the world, and they do it with the touch of a button.

So why are we avoiding spoken phone communication? It seems we'd much rather send a text, a notification, an email, heck even a message in a bottle would do the trick. Anything to avoid that dreaded telephone call.

This is a photo of a young woman, looking down in horror at her phone

The fear of making phone calls - telephonophobia - can impair our happiness. Yet what happens when a phone call is absolutely necessary? Whether you use the phone for business or personal reasons, it doesn’t make it any easier to overcome phone anxiety. Just as with any anxiety, it won’t simply go away. It requires work and perseverance.

Continuing to ignore your phone anxiety may help your discomfort in the short term, but things could get worse in the long-term, to the point where rather than simply avoiding phone conversations unless they're essential, you avoid them altogether.

These four tips should help you dial down the anxiety:

1. Write yourself a loose script

This actually works. Make a note of what you need to say and use it as a guide to get you through the conversation. You might feel less nervous about picking up the phone with a script, but don’t overly rely on it. Remember, the person on the other end of the phone is a real human being - you can’t anticipate everything that they might say, or ask you. Just keep it loose.

2. Compile a before-and-after list

Write down everything you’re nervous about before you make the call. Then write down all the positives from the call when you’re done. What went well? What didn't go so well? Were things better than you expected? Keep these notes as a log of your journey in overcoming your anxiety and look back on them when you need reassurance.

This is a scared man, peering over the edge of a table at a telephone

3. Go somewhere private

Not always possible if you work in a busy office, but taking the call away from other people’s ears can reduce some of the pressure. A lot of our anxiety stems from the fear of being exposed - that other people can hear us. Remove that obstacle and you might feel more confident and comfortable in making the call.

4. Prepare for the dreaded voicemail

The thought of having to leave a recorded message can be equally as daunting as having to pick up the phone receiver. However, even leaving a voicemail can be practised.

Dial your own phone, or the number of a friend, and let it go through to voicemail. Leave a message, then listen back to it. What did you like and dislike? Make some notes and then re-record your message. Practice makes perfect. And don't fret about the sound of your own voice. We all sound strange to our own ears!

Still feeling anxious? Hypnotherapy is a proven technique to help overcome many forms of anxiety. Why not try Hypnotherapy Directory to find a professional near you.