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Anxiety and Stress This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Terrible anxiety involving phone calls - November 19th 2018, 05:50 PM

One thing which really triggers my anxiety is making phone calls to people I don't know, especially if it is about a job. I panic and end up either lost for words or stuttering and sounding awkward. I try to avoid phone calls whenever possible, but I know I can't always do this. When I have to make a phone call, I usually end up procrastinating and making myself even more anxious, sometimes to the point of crying. Although, once I've made the call, I'm usually fine. I also have trouble leaving a voicemail unless I have written down exactly what I'm going to say.

I know this is a pretty common thing people with anxiety struggle with, so I was wondering if anybody who's had something similar could offer some advice and how to cope.

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Re: Terrible anxiety involving phone calls - November 19th 2018, 07:55 PM

I see that you said you write thigns out when you have to leave a voicemail. Do you do something similar when you are making a call? I know that you can't predict exactly how the call will go, but it may help to have scripts about what the key points you want to talk about are. At least that way you know that you're going to start the call saying "x, y, z" and you want to make sure "a, b c," points get covered during the phone call. Of course, the rest of the points would be guided by what the person on the other end says, which may help for that bit.

Are you able to set the area you're in up comfortably for the phone call? I know it sounds weird, but if possible maybe you can sit in a room that you feel safe in when making the phone call, and if there's anyting that may be relaxing or comforting, have it with you when making the call?

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Re: Terrible anxiety involving phone calls - November 19th 2018, 08:41 PM

I agree with everything Dez has said.

It might also help to practice making phone calls, either with someone you do know or someone that you don't e.g. ordering food, or calling a hotline just to ask a question. What I find with anxiety is that the more we practice, the less anxiety we feel.

It's also good to remember that it's okay to stutter or sound awkward. Employers will be understanding that you may be anxious when inquiring about a job. Otherwise, no-one can see that you are anxious and may assume that hesitations could be because of interruptions and distractions etc.

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Re: Terrible anxiety involving phone calls - November 19th 2018, 10:24 PM

Thank you, both of you. Yes, I usually try to write down the key points that I'm going to say. It helps a great deal, but even then I sometimes struggle to press the call button and I don't know why. I guess I want to make a good impression on people.

Dez, I understand what you're saying about making the area more comfortable. I usually go to a room with lots of space (since I pace a lot when I'm anxious) by myself before making a call because it makes it easier to focus.

And Holly, thanks for that suggestion. I will try to practice more!

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Re: Terrible anxiety involving phone calls - December 9th 2018, 05:20 PM

Maybe you`d better try making yourself think about something else which is not connected with the object of your anxiety...Try to change the direction of your thoughts
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