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

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Celyn Offline
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Phone anxiety help? - November 14th 2013, 08:20 PM

Im on a waiting list for counselling, but I need to make phone calls tomorrow or next week at the latest. I think I have phone anxiety. I've been delaying making these phone calls for ages. I get nervous thinking about it. Anyone have any idea how to deal with it? I need to phone some schools for placement, and other schools to do my dissertation in, so it is quite important. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
   
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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 14th 2013, 09:17 PM

My friend had the same exact problem, literally. She said there was nothing really to help it and that she just had to end up calling and dealing with the anxiety. Now she goes to her counseling and is very happy she made the call, even though it severely terrified her.


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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 15th 2013, 12:43 AM

Hi Holly,

This is very hard to get over but the more you call places the easier this will get. I know I've gone to call places at times and I will hang up while dialing if I get nervous, so it takes me a few tries sometimes to call. I know that over time the more I've had to call people/places, this has gotten easier for me.
That is the only solution I can think of though. Hopefully talking to the counselor will be helpful.
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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 16th 2013, 02:21 AM

I used to get really scared with phone calls too, and honestly it took a lot of practice for me to actually face the fear. I've had to call a lot of places for college as well, or even for volunteer, so that made it easier.

My therapist told me that maybe one thing I can do before I make a call is write down exactly what it is that I want to ask or explain to them. That way, I'm not sitting there stammering or thinking of what to say, because I have what to say right in front of me. Maybe that can help?


   
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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 16th 2013, 02:43 AM

I hate the phone. I hate talking on it most of the time and I avoid it at all costs most of the time. My advise is to just try and use the phone whenever you can. Even if it's just to call your mom or friend for 5 minutes so you get used to the phone. I know when I'm on the phone all i want is for the conversation to be over so I can hang up. But try not to think about that while your on the phone and focus on whats actually being disgusted. I'm sorry if this wasn't that helpful I tried.


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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 16th 2013, 08:32 AM

I found one good way to reduce phone anxiety is to prepare what you're going to say beforehand. If it's for college then you'll know they'll respond with college-related blurb. When I had to phone the hospital I tried my best not to think about it because it was the thinking about it and knowing I had to make that call which was the worst. Clear your mind and stop worrying about having to call anything, be spontaneous and do it out of the blue but make sure you have your speech prepared. I found deliberately making them speak is a good way to go. A person could phone up saying, "Hello my name is .... and I need ..." but it can often leave little room for the other side to reply so I found saying, "Hello I need..." forces the person on the other side to engage more in the conversation and they'll be forced to ask obvious things like, "Hello, what's your name please?" and other details, then the conversation is lead by them and not by you.


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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 16th 2013, 02:45 PM

I had this exact same problem a year ago. It was so bad that, even if I answered a sales call, when I hung up I'd be shaking horribly and my skin would kinda go cold. So yeah, I had a problem.
But I realized that the best way to get over it, for me, was to just answer the phone. Like, as soon as you get a call, just hurry and answer it, no questions asked. If you force yourself to answer it in a split second after it rings, you won't have time to think about it, therefore there'll be no time to panic because you'll already be on the phone.
As for calling people...I say, just do it still. If it's too much, try breathing deeply before the call.


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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 17th 2013, 11:27 AM

Thanks a lot guys

I'm going to make the calls tomorrow morning, wish me luck! :P

OnTides- I really like your idea of letting them lead the conversation. I find I get more self-conscious when I say "Hi, my name is....I'm a third year student..."

I'm going to prepare some brief notes, just in case I get stuck. And yes, Jess, I think deep breathing would be helpful.

Thanks for all your advice- it makes me feel better, knowing that I'm not the only one with phone anxiety.
   
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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 17th 2013, 04:20 PM

Good luck. I am sure you will do great. Just think how much more scary it would be if you were talking to the person face to face and just say to yourself talking on the phone is less scary. Let us know how it went.

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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 17th 2013, 09:20 PM

I'm the same way. It's debilitating sometimes. I have a speech impediment and it makes it worse. What helps me talk sometimes is hand gestures and movements, as if my hands are forcing the words out. I do that while on the phone because the other person cannot see me, so I don't feel self conscious about it. It might seem weird to do if you don't have a speech impediment, but I'd suggest it anyway. Also, what helps me is I just dial the number and press 'call', that way there really is no backing out of it. I don't mean to come across as saying, like, "oh, just get over it" because that's not what I mean at all. What I'm saying is if these phone calls have to happen, then they have to happen. The best way out is through, and well done is better than well said. If you really must, you can also say "I have anxiety and this is difficult for me, please be patient"; you will find people are more understanding than you think. (: I hope I was of some kind of help! Good luck to you!


   
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Phone anxiety help? - November 18th 2013, 12:37 PM

Didn't do it

I only had an hour this morning before I went to uni. Will do it thursday, since I'm not in uni then.

Thanks everyone for your support
   
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