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Thread: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    Hi all,

    I've suffered from social anxiety pretty much all my life. I have always found it difficult to make friends and I generally feel nervous going anywhere where I have to verbally interact with others unless I know them very well. I find that I get a little better when I force myself to do things and I know my last job pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to feel less socially anxious at work, but I suffered in the process from terrible dread and anxiety. Of course, now, I am looking for a new job and anything new brings a lot of anxiety for me.

    Something I have noticed is that I dislike phone calls and video interviews more than in person. At least in person I can read body language or see a smile and that puts me at ease. A phone call feels a lot more 'on the spot' as if I don't say anything right away there is just silence. I've actually been offered a work from home job for the time being and will begin training on the phones shortly. I am so scared. You may be wondering why I took the job if I'm so scared but I figured I would have to face my fear because I doubt there is any job out there that would fit around my anxiety, unless I could be a writer but that's not something I can rely on right now. I don't think anyone can be picky with jobs right now. In all likelihood, once I am used it, although I don't think I'll ever 'like it' it may not be too bad. But how can I keep calm so I don't end up fumbling over words or speaking too quiet or in an insecure way? I know they record all the calls and I know I can't mess up too bad, which adds to the pressure.

    I generally dread phone calls any day by anyone. I would much rather receive a message or email than a phone call. I also tend to wait until a call is finished ringing, they leave a message and then I go somewhere where no one else can hear me - because that's the other thing - I hate being heard on the phone too. I have to prepare mentally for it and often come up with a script in my head. I just wish I could pick up the phone or call people with ease!

    I know a couple people who actually dread calls too. Just wondering how common it was and if there was any methods to make it easier?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    74

    Re: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    Hi Libra,

    I am a fellow anxiety sufferer and it is refreshing to read that someone else hates phone calls too ! I am not so bad when receiving a call or when making a call to someone who am comfortable with, however when I have to make a call to someone new having to request something from them (or the company they work) then not so keen. I always build it up in my head that the other person is going to be awkward and hard work, and unfortunately a lot the times this does turn out to be true ! What I cannot get my head around these days is seeing people in public (say walking down the street) having loud conversations on speaker with their mobiles - I would always have this in private ! Also makes me wonder seeing people on the bus engaging in mobile calls - how can they actually hear what the other person is saying and have a coherent conversation ?! Like yourself, I far prefer texting and emailing where possible

    Apologies if this is not much help, however I do think experience is going to be the key here. I wonder what it is that makes some of us hate telephone call so much, and yet others are fine with it ? Probably a lot to do with confidence and somewhat personality, as an introvert I don't really like engaging in too much small talk - tires me out...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    2,030

    Re: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    Quote Originally Posted by Libra96 View Post
    I've actually been offered a work from home job for the time being and will begin training on the phones shortly. I am so scared.
    I have always struggled on the phone. It borders on phobic and I avoid answering whenever possible. I also have to use a script with people I don't know or if it's a hospital phone appointment..

    Given my issues, maybe you will understand my horror when my boss put me on telesales for 6 weeks when I was too pregnant to do my usual work? I felt physically sick, and actually was sick in the toilets. I was given a script to work off and I had to phone up different chemists and get details from them. The stress response kicked in every damn time, no matter how many times I did it. I sweated like a pig and kept having to use the loo for respite. I was surrounded by young women who looked like they were born attached to a bloody telephone - with their fluffy things stuck to the side of their computer screens! And there was me - as big as a frickin whale and having a silent breakdown. I wish I'd have gone off on the sick but I needed to work my time to get my maternity pay - so I had no choice but to struggle through, and, BOY did I STRUGGLE! It's one of my WORST NIGHTMARES alongside working on a supermarket checkout.

    Five years later, I had the reason why I am so shit at verbal communication - I am autistic!

    Not saying you are, but I do feel your pain.

    I know a couple people who actually dread calls too. Just wondering how common it was and if there was any methods to make it easier?
    Hate phones. Hate Zoom. Hate videos. Hate having my picture taken.

    Methods?

    Work off a script and say 'Eh?', 'Sorry?' a lot.

    Slam the phone down if things go tits up.

    Deep breathing before making a call. (hyperventilation when using the phone comes across a bit dodgy, you get me?)

    Pull the phone line out.

    Pretend I'm not in.

    Hope this helps.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    757

    Re: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    Hi!

    I'm in the same boat as you! I hate, hate phone calls! I was applying for masters programs a few months ago and it was h e l l for me. I felt like I kept tripping over words and felt like I couldn't get my points across- like I wasn't as "smart" as I seemed to be on paper. I find it hard not being able to tell how people react over videocall. It's also abit strange to me because video call like a friend thing? I nearly felt like I was slipping into how I'd act around friends.

    Sorry for all the ramble....but something that helps me as having a rough idea of what I'm going to say. Google questions they might ask, they tend to ask alot of the same questions so it might not be exactly what you have wanted to say but you wouldn't have been caught off guard.

    Like someone said above- you could always hang up- people wifi gives out all the time so they won't even think to much of it if it's videocall or phone calls drop all the times! It's not like you can run out of a face to face interview!

    Sending you lots of good thoughts xxx
    Last edited by LouiseAndy; 09-02-21 at 23:30.

  5. #5
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    Re: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    I used to struggle with phone calls a lot, then got much better, but now struggling again. Just lately I've had a lot of DP/DR and had to phone our GP surgery today. While going through all the automated voices giving you options 1,2,3 etc, I could feel my anxiety rising. And I hate the having to give a 'speech' to explain why I'm phoning. And then when I get through, she sounds like I've dragged her away from something very important.

    So you're not alone. Hang in there.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    82

    Re: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    I did not know that individuals who are socially anxious really experienced that kind of anxiety. It is only now upon reading this thread. And I feel the struggle even if I don't really feel what you guys are feeling. ;(

    Just curious - is the degree of anxiety with phone calls same with face to face interactions?

  7. #7
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    Re: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    I can only do phone calls if I'm the one making them, or I'm expecting one. But to call me without warning is dreadful. I end up in some state of panic. Sometimes I'll miss the call, and then call back a few minutes later. Thankfully very few call me
    __________________
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  8. #8

    Re: Social Anxiety and Phone Calls

    I am on week two of putting off a phone call I need to make for work...really bad especially since I work at home in my own bedroom. So no one can listen in or be around me when I call. My boss sent me all the info I need to give them and I know what to ask for as I have dealt with them in the past...but just too anxious to do it right now. Has to be the “perfect storm” for me to do it.

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