How to Get Over Phone Call Anxiety?
- Last Updated: 06 Dec 23
- 15 min read
Do you start to feel anxious when you think of answering a ringing phone call?
If yes, then this might be a sign of phone call anxiety. Phone call anxiety is also known as telephonophobia, which is common nowadays and can affect our personal and professional lives.
However, phone call anxiety need not be a lifelong burden; with the proper guidance and practice, you can learn to feel confident and calm during a phone call, getting more opportunities and improving overall well-being.
In this article, we’ll talk about overcoming your fear of making and receiving calls. We’ll also explore the reasons behind phone call anxiety so that you can become a confident communicator.
Where does phone call anxiety come from?
Phone anxiety or Telenophobia is a condition that causes anxiety when talking on the phone. Some people may face milder phone anxiety, whereas others have more substantial forms that affect their daily lives.
Various reasons cause phone call anxiety, some of which are explained below:
1. Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
People with SAD may fear being judged and worry about saying something wrong to others. Social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that causes individuals to feel anxious in social situations.
2. Fear of making mistakes
The uncertainty of how a phone call will go can trigger anxiety. People might fear more about making mistakes such as forgetting information, saying the wrong things, etc. A lack of confidence and low self-esteem can also cause it.
3. Negative Past Experiences
Traumatic phone call experiences such as heated arguments, rejection, or embarrassing moments can cause a fear of repeating those experiences. Then, it can lead to difficulty in your phone conversations.
4. Performance pressure
The pressure to perform well on a call and the fear of not meeting certain performance expectations can make individuals anxious. Employees might feel performance pressure if critical decisions are to be made, such as closing a business deal or not answering interview questions effectively, which can lead to anxiety.
5. Other anxiety disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder can also lead to the risk of developing phone call anxiety. Due to various symptoms such as avoidance behavior, sensitivity to criticism and judgment, fear of the unknown, etc.,
Hence, Physical factors can also make it difficult for people to communicate effectively, leading to phone call anxiety.
What are the symptoms of phone anxiety?
Phone anxiety, also called Telephobia (i.e., fear of making or receiving calls), is characterized by many emotional and physical symptoms related to using mobile phones.
So, the common symptoms, depending on the intensity of anxiety, from mild to severe, are:
- Heart palpitations
- Chills on the body
- Upset stomach
- Unable to concentrate
- A feeling of being judged
- Fear of not knowing enough answers
- Avoid making and receiving calls
- Stressed about interactions
- Delays in answering phone calls
- Worrying about what you might say
If you’re experiencing those symptoms, then don’t worry; there are a lot of people who might be facing the same problems. If you think you have, then you can consult with your doctor.
How to get over Phone Anxiety?
Overcoming phone anxiety can be challenging, but with much practice and patience, you can significantly reduce your anxiety about phone calls. There are several things you can do to get over phone anxiety; some of them are:
1. Identifying your root cause
First, you must know the root causes that trigger your anxiety. Once you figure it out, you can start to develop strategies for coping with them. You can practice making calls with your household members, friends, and others.
As you have all heard, Practice makes man perfect. The more you do, the more perfect you become. When dealing with phone phobia and anxiety, the best practice is to improve slowly and steadily. If you’re comfortable and know the information, you will likely be less anxious and build immunity to your phone phobia.
3. Making Mindset
You can change your perspective by approaching each call as an opportunity to learn and grow. Move your focus to get more knowledge and improve your communication skills. Making a mindset can lead you to make your goal more transparent and desire to achieve.
4. Develop breathing techniques
According to Dr. Kami Hoss, your anxiety can be reduced by relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation; you can use these techniques before and after taking calls. He suggests many ways to develop breathing techniques, such as Belly breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, and coherent breathing.
5. Use Modern phone system
If you use a modern phone system like KrispCall compared to traditional landlines it helps to reduce agent phone call anxiety through its advanced features like handing proper customers with someone who can handle more, call reminders & notifications, normal playback, fast forwarding, music on hold, personalized greeting, receive from anywhere any device.
What are the tools & technology that help to conquer phone anxiety?
You can find many tools, online resources, and technology that can help you overcome your phone call anxiety. Some of them are explained below:
1. Mood Tracking apps
Mood tracking helps to track your every move, like the things you get stressed with and triggers that can affect your mental health. This application has many features that make the user more accessible, such as mood-tracking, customization of goals and activities, gratitude journals, meditation, breathing exercises, and alert notifications of sleeping time, nutrition, and medications.
Mental health experts also recommend many of the best mood trackers available online. They are given below.
- Moodfit: For overall
- Worry Watch (Best for anxiety)
- PTSD Coach
- MoodKit (best for stress management)
- MindShift CBT (best for self-help tools and resources)
2. Speech and communication app
It might be frustrating for people with speech challenges, introverts, or social anxiety when communicating with clients, friends, family members, etc. It helps to make you more confident in your voice and choose the right words for your recorded message to make it more fluent.
These application tools help them to communicate effectively and efficiently, such as:
- icommunicate for iPad
- MyTalkTools Mobile
- Talk for Me-Text to Speech
3. Telehealth Service
Telehealth services are provided through internet access on your computer, laptop, etc. The telehealth service is growing and is projected to go from $142.96 to $504.24 billion by 2030. According to Fortune Business Insight. There are different telehealth exists, but the main four types are:
- Asynchronous video (store and forward),
- Remote patient monitoring,
- Mobile health (m-health),
- Live Video-Conferencing
What are the best practices to overcome phone anxiety?
According to Face for Business, more than 35% of employees rated anxiety levels as extremely anxious when dealing with work calls. The best practices to overcome phone anxiety are:
1. Taking more phone calls
Sometimes, phone call anxiety can be a result of a lack of experience and expertise. But with regular practice of handling more phone calls, you can minimize phone call anxiety. A successful business communication depends primarily on a phone call, so you must focus on how VoIP numbers can benefit.
2. Take a deep breath
Giving priority to your mental health is essential for adopting a telephonophobia. So breathing and pacing through it can help calm your mind and body. Before taking a call, try taking a few deep breaths and experiment with different breathing techniques like abdominal breathing, deep breathing, and many more.
3. Smile while answering the phone
Even if they never see your face, listeners can know the type of smile in your intonation or how you sound. Before making and receiving calls, maintaining body language and facial expressions and putting a smile on your face can make you feel more confident; in addition,
- It can increase testosterone.
- Boost your immune system.
- It makes you feel less depressed and more positive.
- It makes you look more attractive.
- It may keep customers at ease.
4. Don’t overthink it:
Overthinking can cause anxiety, negatively impacting your health and your performance. If prospects say “no,” you should realize there might be various reasons behind it, and you have nothing to do with it. So, you should not try to read too much on others actions.
5. Visualize your success:
Imagine making a phone call, Striking all your primary points, and closing a deal. You can gain more confidence and boost your performance by visualizing your success and what you want. Visualization is one of the most potent tools that eventually helps to give an individual a roadmap in any situation.
What are the cold calling tips to get rid of phone anxiety?
Cold calling is a serious sales call or practice in which individuals who have no exposure to products are contacted. Most sales representatives are afraid of cold calling due to fear of rejection. When the fear overpowers you, the part of your brain gets activated, forcing you not to do cold calling.
The cold calling tips to get rid of phone anxiety, follow the below steps:
1. Accepting failure
The worst-case scenario for a Sales representative can be getting rejected by the prospects, but rejection does not mean you lost it all. You would never see or talk to that person again, but the worst result is them turning down the product.
So take a shot and give your 100%.
2. Know your product prospect
Sometimes, cold calling can be unpredictable, so the best way to deal with it is to know your product and prospects inside and out. Understanding your product or services can make you feel more confident about the cold call.
The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel. Before you start calling, ensure you understand your product or service, your target audience, and the common objections you may face.
3. Using cold calling script
If you have a script, it’ll guide you in handling calls more effectively. It significantly reduces phone anxiety by minimizing the fear of not knowing how to respond. Scripts save time by maintaining small talk and effectively convey your message. This will not only boost your confidence but also increase your productivity.
4. Learning from Mistakes
After having a call, you should analyze the success and failure of your call. You can ask some questions to yourself, like Did I speak fast or slow? Did I talk more? Could I have handled queries differently?
Also, you can seek the professional help of sales managers to enhance your cold-calling skills. You can also ask for feedback and get new ideas for performing better in the future.
There will always be something that an individual fears in life, whether socializing with people, public speaking, starting a new job, etc. To overcome that fear, you should take action and work on it until you make it.
How does phone anxiety affect a business?
Effective communication is essential for any business. It is crucial for business leaders and employees to acknowledge and tackle phone anxiety to maintain a positive image and a productive work environment. If they are caught up in phone anxiety, then there can be many consequences that organizations have to face, including
1. Poor customer service
A customer has high expectations of brands and wants to reach out with the help of a phone. If your employee has phone anxiety, they might not be able to handle calls and connect to the customer properly, which leads to poor customer retention rates.
2. Missed networking opportunities
Business events, conferences, and industry gatherings may allow you to work on projects with valuable customers. However, due to phone anxiety, individuals might get shy and avoid post-event follow-up calls and meetings.
So, you have a high chance of losing potential customers and projects that may benefit your business organization.
3. Loss in revenue
If your organization is sales-focused, Phone calls are the main gateway to acquiring and retaining new customers. Phone anxiety leads to miss out on potential deals reducing sales and revenues.
4. Decreased productivity
In an organization, employees with phone anxiety tend to feel anxious about making and receiving calls resulting in piling work and missing out on deadlines. So, employees might look for an alternative way of time-effective written communication that leads to inefficiency.
5. Increase stress and burnout
The constant fear due to phone call anxiety can increase stress and sometimes burnout. Such an environment can negatively affect employee morale and overall job satisfaction.
So, Phone anxiety can be a serious threat to business communication and success, affecting many aspects of an organization, including strained customer relations and decreased productivity.
What exercises can help you to overcome phone anxiety?
There are many exercises that can help you to overcome phone anxiety, they are:
1. Create a phone script
If you are anxious about a particular call, try writing a script beforehand. Hence, it helps you to stay focused on positive conversations and avoid saying other unnecessary things to clients. You can follow some steps for better phone scripts, which will sound more confident and keep you engaged in conversation.
2. Follow breathing technique
Deep breathing is an effective way to calm your anxiety. To do this technique, you can sit comfortably, placing one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Inhale and Exhale slowly for 5-10 minutes. You can follow Sokhach’s techniques, like:
The box breathing trick: You draw a square slowly on your desk or hand with your finger and then alternate a slow inhale and exhale each time you draw a side of the box.
3. Replay your calls and conversations
After having a conversation, if you analyze your performance by replaying calls, it might help you to identify areas and improve your tone of voice, choice of words, and speaking pace. It can help you to know how you may sound to others while you speak.
4. Calendar blocking for phone calls
Calendar blocking is a time management technique where you can schedule specific times in your calendar for phone calls. You can schedule the blocks of time for specific types of phones, such as client calls, sales calls, etc.
So, a calendar helps you stay focused and avoid phone calls and distractions, eventually leading to improved productivity, better time management, and less stress.
According to ValueSelling Associates, a study reveals that 54% of initial meetings require more than five touch points, and over half of sales professionals- 53% give up too quickly regarding cold calling.
So, it is crucial to know overcoming anxiety takes time and effort. If you’re struggling to overcome anxiety, you can seek professional help, who may suggest additional coping skills and the proper treatment.
In conclusion, phone call anxiety is a common difficulty that can be cured patiently. The first thing is to understand the factors that trigger your anxiety, which can come from fear of judgment or uncertainty about the most essential phone call conversation and outcomes.
By knowing it, you can keep exposing yourself to phone calls, manifesting positive self-talk, and practicing mindfulness. You can build the confidence needed to conquer your fear.
It’s important to remember that feeling nervous before making calls is normal, and you’re not the only one experiencing this. With time and dedication, you can convert your phone call anxiety into opportunities for meaningful communication.
So, be kind to yourself, take one step at a time, and appreciate the growth and improved communication skills you’ve gained by overcoming phone call anxiety.
Why do phone calls make me anxious?
Since Phone calls are only limited to the sound of your voice, you may feel judged, pressured to choose the right words, lack confidence, and worry about embarrassing yourself. It might make you more anxious.
How common is phone anxiety in today’s generation?
Phone anxiety is the most common thing in today’s generation, with over 70% of millennials and Gen Z reporting feeling anxious when the phone rings. COVID-19 has brought changes in the communication ecosystem, making virtual methods like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, emails, FaceTime, and social media more popular. People now prefer these virtual options over talking on the phone.
Can phone anxiety be overcome or not?
Phone anxiety can be overcome with time through practicing or seeking guidance from a professional doctor.
When should you seek the help of a professional for phone anxiety?
You should consult professionals if your fear of making and receiving calls extends to another dimension of social life,