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why do I get petrified when I have to talk to strangers on the phone? How do I cope?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 06/29/2020 at 1:45pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Dorothy Paige, MS Psychology

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe that any issue that prevents one from living life to the fullest or prevents self love is defeating. I am committed to providing support to anyone who seeks help.

Top Rated Answers
TEMI4LIVE2
March 11th, 2015 12:51pm
1. This usually occurs when you are trying to avoid someone, scared it might be the person or ask the person calling you to check. 2. Another thing that might cause it, if you are a stammer scared of stammering during the conversation.
Anonymous
August 25th, 2015 4:38pm
I deal with this each time I'm on the phone with strangers as well. The telephone company, telemarketers etc etc. I make sure that I remember - they do not know who I am, therefore they cannot judge me. They know nothing about me, and I know nothing about them. Once this call is over, I'll likely never have to speak with them again. I've asked myself why I feel this way and that has helped me. I realized that it's an extension of my social anxiety. I'm generally just really scared of people, I'm scared of being around them and I'm scared of what they think of me. This has extended to when I talk to strangers over the phone, but I just have to remind myself that once this call is over, I'll never have to speak to the stranger again.
SweetPorcelain
May 8th, 2015 2:23am
simple social anxiety, though not face-to-face. remember, they cannot see you through the phone! :o)
WarmHeart22
April 17th, 2015 1:28am
It's that you don't actually feel a connection or at ease with them. When talking with friends or family, however, is easier because they know you and may appreciate you. With strangers on the phone, it's just that you are talking to them for the first them and probably questions ponder around your mind wondering how they will reflect you. The best alternative, I suggest, is to take a deep breath and be natural. Be at your optimum performance, or do your best. Just make small talk. Regards, Affable
Anonymous
May 8th, 2015 9:49am
I always have this problem. If I know what I am going to say to the person on the other end of the phone I will write it down first. I will then rehearse it in my head, and keep the paper in front of me during the call. I think taking a few deep breaths and being prepared is the best way of coping with this particular problem.
dancingTurtle59
November 17th, 2015 8:12am
i am sometime paranoid for no reason i think the worst i get filled with anxiety and self though fears may even start to sweat now when i feel this way i take a very deep breath and clear my thought s then i imange that the person i am talking to is a friend i dont consider them a friend because i dont know them but it does help
Lemmy
May 30th, 2016 8:24pm
You feel that way because you worry about what they're gonna think about you. When you talk to someone on the phone you're aware that all they can "judge" you for is your voice and the way you talk. But when you talk to someone in real life you're not that conscious about little stuff because there's more things to think about. Just try to breathe and keep in mind that the person you're talking to isn't more than human and they might be feeling the same thing.
Technicolourtechnicallity
March 6th, 2015 7:50pm
Try and think out a few phrases before you begin the conversation, or practice talking into the phone, it's silly yet effective!
Anonymous
July 21st, 2015 12:28am
This sounds to me like Social Anxiety. It sounds awful but one of the best ways to cope is actually to face it. It's scary but start with people whom you're comfortable with and know your situation. Move on from them to people who you actually need to speak with on the phone. It's a difficult process but it's worth it :)
Anonymous
October 26th, 2015 10:31am
My little sister feels the same way, i think you should talk to a professional about it! You never know how much it will help
Anonymous
December 8th, 2015 2:25am
Talking to strangers may be stressful, but I understand why talking to strangers is even worse. You cannot see the reactions and it is harder to understand what they truly mean. Quickly planning what you wish to talk to the person about might help you.
confidentSoul35
June 21st, 2016 8:17am
Just react as if you're talking to a friend. Most of the times, this happens because you're afraid of being judged by the person on the other side. By reacting as a friend, you let got of that fear and enhance confidence.
RunsOnMocha
September 19th, 2016 3:15am
I used to be like this until it was a part of my job every day. I think I was always nervous because I was scared I wouldn't sound like I knew what I was talking about and people would think I was ridiculous especially when I was growing up and calling businesses. Now I have this dedicated "phone voice" and kind of a different personality with people over the phone... so I guess just doing it a ton kind of beat the insecurity out of me!
Anonymous
September 19th, 2016 4:10am
At an early age we were all advised not to talk to strangers , as we don't have the ability yet to know the difference between good and bad people. as we get older we have to learn to deal with strangers. They could say something that reveals just how wrong we are about a truth we hold dear. Or might force us to look at a situation differently than we’re used to. So you must believe in your self and the ability to run a conversation. All you need to trust yourself. " If you think you aren’t qualified to make a good choice then you’re going to be afraid to make any choice."
strawberryflamingo
February 6th, 2017 8:35pm
i know exactly how you feel dear. just imagine that these people arent strangers at all imagine that they are your best friends, your parents or your loved one. imagine that person youre talking to is sitting front of you and is amazed how beautiful, talkactive and smart you are
Anonymous
April 18th, 2017 12:23pm
Reasons may vary from person to person. For me I'm worried about embarrassing myself so it helps if I go into a room alone and write out what I need to say. Just try to breathe and speak slowely so they can understand you. If they can understand you the conversation will go by faster and you can get off the phone sooner.
KatyBanana
November 21st, 2017 12:49am
It comes with anxiety. I feel the same too. What I do is take a deep breath then count fast to 3 before answering the call.
Anonymous
January 1st, 2018 11:28pm
You are probably scared to talk to them and say something embarrasing, or scared that they will not like you or what you are saying. You can start coping with this by trying to talk to people on the phone more. Write down exactly what you feel when you get a phone call. Seeing it on a paper may or may not help.
Anonymous
January 30th, 2018 6:49am
From my experience, I have learned that it is helpful, at least for me, to rehearse what I am going to say in my head first, so that I am prepared.
Anonymous
April 24th, 2018 4:16pm
I used to be terrified to talk on the phone as well. i was 20 something before I was even able to order a pizza on the phone! Before making the call I would take deep breaths and realize that there was no harm that could come from the phone call. Nothing they did or said could affect me negatively if I did not allow it
ShiningPanda13
January 29th, 2019 4:58pm
Talking to someone new can be very scary because we don't know what will happen. We don't know if we can trust them whether we are calling them or they are calling us - even when we know what company we are calling or what company they say they're calling us from! The best way to feel in control of these situations is to know what you want out of them and what you will and will not agree to that you think is reasonable until you receive information that changes this. When I receive a call from an unknown number, I also know that I will not identify myself before they identify who they are, whom they are trying to reach and why. When I call somewhere, I know ahead of time what I need and I state that up front as concisely as I can. I answer any questions as best as I can. When I feel confident that I'm speaking to the right person for the right reasons, I try to treat the other person as if I already know them to release some of the pressure I have and I find that it makes the other person treat me in kind.
Anonymous
June 29th, 2020 1:45pm
Feeling scared when having to talk to strangers on the phone is not uncommon. Sometimes you may be feeling anxious because the phone call has an important outcome (for example, having an interview for a job). You want to come across well and so you are nervous about saying the wrong thing. Other times, the phone call may not have such a big outcome but you can still feel nervous because you are worried about what the other person might think about you - that they know you are nervous or that they think you are stupid, for example. These feelings of fear or anxiety can be amplified on the phone because it can be harder to tell what a person is thinking when you cannot see them. I find it helpful to take a deep breath before I start a phone call. It might also be helpful to have a pen and paper with you so that you can write down any important information to help you feel more prepared.