Why You Hate Talking on the Phone + Tips to Overcome Phone Anxiety
I’m not big on social interactions; never have been, but as a kid, avoiding my peers was easy. All I had to do was bury my head in a book and the world would disappear. As an adult, I find it even more challenging to avoid people.
Now, I am a working professional with an adequate social life so it’s safe to say that I can’t avoid people and shut myself in my house all the time. However, that doesn’t mean that others want to avoid me. And the best way to do that, when I’m relaxing at home, is by calling on the phone!
Now, I have nothing against talking on the phone after a day at work, but if my phone rings when I am having my downtime, my first reaction is anxiety. I don’t get startled, but I do get this nervous fluttering in my stomach that I can’t always ignore. So, I researched! And interestingly, I came across this relatively new term, “phone anxiety”
In this digital world, where we’re so dependent on technology, talking on the phone has become a burden as well as a necessity. While I have friends who love talking on the phone for hours, I (and many others like me) find talking on the phone anxious and uncomfortable.
If you fall into the same category as me, then you are not alone in struggling with phone anxiety. In this blog, I’ve listed some pretty common reasons why you may hate talking on the phone and some practical tips on how you can overcome “talking on the phone anxiety”.
“Why Do I Hate Talking On The Phone?”
1. You Have Anxiety
If you hate talking on the phone, then you may struggle with anxiety. During phone conversations, we don’t have the luxury to watch out for visual cues to see how our message is being received. This can make you feel like you’re either being judged or facing rejection. This filling out the blanks can make you feel anxious.
However, if you hate talking on the phone doesn’t mean that you have to have a mental health disorder. It’s a mental health condition when your aversion to phone conversations interferes with your daily functioning. If you fear anxiety is behind your hatred of talking on the phone, then you can seek out a professional for a diagnosis.
2. You Are Impatient
Another reason why you hate talking on the phone can be your impatience. You may have an aversion to talking on the phone because you cannot tolerate interruptions or inefficiency. You may feel that talking on the phone is a waste of time and energy. You’d rather focus on completing your tasks than delaying them by talking on the phone, hence your hatred for talking on the phone.
3. You’re An Introvert
Now, introverts aren’t all necessarily shy, but many find themselves growing anxious and frustrated at the idea of talking on the phone. Speaking from experience, I can say that when I have to make a phone call – important or not – I have to brace myself for the inevitable social interaction.
Some introverted, and shy people may hate talking on the phone so much that they might avoid it until they can’t, and even then, they’ll have a script ready to follow to keep their anxiety at bay. If you’re one of those people, then know that your concerns are valid and heard.
4. You Have a Fear of Miscommunication
When it comes to text messaging or in-person conversations, you have the luxury of choosing your words, editing them, or even revising them if needed, but when you’re talking on the phone, there are no visual cues or body language that you can read to understand if your message is being communicated as expected.
Phone conversations leave room for miscommunication and misinterpretation, which can only feed the anxiety and fear you already live with.
5. You Don’t Like Losing Control
During a phone conversation, you cannot often control the conversation – physically and otherwise. This inability to choose the time, place, or interruptions can make you feel frustrated and discomforted, causing you to hate talking on the phone or developing phone anxiety.
Is Phone Anxiety A Symptom Of Social Anxiety?
There’s a huge possibility that having phone anxiety or hating phone calls could be a symptom of social anxiety disorder. However, your hatred of talking on the phone can be a minor symptom of social anxiety disorder. The fear of calling or answering calls can stem from the fear of being judged or rejected.
In a 2020 study, it was found that almost 80% of adults don’t like answering calls from unknown numbers. This could mostly be to avoid random spam calls, campaign calls, or sales calls. In an older study, it was found that approximately 75% of Millennials and 40% of Boomers feel anxious when they hear their phone ringing.
It might not always be social anxiety that causes you to hate calling or answering calls. Sometimes, it’s the fear of what you’ll hear or who will be on the other side that drives this hate.
Tips to Cope With Phone Anxiety
If you want to overcome phone anxiety, then you can follow these practical tips;
1. Plan in Advance: If you wish to call someone, then plan in advance by asking them when they’ll be available for a chat. Doing this will help you take the conversation under your control and reduce the anxiety you may feel.
2. Prepare a Script: Having a script to refer to when making a call or talking on the phone can also help you stay on track and stop from spiraling into your anxious thoughts. This step can also make you feel calm if you begin to feel overwhelmed.
3. Talk on The Phone: Now, I know it sounds counterproductive but avoiding calls can’t help you cope with your phone anxiety. If you want to gain confidence and get rid of your hate of talking on the phone, then you can start by taking short phone calls (e.g., make a dinner reservation, etc.)
4. Assess Your Feelings: When you’re talking on the phone, try to understand what you feel during the moment. What is it that makes you anxious? You can write about it in a journal or make a quick note on your phone. This will help you understand your feelings about your phone anxiety and how you can overcome it.
5. Take Breaks in Between Calls: You can also cope with your phone anxiety by taking short breaks to relax and self-care in between the calls you have to make or answer. You can use this time to take deep breaths, practice relaxation exercises, or just think over your script.
6. Try Active Listening: When you’re talking on the phone, try to keep your focus on the other person instead of what you need to say. Practicing active listening can help you stay on track and be mindful of what’s happening in the conversation.
7. Seek Help: If talking on the phone is interfering with your daily life and giving you anxiety and panic episodes, then talking to a professional for help can be a good step here. A therapist can help you understand the cause of your phone anxiety, identify your triggers, and give you healthy coping tips to deal with the anxiety you feel when talking on the phone.
In the world that we live in now, everything is available at the click of a button on our phones. You can’t imagine a life without your phone, can you? But while this has been convenient in more ways than we can count, for some people, it is a heavy burden. When you hate talking on the phone, it can be hard to stay focused on the conversation as you grapple with anxiety.
Looking at the reasons why you hate talking on the phone listed in this article, I hope you’ll find your answer and ways on how you can overcome phone anxiety.
While it’s not terribly inconvenient to have phone anxiety, it can be quite discomforting for someone who struggles with anxiety disorders, fear of rejection, and social anxiety.
I hope you’ll find your answers in this blog! Let me know what you think about phone anxiety and the reasons why we might hate talking on the phone in the comments below!