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Fear of Phones

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey guys!

Does anyone have any advice for a person who is seriously shit feared of using a telephone?
I am not sure when my fear started, i just know that i cant phone people without a massive mental effort to do it, i need to pace around and build myself up for 5-25 minutes simply to dial a number and press the button to call.
Edit: to elaborate more, i am fine with texting, emailing, conversation in both groups and one on one i dont have any intimacy issues and even answering the phone but i am damned if i can call someone without a real purpose.

I know i am not alone with a fear of using the phone, i just dont understand why i get into such a state over phoning someone.

It seems to be a lot worse since i moved to denmark since i have to speak in another language, its starting to disrupt me quite a bit andi was wondering if anyone had any tips, advice or websites etc.

Thanks in advance! :thumb:


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have any advice but I want to I absolutely sympathise. I may have it a bit worse than you as I am terrified of answering the phone, especially to people I don't know, unless it's someone I know well. I'll put off phonecalls til the very last minute unless it's massively important and if there's a choice between texting/emailing and phoning, even if phoning would be a better idea, I will always choose the former.

    I'm being given counselling appointments for another issue and I'm considering mentioning this as it does quite seriously infringe on my day-to-day life if I need to phone someone because I will be in a state of panicked calm throughout the day.

    Anyway - sympathies, I hope you can get it sorted.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Hypnotherapy might be worth a shot.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i know what you mean. i didnt know others had the same!
    i have to always work out what im going to say before i dial a number and i hae answering them!
    for me its cos my sister used to give 2 rings to my home when she had arrived at our godmothers house. one day i picked it up and she totally ripped it out of me for doing so!that was when we were v little!
    damn sister!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Like jamelia's suggestion of hypnotherapy :thumb:

    In the meantime, try to pinpoint what it is exactly that freaks you out about phones. Is it the touch and feel of the buttons, or anxiety about not knowing how to respond when the person at the other end asks you questions? Especially if it's all in another language. Are you scared of phoning others, or scared of answering incoming calls?

    Maybe just have a few practice calls with a friend you trust, so you start to break down the mental barrier that goes up when you think of a phone and begin to feel anxious.
    Also you could practise your Danish as often as possible with friends, and have handy phrases you often use written out on a list to keep by the phone (along with a dictionary), to reduce fears of not knowing enough vocabulary.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for all the suggestions guys :)

    Hypnotherapy sounds like an idea but its expensive and i dont really have much spare money.

    Thank you Luce for that, i will have a good hard think on it and your suggestion of a list is a good idea :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have the same thing when I'm stressed. Get panic attacks if I need to ring someone or the phone rings.
    I used to have it all the time but as I was looking for a job I really had to be ringing people up.
    I used to psych myself up... write down what I needed to say, have my opening sentence practised and reward myself afterwards with a cup of tea or something. I tried to build up the amount of times I used the phone too. Some weeks I could only manage it once, but then I got to the point where I was making one or two phone calls a day and feeling really good after having done it... The feeling good after made up for the feeling scared before/during so it got to the point where I didn't mind doing it cos I knew I was going to feel good after. And now (most of the time) I don't even think twice about using the phone. :)

    My mum said she used to be scared of using the phone too, so she used to pretend to be someone else while using it and that helped her a lot.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I used to be just the same. I still don't like ringing people, but I've got to the stage where I will, if I have to, without much mental fuss.

    What really helped me (like people have already said) was writing down what I wanted to say, who I wanted to speak to, anything like that, and have it in front of me so when someone answered and my mind went blank, I could just read off what I'd written without getting too tongue tied. Then the more you successfully make calls without getting flustered, the easier it gets!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I used to be exactly the same!
    I ended up working in my first job in a logistics dept., which meant chasing up suppliers all the time. At first I'd email and hardly ever, ever call, and it used to stress me out a lot. But then they'd phone me, and I'd get used to talking to the contacts, so phoning them wasn't such an issue.
    Now I work in tech support, so calling people constantly is pretty much a major part of my job, and it's gotten a LOT easier.

    I would jot down notes of things I wanted to say at first - but it's been 4 years since I started that first job, and things have gotten a lot easier. It takes time but the more you can do it, the better it'll become.

    I think it helps with certain types of jobs .. for example now I'm phoning people to help them (theoretically anyway ;)) so they're happy to hear from me .. which makes it better in a way (the first job I was nagging people, and I'm not that assertive, so it was a double-whammy of awkwardness)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just want to say a big thank you to everyone for their advice on this one!

    I have a system now where i write down what im gonna say and say it, it catainly makes it easer and im going to try not writing it down soon :)

    So a big *hug* to all of ya :D
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