Advice for phone anxiety at work

I find this web-site very comforting. I am glad that I am not the only shy person. Sometime, I think I am the shyest person in the world, but I am getting a lot better. Still, there are many things that I have to work on before I can truly be free and enjoy life.

Right now, the biggest issue that I am facing is phone anxiety. It is horrible, I try to avoid it as much as I can. Although I don’t have any problem talking to my friends on the phone, however, in the work place is a different story. Maybe it’s the stress and pressure, I have such overwhelming anxiety that I can’t think and speak clearly, or listen to what other person says. I sometimes took down the wrong phone numbers or spelled the names incorrectly. I really hate returning phone calls and leaving message in people’s answer machines. What I can say, my phone skill sucks. I quit my last part-time job because my boss was giving me a very hard time.

Anybody got any good advice that can help me?

Cristina 10-25-1999


  1. The only thing that worked was to write down what I would say (an outline) so I did not get lost/confused. It sounds simple, but it really works. After a while, you will not even need to write things down (but can always do so in stressful situations).

  2. I agree with Kevin. That was one of my tasks in my last job and I know it really works to have some notes jotted down so you won’t leave anything out or make too many mistakes. I think it also helps you clear your mind so when you leave a message you won’t be rushing to say what you have to say.

    And don’t worry if you stumble over a word or say someone’s name wrong…everyone makes mistakes (I used to make a mistake and end up ruining the rest of what I had to say because of it!)

    Also, smile while you talk – it may seem silly because they can’t see you, but it really affects how your voice comes out…plus everyone likes hearing a cheerful voice. And I think it makes you physically feel less tense.

  3. I use to have the same problem. I was so afraid and scared to answer the phone at work. Just like you, I tried to avoid the phone as much as possible. However in my experience, avoiding the situation just made it worse. Somehow, I challenged myself to answer the phone or make phone calls. After each call, I would pat myself on the back for trying and that made me feel better. Also, like Kevin was saying, I write the stuff down so I won’t forget what to say…. I thought I was only person that does that! Good to know I’m not the only one. Now, I don’t have any problems answering the phone so I know this can be overcome.

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