I'm afraid to answer the phone, any advice?

Posted , 4 users are following.

I need to tell this to somebody, I've been holding it inside of me my whole life. I've always had this huge anxiety about phone calls. I only feel comfortable answering calls from my family members and close friends. Making a call is a bit easier for me than answering one.

So now I need and want my very first job. I applied for many vacancies and potential employers are calling me back now. Of course, that's only logical - how else would they reach me? But I'm afraid to answer the calls. 

I even put my phone to a silent mode so that I don't hear anyone calling me. When I checked my phone later, there were like five missed calls, one number had been calling me four times and the other number was from a place that I was actually really looking forward to hear from but I never thought they would contact me. Now they did and because of my stupid and irrational fear I didn't answer their call. 

I know - really stupid, I might be missing a lot of good opportunities but I can't help it. I can't even tell what exactly I'm afraid of, but it's just that when my phone rings and there's an unknown number there, there's just something in me that doesn't let me to answer it. After it stops ringing I feel so very worthless because I didn't take something that could've changed my life for no reason. I need a doctor I guess.

My family know about my anxiety and they all tell me that I'll never get hired if I keep doing this. I know they're right. But I don't know how to fight with it and I don't know how to stop it. All I know is that I hate phone calls. In my CV there's also my e-mail, why not contact me that way? That wouldn't solve the problem, of course.

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  • Posted

    Go and see your doctor and tell them this. Get some help. You don't have to struggle with this on your own. Coming on this forum is a good start. 

    The things is, you have to allow your fear not fight it. And don't beat yourself up about it either. There are many, many thousands of people who are in exactly the same position as you. 

    You need to allow yourself to feel the uncomfortable sensations of anxiety whilst answering the phone. The more you avoid it, the more you fight it, the bigger it becomes in your mind. It is not a big thing, many people feel the same way. It is just nervous arousal in your body and can do you no harm at all. You are safe, although it might feel horrible for a while. 

    Maybe you could get a friend to phone you at a specific time so you can practice answering the phone. When comfortable with this you could move on to getting her/him phone you at random times. You just need to practice picking up the phone enough times until you lose you fear of it.

    This will happen if you stick to it.

    Best of luck xx

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  • Posted


    It is very important that you see your GP to discuss your telephone fears, these  can be treated.

    Good Luck


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  • Posted

    I was exactly the same as you a few years ago. My Dad had to call and make all my appointments and I never answered the phone at home. I would obsess about what I would say and if I would make a mistake and look stupid. My heart would beat so fast and I'd start to burn up, my voice would start to crack I was a mess.

    After university I started applying for jobs and like you I was afraid. You will be pleased to know I faced my fears and got a job as an estate agent having to use the phone hundreds of times a day. For weeks I cried and begged my parents to let me quit. I can honestly say practice makes perfect! You had to be brave and force yourself to answer a call! I still don't ring my friends but I can answer the phone at home and work and make my own appointments.

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  • Posted

    Well, thanks everyone, I hope I can beat it. 
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