Reply To: Telephone Avoidance

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This is so helpful to hear. My oldest (ADD) son HATES talking on the phone. He’s ok with family/friends, but has anxiety attacks and gets really angry if he has to call someone other than a friend. He’s told me his mind goes blank and he panics. He sometimes has the same problem in face-to-face conversations with customers at work.

When I was a teen/young adult I also would get really nervous making phone calls. My mom always made me make my own calls, which was super hard. But, through this I learned some tricks.

1. I wrote down what I had to say or ask. That way, if I forgot, I could just read it.
2. I’d write out answers to questions the other person might ask, so I felt prepared.
3. I practiced saying ‘i don’t know, I’ll have to call you back’ or ‘excuse me, but I need to call you back.’ That way, if I was completely stuck, I had an out. They didn’t need to know why I was getting off the phone.
4. If i spaced out, i’d say “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”
5. I remind myself that most people are fairly nice and want to help. By visualizing the other person as friendly or caring, it reduces my anxiety.

Hope that helps! While I still don’t like making calls, with a lot of practice, I’m much more comfortable doing it.