For many years I was teased/harrassed from bullies from school on the phone. It was hard for me to listen when people I couldn’t recognise was saying bad things, laughing, calling my name in a teasing way, etc. Overtime I developed a fear of calling/talking to strangers on the phone. I was fine talking to my family, friends or other people I knew…but I didn’t have the courage to actually call a business or be like a receptionist and answer the phone. For me it was more of an anxiety than a proper fear (heart racing, butterflies in my stomach, occasionally mumble my words). To simply “just call them” wasn’t something I could do as I would rather use e-mail or some other non-personal form of communication to get by.
A few years ago, I saw an episode on the Dr Phil show and it had someone that was scared of the phone. He suggested that she call businesses randomly (and make some sort of excuse to call them) to help create that courage to use the phone. For me, I would make sure I had a cup of tea beside me, have a dialogue in my head that I would say and rind myself that the person I’m calling doesn’t know me or my history (or encopresis) or anything like that to bully me…they’re there to answer my questions, etc. If I received a call, it was visa versa. Overtime that helped me. As I have more positive experiences now from calling businesses (and receive calls from strangers), my confidence is improving. It also helps that I don’t go to school now and don’t get bullied (rarely bullied anyway). I have less anxiety now when I make calls (and I call more people now).
It’s great to know that with simple steps it is possible to face your fears and anxiety and do them until the fear disappears. It is an example of “mind over matter”. 🙂
What fears or phobias have you overcome??