Phone anxiety (A complete guide)

In this brief blog, we will be talking about phone anxiety, causes of phone anxiety, how to deal with phone anxiety, and more information about phone anxiety.

What is the meaning of phone anxiety?

The meaning of phone anxiety is a psychological condition that relates to calling or talking to someone who initiated the phone.

This kind of anxiety can become severe once the affected person feels the severe physical symptoms of anxiety such as a racing heart and sweaty hands. 

Sometimes, people with phone anxiety may also have social anxiety but in some cases, people who have this kind of anxiety don’t have adjoining social anxiety.

Some studies have found that this kind of anxiety has been typically occurring in people and this kind of psychological condition has been referred to as phone shyness. 

People with phone anxiety would feel the need to constantly hang up when they are still talking to a person on the phone whether he or she is important or not.

The anxiety symptoms happen when the person hears the ringing of the phone or having the obligation to call someone, maybe an employer for business, and these kinds of symptoms tend to occur in this type of situation. 

For instance, your mother might be forcing you to call your grandma to talk to her about your life which you will a moment of regret when you hear that you have the obligation to call her.

People with this kind of anxiety are aware that it is stupid for them to be afraid over a phone call but the intensity of the fear is real and cannot be taken away easily without proper care.

What are the symptoms and signs of phone anxiety?

The questions below are guides if you have phone anxiety.

In preparing for a call or in the midst of the call, do you do two or more of the following:

  • Feel excessively anxious?
  • Delay in making phone calls due to phone anxiety?
  • Nervous about disturbing the other person?
  • Nervous about what you will talk about?
  • Nervous about humiliating yourself?
  • Prevent making calls or having others call you?
  • Ruminate about what was said after phone calls?

When you are using the phone, do you do two or more of the following:

  • Shake?
  • Has difficulty focused?
  • Feel nauseous?
  • Feel your heart rapidly beating?

Having phone anxiety can disrupt the quality of your professional and home life.

This is why this kind of anxiety should be addressed immediately. 

Most people would see that answering the phone or initiating a phone call is nothing to be worried about but people with phone anxiety are overwhelmed by the fear that they cower in the midst of the phone call. You can minimize this kind of anxiety by buying this anti-anxiety toy on this website.

Reasons for phone anxiety

The following are the most common causes on why people have phone anxiety

You don’t know what the other person on the line is thinking.

You may have heard a common fact that most human communication is non-verbal.

The importance of this part in human communication is that it holds more meaning that using only words. 

The non-verbal part of human communication consists of facial expressions, gestures, and body language.

The idea that only the words are conveyed in a phone call is enough to cause a susceptible person to have phone anxiety. 

You might not understand what the other person is trying to convey from verbal expressions alone.

This only makes way to another worry that is hindering people with phone anxiety which is the fear of what the other is thinking through the phone call. 

We usually feel more comfortable with the appearance of non-verbal communication since you tend to be reassured.

For instance, the appearance of nodding in a conversation can encourage us to keep talking as the person seems to give us a subtle sign that he or she wants us to keep talking. 

Without these non-verbal cues, we are led to guessing and this can lead to overthinking which only increases phone anxiety.

This is an explanation to why most people dread the need to leave a voicemail.

You can learn more about non-verbal cues by buying this book on this website.

You’re under the existence of time pressure.

In email writing as part of using the phone, you can’t also sense the appearance of non-verbal cues which can make you squeamish.

Although this method can help you organize your thoughts and how you will write the email to your contact. 

However, the phone does not give you enough time.

You would really need to talk immediately once you’ve sent a message to the receiver. 

Some awkward silences are apparent in direct interactions with other people.

However, phone calls can make silences signal that you are not listening in the phone call or may make some misunderstanding to the receiver.

It is a known fact that a call is more time-consuming than a text since there aren’t any cues if the person should continue the conversation or not and one of the callers might want to say more but is still thinking about what he or she should say.

You feel like you’re being scrutinized.

You are kinda right with this statement for phone calls.

In the office, you might get judging looks from your colleagues when you are doing your job as answering the phone from a concerned caller. 

When you are engaged in face-to-face communication, you can divide your communication lines with different people since the receiver will get it that you are busy with another person.

In phone calls, you might not be able to experience this luxury since the caller is not noticed and your reactions will be judged once you are in the midst of a phone call.

The fact remains that the people around you at the moment aren’t the ones to blame for your phone anxiety but the caller or receiver is.

After all, not everybody likes to be evaluated like being forced to be scrutinized through public speaking.

People with phone anxiety care about what the person in the other line is saying like most of us when it comes to our loved ones.

And sometimes this overcaring can become self-monitoring which can revolve into extremities and can lead to distress towards phone calls. 

Self-monitoring can make a phone call more awkward since it makes the conversation more controlled and structured for the anxious caller.

This only makes people with phone anxiety to keep overthinking about what they should say on the other line and having too many expectations that can lead to the disorganization and misunderstanding in the phone call.

You can make self-monitoring beneficial for you by writing your behaviours in this journal that can be bought on this website.

You just don’t do phone calls typically.

This is the most basic cause of phone anxiety that most of the new generation is not noticing.

For instance, we tend to have different rules in texting and calling through phones. 

Psychologists have associated it with letting your grandpa learn about Facebook and having an awkward lecture.

After all, phone calls make you settle for another etiquette that entitles you to know when to pick up for a call, when to hang up, and how to keep the conversation going in the phone without too many pauses that can elicit misunderstanding from the listener.

How to cope with phone anxiety?

Like other types of shyness, there’s no magic potion to coping with phone anxiety but there are several strategies you can do to control this kind of anxiety.

Before You Start the Phone Call

You need to do some breathing exercises that can help you relax your breathing.

You can also do some meditation exercises if you find your thoughts wavering about what to do during the phone call. 

The most efficient way to minimize your phone anxiety before a call is tactical breathing exercises.

The following are strategies on how to do these exercises:

  • Gradually inhale a deep and intense breath for 4 seconds.
  • Keep the breath in for 4 seconds.
  • Gradually exhale the breath out for 4 seconds.
  • Keep the empty breath for 4 seconds.
  • Repeat until your breathing is under your management.

You need to write a script on what you need to say during the phone call to minimize your phone anxiety.

This can help you to recall what you need to say first which can make your further dialogues more comfortable and spontaneous.

You need to write your opening speech in a word by word pattern to get it out there and control your phone anxiety. The starting should be something akin to your greetings and the purpose of the call.

You should mark some points that you need to say to the receiver to not let it get taken away by phone anxiety.

You can try expecting some responses from the receiver and then try to take note on what you can say to them after their response in your notes. 

You need to take note of the numbers and names if your phone call warrants this conversation.

For instance, you are going to write for your best friend which means you need to list all the possible conversations to get it out there.

You’re going to need some details in your script.

You don’t have to read per word but you can feel confident in taking a phone call with these details and minimize your phone anxiety.

Rehearse. If you are still feeling the jitters of phone anxiety, you can try to practice your opening call.

You can do this by holding the phone on your ear and speak your opening words.

You can try calling someone that you are accommodative with for your entry phone call.

You can try calling a family member or a best friend to help you practice some details in your script you are prepping for your actual phone call.

Once you’re done with the short chat with them, you can start going through your important phone call.

This is considered an effective technique since it goes straight to a part of the brain that is associated with phone anxiety.

You can make a script on your phone rehearsal session in this journal that can be bought on this website.

During the Needed Phone Call

Walk around and make conversation gestures. Some researchers have found that if you don’t move around during a phone call, you will feel more of your phone anxiety.

You need to make some hand gestures to align your communication to make sure that you got your message across. 

Even if you know that the receiver can’t see your body language, you can just do it to make you feel more confident in talking.

Walking around can help you ease your phone anxiety towards the phone call.

Smile. Smiling during the phone call can make you feel more relaxed than you were before the phone call.

Studies have shown that smiling can minimize your phone anxiety while you’re doing your phone call. 

You may even sound someone who is more friendly when you smile in the phone call.

Look at your reflection in the mirror as you talk. Part of phone anxiety, as mentioned before, is the knowledge that you can’t see the other person at the end of the line.

This is why you should look at yourself in the mirror and take note of your speaking and this can help ease the awkwardness you might feel in the midst of the phone call.

Studies have even found that when you smile and look in the mirror while talking on the phone, you will minimize your phone anxiety.

Practice. People with phone anxiety are known to avoid any interaction connected to a phone.

This is why they should start engaging in practising small steps each day in calling someone using the phone.

You need to make daily practice as your habit.

You can set a goal every day to help you realize that you are improving regularly your habits of being more confident talking on the phone than focusing on your phone anxiety. 

You can try to practice your phone calling by asking a business their opening hours.

You can settle for just one line when you communicate to this receiver. 

You can then make your phone calls longer with longer openings.

You can even try your phone calling skills using customer service. 

You can also try to make appointments using a phone call to minimize phone anxiety.

Additionally, you can always marry someone who can cover for you when the phone rings from time-to-time. 

You can buy this mirror for your phone rehearsal needs here.


In this brief blog, we have talked about phone anxiety, causes of phone anxiety, how to deal with phone anxiety, and more information about phone anxiety.

If you have any questions about phone anxiety, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Light Therapy

  • Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

FAQs: phone anxiety

What is proper phone etiquette?

The proper phone etiquette follows the tips which are answer the call within three rings, immediately introduce yourself on the phone, speak clearly to the caller, you can use the speakerphone when necessary, listen attentively and take notes, use proper language, maintain cheeriness, and ask for permission when you are putting someone on hold or transferring a call.

How can I look confident?

You can look confident by standing tall through a proper posture, don’t fidget too much, make eye contact, speak slowly and clearly, keep your hands visible to your listener, allow some silences, and take big strides. 

Can anxiety make you dizzy?

Yes, anxiety can make you dizzy.

Dizziness is a typical symptom of anxiety stress and if one is experiencing anxiety, dizziness can be an inevitable outcome.

The dizziness that associates with anxiety is typically described as a sense of lightheadedness or wooziness.

There may be that kind of feeling of motion or spinning inside rather than in the present environment.

Does anxiety cause psychosis?

Yes, anxiety can cause psychosis.

This can occur because stress is a typical predictor of psychosis.

A chronic form of stress can become anxiety which will distress the person highly to psychosis.

Schizophrenia is the most typical trigger of psychosis.

Other psychotic disorders include schizoaffective disorder and schizophreniform disorder. 


AOM. How to Overcome Phone Shyness.

The Cut. Psychologists Explain Your Phone Anxiety (and How to Get Over It).

Verywellmind. How to Know If You Have a Phone Phobia.

Wikipedia. Telephone phobia.