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Fear of Talking

Fear of Talking

The fear of talking to strangers or new people can be really daunting for many. However, when the job (salesman, marketer, telephone operator, etc.) demands frequent interaction with strangers, the job and life in general becomes such a burden...
PsycholoGenie Staff
Fear of Talking
While some of us suffer from verbal diarrhea that has no cure, some suffer from the fear of talking. We are not referring to the fear of public speaking, but speaking or talking in general in a social gathering; among strangers, in a business meeting, etc. Fear of any kind is crippling and paralyzing; be it fear of losing a dear one, fear of the unknown or fear of failure, etc. Fear in general is unhealthy! We all encounter feelings of anxiety and fear in our lives. This is nothing unusual. However, when the same fear begins to take complete control of you, it can cause one to weaken emotionally, mentally and even physically. The best thing to do is to master the fear and prevent it from taking control of you.

Fear of Talking to Strangers or New People

Sales or marketing jobs involve round the clock involvement with people. Talking to people is inevitable in such job profiles. However, people with the fear of talking land in soup if they take up such careers. They get stuck between their fear and their job profile that demands constant social interaction with strangers. Often it is seen that the fear of talking to strangers has been instilled into us since we were kids. We were instructed by our parents not to interact with strangers and not to eat anything given by an unknown person. While this advice was correct, it silently stemmed the growth of being afraid to talk to new people. This kind of fear causes more harm than benefit. Children enter adulthood with this fear and end up miserable. Moreover, if they move to another city, socializing and making new friends becomes a herculean task.

Symptoms of Fear of Talking to People
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Tunnel vision
  • Overwhelming thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling of dread
Causes of Fear of Talking to People

This fear could have been spearheaded by several issues occurred during childhood. Negative, embarrassing and hurtful incidents of the past could have knocked out all the self-confidence from the person and left the person fearing every word coming out of his or her mouth. Some may have even encountered ridicule during their growing years, which hurt their sentiments and they totally gave up speaking their thoughts out. This fear can affect the person's career and social life. People may not identify the problem as fear of talking, but may simply tag the silence as 'being stuck up' or 'proud'.

Treatment of Fear of Talking to People

There are several psychological treatment measures that are carried out these days such as hypnotherapy, etc. where the unconscious mind is redirected to let go of negative emotions. However, if you do not wish to have somebody meddle with your brain's chemical balance, you can avoid hypnotherapy and boost up your self-confidence by repeating to yourself how you do not care what people may think, but, that you will still talk. One thing that always helps is sharing your problem with someone trustworthy and ask for prayer support. Then start speaking few words and sentences when you are among family, friends and acquaintances.

Make eye contact while talking to them and smile. A pleasant, smiling face always puts the opposite party at ease. Speak on and off and break the fear with some practice. Moreover, do not wait for the opposite person to come and say 'hello', in fact you make the first move and say 'hi'. Complement the person for something he or she is wearing. Or else you could even ask the person about his or her college or work. Build conversations from these little sentences. But, there is one point to be considered. You need to be genuinely interested in the person's affairs when you are asking the questions. Artificiality and superficiality can be easily seen and can put off the other person.

Another form is the fear of conversing on the phone. Such people are very conscious of their voices and cannot seem to gather enough courage to voice out words and speak over the telephone. The fear begins to amplify and reaches to a point where even the sound of the telephone ring triggers anxiety in the person. This fear of talking on the phone is called telephobia. But, the best part is that all phobias can be overcome and telephobia is no exception. No matter what fear you are going through, remember you are not to be enslaved by it. Overcome it and you can live your life without that yoke!