There’s a trend in the 20-somethings world of us having a fear of phone calls. Seriously, stop.
I remember being a kid—when the scariest things in the world were the flush sound, ordering food, getting left in the checkout line, and calling an adult. Now we are adults. The scariest things in life should be crippling debt and foreign affairs.
It makes for a good meme, but let’s move past this. It’s almost considered bad etiquette in the modern arena to call instead of text. Often times, when something is too difficult to text out and I call a friend, they reject my call and text me asking why I’m calling. And that’s with friends. I often wonder how young people go about making appointments and work calls.
It is a bit intense to call people you don’t know, and sometimes it may feel like it takes a lot of energy to talk instead of type. However, odds are, if someone is calling you, it’s because they prefer to not write you a novel-length text or email. When you enter the work world, become a parent, or have to pay bills, you’ll eventually need to get comfortable making phone calls. Sometimes I call people for work or volunteer jobs, and the receiver gets mad at me for calling or hangs up on me because they think I’m a telemarketer. It can be a bit intimidating to do these kind of calls, but if you can’t even talk on the phone with acquaintances, store managers, or doctor’s offices, these kinds of work tasks will leave you in a sweat.
The rise of instant messaging technologies is the most prominent reason for this trending fear of telephone, but we must adapt as a generation. I’ve already seen this manifest in people my age who are nervous to talk to older adults, parents, and waiters because they don’t often speak to people they don’t know. This is problematic for obvious reasons, one of the most relevant being if you can’t get certain information, advice, or opinions online, human to human over phone or conversation is an amazing resource. In fact, you will not excel in your career if you don’t take ownership of this basic skill.
To get over your fear, try making some calls you maybe don’t need to make. If you can schedule an appointment for the dentist online but have the option to call, try it to get used to the feeling. The next time you wonder something about a business or opportunity, instead of texting a friend who will call for you, call yourself. Order some delivery food over the phone and ask questions about the food. Once you try it a few times, you’ll realize how capable you are.