I remember when my husband and I started dating twelve years ago. We both had cell phones, but I didn’t have texting. We used our phones to talk during our long distance relationship. Back then other people used to talk too. I remember seeing cars in the community college parking lot, or at the University of Minnesota campus full of young people smoking cigarettes. It was gross but they were talking to each other. Now when I see cars full of young people they are all holding phones not even looking at each other.
One of my biggest pet peeves is how this fear of communication has seeped into other aspects of life. At work, people send urgent emails to me all the time. You know what? If it was an urgent work problem they should call to get immediate attention. An email, text, post on social media isn’t as quick of communication as just walking over and talking to me, or making a phone call. Technology has brought us together and torn us apart. I miss having conversations without interruptions of texts, email, and social media alerts going off on people’s phones. I miss talking to someone without them getting anxious they are missing social media updates.
Over time, all these other forms of communications made talking to each other scary. I’m a shy person, I always have been. A few years ago I grew intrigued by my boisterous father-in-law. He isn’t scared to talk to anyone and receives great benefits from his old school communication skills. I wanted to be more like him, fearless, in my communications.
I found it was funny to read this article about fear of talking on the phone. http://www.businessinsider.com/conquer-your-fear-of-the-phone-2015-5
The steps outlined in this article are similar to what I learned from observing the master of talk (my father-in-law). He is a naturally curious person, he normally begins with an open-ended question. Just like a salesmen, only he is not selling anything. Make a plan of what you would like to talk about, or for him, ask about places, hobbies, and things that are fun to do. Don’t push the conversation or challenge the other part, just get to know them.
It’s okay to say the wrong thing. You can’t edit yourself after the fact, but you can build a great relationship fast with just a phone call.