Phone shyness

Phone shyness can be controlled.

You can’t beat shyness, but you can control it.  I can show you ways to help yourself.  I have no magic answer, like “Take this pill and you’ll instantly never have shyness . . . ”   I hope the following thoughts may be of some help.

I know a successful freelance journalist who reviews computer games under one name and reviews TV shows under another name, neither her real name.  She is terrified of new people, in person or on the phone.  The games and tapes are mailed and couriered to her, and she never talks to anyone.  She never attends industry social functions even though she receives five invitations a week.  She uses faxes and emails to contact her editors.  But because of her highly specialised work with products rather than people, she manages to succeed without human contact.  Few journalists have this situation.  A lousy way to live . . . agreed?

 

Student’s comment to Simon: …………………………………….………………..……………………..

 

……………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………..

Any information or any interview worth having is worth asking for.  But this truism doesn’t help painfully shy people.  You’ve been experiencing phone shyness long before you started this course . . . agreed?  ?Yes ?No

 

Comment: ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……..

If you have phone shyness now, you’ll probably have it for the rest of your life.  So what?  Some movie stars, rock singers, national TV stars and politicians suffer great nervousness and insecurity, and they NEVER get over it.  They ALWAYS feel sick in the stomach before each public performance.  They have to do their work not one-to-one over the phone, but in front of vast audiences.  “Not feeling like it” is just an occupational hazard.  So what?  The job has to be done . . . agreed? ?Yes ?No

 

Comment: ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Is feeling comfortable what life is all about?  I don’t think so.  I think feeling discomfort is just part of life.  Do Bill Gates and James Packer never feel discomfort?  Can their billions ensure they never feel shy, embarrassed or inferior?  Every day of their lives Bill and James and Julia Roberts and Luciano Pavarotti and all the other rich, famous and talented people feel discomfort.  You can never be SO successful in life that all discomfort disappears.  Discomfort stays with all of us, for all our lives . . . agreed?    ?Yes ?No

 

Comment: ……………………………………………………………………………..………………..

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

In the past some students with shyness have told me that they have sought professional help.  They have had sessions with counselors, life coaches or psychologists.  These are people trained in dealing with lack of assertiveness, extreme self-criticism, low self-esteem, uncontrollable blushing, phobias and other problems associated with shyness.

?Interested ?Not interested

 

Comment: ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……..

A popular and successful type of help available today is called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.  It examines people’s thought patterns and teaches them to challenge negative attitudes and behaviour in themselves and in their lives.  There’s an excellent $15 book about CBT called Feeling Better: A Guide to Mood Management by Dr Antony Kidman.  This book helped me tremendously when I was going through a difficult period following my wife’s death and a stroke in 2003.  Remember, it’s more stressful to NOT telephone than to go through the making of the call.  Could this book be for you?  ?Yes ?No

 

Comment: ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I have conducted many auditions of people seeking jobs as television presenters.  I tell them beforehand: “Nervousness will not lose you this audition.  I EXPECT people to be nervous.  I worry about people who are NOT nervous, as they may not be fully human.  At the beginning of your audition, speak first about your nerves and how you feel you’re dealing with the problem.”  This works like magic.  As soon as people stand in front of the camera and admit openly to shyness and uncertainty, suddenly the nerves decrease 90% or disappear altogether.  I advise my freelance journalism students suffering phone shyness to tell the person on the other end of the phone: “Look please forgive me if I sound raw and inexperienced, because I am.  I’m new to this, and boyo-boy, talking to you Lady Zillionaire, I’m extremely nervous.  So just bear with me if I make a silly fool of myself.”  The person at the other end will be impressed at your good humor, modesty and willingness to admit to nerves, because she has had to put up with people who lie and big-note themselves.  It’s refreshing to meet polite, frank, honest interviewers.  The truth will set you free . . . agreed?  ?Yes ?No

 

Comment: ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

…………………………………………………………..……………………………………………………..

 

General comments to Simon:

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Leave a Reply