Table of contents:
- Communication is something that surrounds us always and everywhere, with very rare exceptions. Every day we confirm this fact when we go to work, study, shop, clinic, etc. Rarely when we can afford complete isolation, uninhabited islands may not be enough for everyone. Communication is one of our basic social needs, essential for healthy socialization. On the other hand, there is one of the strongest social fears
- What is fear of communication?
- Important reasons
- How does this fear manifest?
- What can you do yourself?
Video: Coping With Fear Of Communication - Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
Communication is something that surrounds us always and everywhere, with very rare exceptions. Every day we confirm this fact when we go to work, study, shop, clinic, etc. Rarely when we can afford complete isolation, uninhabited islands may not be enough for everyone. Communication is one of our basic social needs, essential for healthy socialization. On the other hand, there is one of the strongest social fears
What is fear of communication?
This is a social fear of interacting with any other person, there can be a lot of options: the fear of communicating with strangers, with colleagues, with peers at school or university, for example, with the opposite sex, with people who are higher in social status or position. Separately, one can single out a very strong and fairly common fear of communication - speaking in front of an audience.
The only luxury I know of is the luxury of human communication
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The reasons for these fears are vast. Here are perhaps the most common ones:
- negative experience in the past;
- insecurity, shyness;
- long-term isolation.
Such deep fears are rooted in negative childhood experiences, to the extent of losing basic trust in the world.
How does this fear manifest?
Often, its symptoms can be heart palpitations, tremors in the body, difficulty pronouncing words, redness, increased sweating, and abdominal cramps. This condition can be accompanied by a feeling of a lump in the throat, stupor, dry mouth, trembling voice - up to stuttering. However, when working with a therapist, all of these symptoms can be dealt with.
If we are talking about a serious fear that interferes with leading a normal life, then it must be worked out with a specialist, this is not one day's work. However, independent work in such matters is also very important - both as an addition to therapy, and as an opportunity to solve the problem in milder cases.
What can you do yourself?
1. Practice is key
First of all, practice, as with any other phobias. It is necessary to gradually "get used" to the object of fear. Get out of your comfort zone. But here the degree of complication of each subsequent step is very important, the complication should be gradual, at the level at which a person at the moment can actually cope with it.
In psychotherapy, this is called the "gradient principle." We go to the goal step by step, and not in sharp leaps
For example, if you are afraid of communication and at the same time find yourself at a crowded event, you are unlikely to be comfortable. Most likely, fear will prevail and lead to worsening of the condition and further avoidance of contact. But if you first talk to one person who is familiar and pleasant to you, then ask something from the seller in the store, then it will be quite effective.
It is important to gradually expand the area of communication. Remember that communication is a skill and skills develop with practice. You can train anywhere, it is psychologically safer - in crowded places, in a store, in transport, on the street. There may be many suitable situations - ask for directions, clarify something about the product, find out where the bus stops. The habit of practicing every day will help you achieve communication success and relieve tension when initiating communication.
2. Find out and understand the cause of fear
Knowing the initial situation, we can already work with it. The reasons are not always obvious, they can lie very deep. Let's figure this out. Ask yourself some of the right questions.
- When exactly did you notice the first symptoms of fear?
- Under what circumstances did this happen?
- Who did you communicate with?
- What went wrong and at what point?
- Can these moments be tracked in new situations?
Analyze the traumatic situation. Try to track the body's signals of concern, anxiety. This will help to notice the attack in time and have time to rebuild. For example, once you asked for directions in an unfamiliar area, and a person got nasty at you, and now you are uncomfortable approaching strangers. Remembering that situation again, we can analyze and understand that, for example, a person was drunk. Accordingly, if a similar problem recurs, you will already be tracking those to whom you can potentially turn for help, assess how adequate the person is.
3. Get rid of insecurity and shyness
This is already a complex of various measures, but it also helps to overcome the fear of communication. Sometimes we are afraid to start a conversation, because we do not know where to start, what to talk about, we think that we will be uninteresting.
If you are afraid that there will be nothing to talk about, you can start a hobby - this will help you find a circle of like-minded people. When people are passionate about one idea, communication is built naturally and naturally
Improve your level of knowledge in different areas. If the insecurity is related to your appearance, then study various directions of style, makeup. By choosing your style, you can feel more confident knowing you look good. You can enroll in acting or public speaking courses, where teachers will help you to be liberated and competently present yourself.
4. Plan topics, dialogues, contingencies
Knowing that there is an important call or meeting ahead, write the main points you want to ask or tell. This will help you avoid uncomfortable pauses in the conversation and build the course of action you need. And also to structure information and a line of conversation. You can start with a detailed description of the questions, and later, when the skill has already been perfected, reduce it to theses. When going to an event, outline a plan for topics that you can discuss. This will make you feel more at ease.
5. Consider non-verbal
Facial expressions, gestures, intonation, sight, touch are no less important than words. It has been proven that when communicating, a greater percentage of information is read non-verbally. Unconsciously, we first of all read how the interlocutor gives us information.
Analyze how people you like communicate, pay attention to their facial expressions, postures, gestures. To make communication more comfortable, use open postures, a smile, gestures of confidence, then your interlocutor "counts" from you a state of readiness for interaction. Using your non-verbal skills wisely is also a skill you can learn.
6. Positive attitude and self-acceptance
Understanding and accepting yourself with all fears and complexes is the first step towards further work. Don't give importance to negative communication. If no contact was established with one person, if one answered rudely, this does not mean that everyone is like that.
Negative experiences are also experiences and help to avoid further mistakes. You should not attach too much importance to communication with a specific person
Fear paralyzes us, and we can no longer adequately respond to the situation, therefore, communication in this state is unlikely to be successful. You should not think for others - "how will they perceive my words?" Failures happen to everyone. Try to relax and set yourself up for productive communication. And then the meeting will be much more efficient.
7. Rehearsal for a successful monologue
The next step can be public speaking. Play your monologue before going out in public. Read the text in front of the mirror, track non-verbal reactions. Mark where to add emphasis to enhance your speech.
Imagine that you are already performing. How do you feel about it? Are you comfortable, what to do to make it more comfortable already during the performance? What questions can you be asked? All of this can be rehearsed in advance. Then you will already be more confident during the performance. You can also rehearse your request or your suggestions before important negotiations.
8. Use a sense of humor
Smiling, cheerful people have a liking. Use jokes, funny stories in conversation. Thus, you can defuse the situation and arouse interest. Sincere laughter brings people closer together, makes them more open and ready to communicate.