I can do this
I don’t exactly like talking to people on the phone. When I was young, I was downright terrified of it. I’m not sure why–maybe I was afraid that I would look like an idiot and not know what to say.
Somehow, I had this fear that if I was in the middle of a conversation, the experience would be so overwhelming that my brain would stop working and I wouldn’t know what to say or I would say the entirely wrong thing. And sometimes, admittedly, conversation does not work out as expected and I do say things that aren’t quite what I meant.
But really, it’s my fear of saying the wrong thing that actually makes me say the wrong thing. Because when I’m not afraid, I just think and talk and things work out fine.
I watched this video the other day:
When I watched that video about artificial intelligence that could hold a conversation like a human, it made me realize: I am smarter than Google Duplex, and so I can talk on the phone (and in other places) just fine and I don’t have to be afraid anymore. That program has a limited amount of responsiveness, and it can hold a conversation and not look like an idiot (though I am sure sometimes it does look like an idiot when it’s not on camera). I have years of experience with working with people, and the ability to think creatively and come up with new responses.
I don’t have to be afraid because I am actually completely capable.
I have also been listening to a few chapters of a book about making a good first impression and getting along with people. It’s pretty easy, really: make eye contact, don’t close yourself off, smile, find common ground–simple things.
If you happen to be shy or socially awkward or any of that, realize that you are just fine how you are. You are smarter than a robot–so you are capable of conversation and connections. Yes, there might be awkward moments, but your brain is capable of responding, correcting, and continuing onward. You can do it. There’s no reason to be afraid.