Fear of Talking to Strangers
Most of us learned that it is not advised to talk to strangers. Our parents told us that and thereby installed this fear into our subconscious mind. We were taught not to take food or other gifts from strangers and not to talk to them in the first place. Some people overcome these fears when they grow up while others end up living with fear of talking to strangers and people they have just met. Again, many jobs require this sort of communication, thereby disallowing people with this phobia to work properly. Moreover, this fear makes it hard to make new friends or enter relationships. All in all, one's whole life is affected by fear of talking to strangers.
Signs and Causes of Fear of Talking to Strangers
People who suffer from this phobia experience increased heartbeat whenever they encounter a new, unknown person, especially when they need to get verbally involved. The fear overwhelms the individual, making him or her troubled by various thoughts. Also, anxiety and dread can be present.
This fear may stem from an awkward or shameful experience during childhood, manifesting through negative, embarrassing or hurtful incidents, depriving the person of his/her self-confidence. Being laughed at and ridiculed are both factors which can trigger the birth of this fear too. Quite commonly, people with fear of talking to strangers are tagged as proud or snobbish, since people cannot perceive the real reasons behind their silent behavior.
Treatment for Fear of Talking to Strangers
There are numerous ways which can help you overcome this fear. First and foremost, hypnotherapy can help you find and remove the causes behind your fear. However, if you find this a bit too intrusive, you can practice being more assertive and talkative with friends or people you trust, doing the same with strangers later.
When you are ready, approach a stranger, smile, maintain eye contact and greet him/her. This might seem hard, but it actually takes only a couple of brave seconds to be carried out. When you ask questions, make sure that you are really interested in the answers since small talk and superficiality may not work with many people.
Finally, if you have a fear of talking over the phone, you need to overcome this as well, by using similar methods to the ones mentioned above.