I recently overheard a conversation at the airport. Girl A told Girl B that she had just made a difficult phone call. Girl A, a graduate student,explained to Girl B that one of her professors had arranged for his wife to teach her how to cook a special Thai dish. He gave her the phone number and told her that his wife was expecting her call. She said it took her 2 weeks to get up the nerve to call a stranger.
Some people would easily pick up the phone and call the Pope. Others would rather go hungry than send a dish back to the kitchen at a restaurant. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. Where are you on that spectrum?
Indeed, the difficulty of reaching out varies wildly. “Will you marry me?” is a lot more stressful than calling an old friend to catch up.
If you want to advance in your career, build your business, or have a robust social life, you must learn to initiate communication well.
And I’m not talking texts, emails, Twitter, or Snapchat. While those are great tools for modern relationship building, it is essential that you also know how to communicate offline.
The phone and face-to-face networking are where the real magic happens. That’s where memories are made and strong relationships are built. Thankfully, you can learn how to do it and, with practice, even enjoy doing it.
OK – ready to reach out? No?
You are not alone! I have worked with coaching clients who even had trouble reaching out to friends. They were uncomfortable talking on the phone or in person. Even texting seemed too intrusive.
Here are some of the reasons that I have heard people use to justify not reaching out and initiating conversation:
“I don’t have a reason to call.”
“I don’t have anything to say.”
“I’ll seem needy or clingy.”
“They haven’t contacted me in all this time. Obviously they aren’t interested.”
“What if they don’t want to hear from me?”
“What if I say the wrong thing?”
“They are probably too busy to talk to me.”
“I never called them back and I doubt they want to talk to me. I feel guilty.”
“They are doing do much better then me. I’ll feel inadequate.”
People with friends and a strong (real) social network are happier, live longer, and have more opportunities for both business and fun. Doors open for them. People are glad to introduce them to contacts.
Life is much more fun when you share it with friends!
Here is a way you can use Tapping to clear your fear of reaching out and building your network of friends.
Start by thinking of reaching out to a friend or colleague just socially – with no reason other than to touch base and catch up. Imagine it in your mind as vividly as possible.
Tap this protocol out loud.
On your Karate Chop (KC) Point:
Even though I have no reason to call, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I’m afraid of rejection, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I want to put this off and do it later, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Top of your head (TH): I don’t want to reach out.
Eye Brow (EB): I’m so scared to make the first move.
Outside of the Eye (OE): Why do I always have to be the one making the first move?
Under Eye (UE): I feel so vulnerable and exposed!
Under Nose (UN): I’m afraid that they will judge me.
Chin (CH): Who am I to just contact them without a reason?
Collarbone (CB): How can I intrude upon their day without a purpose?
KC: And that’s what it is, an intrusion.
TH: I will just be rudely interrupting their day.
EB: I really shouldn’t interrupt their workday…
OE: Or their lunch…
UE: Or their dinner and family time…
UN: Or their weekend…
CH: With unimportant me.
CB: There is just not a good time for me to interrupt their busy life.
KC: If they had time and cared – if I were important to them – they would call me.
TH: If I call them they might be bothered.
EB: They might not want to talk to me at all.
OE: Maybe we’re not really friends at all.
UE: I may be deluding myself thinking that we are friends.
UN: If I call them they might just talk to me out of pity because I seem so needy.
CH: But I do know them…
CB: And they know me.
KC: They might be as scared as I am to make the first call.
TH: They might be terrified of reaching out.
EB: I’m busy, too.
OE: They might be worried about bothering me and interrupting me day.
UE: They might not think that I have time for them (they may feel unimportant!).
UN: It could be that they would love to talk to me.
CH: We might have lots to talk about.
CB: Or we might not have much to talk about at all – and that’s OK.
KC: I could wait and wait and wait for other people to contact me.
TH: Or I could get a move on and call up to say hi.
EB: I don’t need another reason – catching up IS my reason.
OE: I am curious about how they are doing.
UE: I wonder how much we’ll have in common.
UN: We might end up having a great conversation.
CH: And it’s true, there will rarely be a perfect time window in which to call.
CB: I trust that they will let me know and we’ll plan for a better time to catch up.
KC: Or I might call at just the right time.
TH: I’ll never know until I make the first move.
EB: I choose to release my fear and be curious.
OE: I choose to let my friends know that they are important to me.
UE: I choose to enjoy reconnecting with friends in a spirit of love.
UN: I wonder what the conversations will be like?
CH: I wonder how many relationships I can strengthen just by reaching out.
KC: This is going to be a fun adventure!
Take a deep breath.
Tap through this protocol as many times as you need to. Try to get your level of fear and worry down to zero. After you have done that try reaching out. Call a friend – even if it’s someone you talk to all the time. After that reach out to someone that you have not heard from in a while.
Keep at it! The more you do it, the easier and more fun it becomes.
This protocol should help you clear the fear so that you can reach out to friends. If not, you might have deeper feelings that need to be worked out. Contact me and we’ll work together to clear them.