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We all dread talking on the phone sometimes — especially when it comes to telemarketers, the bank, the cable company, or your in-laws. (Hard to believe that a mere 15 years ago, all you could really do was call on the phone. But as fogeys, we digress.)

There’s something inherently nerve-wracking about calling someone up, since we can’t see their facial expressions or play off of body language. We have to rely on tone of voice, and even that’s enough to send us into a tailspin of anxiety. We admit it, most of the time we’d rather be texting or emailing too.

But there are ways to combat your phone fears, aside from choosing to just text everything.

Call friends and family who you LIKE and are comfortable around.

By practicing with the people in your life, eventually you’ll gain comfort and confidence. With enough calls, soon you’ll be picking up the phone without any qualms.

Write out your planned conversation.

When you have to call a stranger or a company, it’s often best to write down sentences (yes, with a pen and paper) or topics that you plan on discussing. Remember, they can’t see you reading!

Don’t worry about being charming and witty.

Not every phone conversation has to be an award-winning performance. Just get on that phone and be yourself. Everything will be harder if you put more pressure on yourself.

You never know — the person on the other end may be in the same exact predicament as you! For more tips, check out the video, above.