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CC Communication Anxiety and Coping Strategies Discussion Replies

CC Communication Anxiety and Coping Strategies Discussion Replies


1. Rachel

I would characterize myself as someone who has struggled with anxiety around communication, in any aspect of my life, in romantic relationships, work situations, with friends, or in school. Several thought patterns run through my head while I’m interacting with people that build anxiety, over-analyzing what is being said, being hyper-critical of my own appearance/idea/opinions, assuming the other person doesn’t like me, or pre-planning what I have to say instead of listening. All of these things can compound and make an initially uncomfortable situation, unbearable.

For example, I need to speak to a customer at work regarding a sensitive or complicated situation. I imagine how the conversation should go in my head, and then all of the ways it could go wrong. This, in turn, makes me anxious, I begin to stumble on my words, and it compounds, I get flustered because I stuttered, my brain shoots off negative thoughts about myself, and suddenly I can’t even focus on communicating the task at hand. All I can think about is how I’m being perceived. When speaking in front of a group of people, my body will twitch, my body or voice begins to shake and I’ll feel a panicky, flight or freeze response.

The TED speaker addresses managing the physiological and mental discomforts of communication anxiety. Managing your physical stress response by taking a deep breath, or incorporating movements to move with your adrenaline. He also recommends consciously recognizing anxious thoughts, non-judgementally, accepting them as they come up. He also mentions following a map of what you’d like to communicate, a structure, what/so what/now what, is beneficial in case you freeze.

Since I struggle most with the initial self-doubt which sours the whole interaction, I liked this pointer best, (10:44). He said we need to reframe conversations, they aren’t performances- put the focus on your audience. I have used a tool similar to this in the past, and it was extremely helpful in new social situations. I tried shifting my thoughts from, “What do they think about me?” to, “What do I think about them? Do I like interacting with them? How do I feel engaging with them?”. I think I need to go back to utilizing this tool more often.

2. Hudson

For example my communication apprehension kicks in when I have to talk in front of big crowds or even just in the classroom. I tend to get pretty nervous when speaking publicly because I don’t want to stumble over my words or look like a nervous wreck when everyone is watching me. When speaking in front of people I normally will start reading my speech quick or start to forget facts that I tried keeping in my memory. Sometimes I try to either focus on someone I know that is like a friend and I know they are listening to me talk. The speaker was saying one of the main things to do when speaking is to be able to manage. Managing time is very important because it’s needed to focus on things that are important in the moment rather than thinking of other things. Learning this it will help me focus more on the specific moment, rather than overthinking of other things while in the middle of speaking to a big crowd. As of now I will need to focus on not being as nervous and speaking with confidence and getting the crowd interested with what I am saying. Being confident when speaking is very important because you need to seem trusted when you are speaking and have strong facts to help you be more confident. As of now I am not very confident in speaking in front of people, but after watching the video it showed me how to cope with stress in front of many people and good ways to get around it.

How to respond to peers’ posts (100 words or more each)

Sometimes we just don’t know what to say, or how to respond. So, here are a few ways to respond to your peers.

  • Step 1: Give them feedback on something that they wrote in their post, you can compliment or agree.
  • Step 2: Say something relevant and meaningful that you have experienced, or were always curious about.
  • Step 3: Ask a question or give a suggestion.

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