Most commonly, though, phone shyness simply comes down to how limited it is as a form of communication. When we speak to people face-to-face, our gestures, body language, and especially our facial expressions play a huge role in getting across what we have to say. On the phone, however, we are forced to communicate through our voices alone. This can create a lot of pressure: Will I remember what I want to say? Will I speak clearly and will they understand what I’m trying to get across or find out? This is especially the case if there’s something about your voice you don’t like or that makes you hard to understand; maybe you mumble, have a speech impediment, talk too fast, speak too softly, or sound like a woman or a prepubescent teen when in fact you’re a grown man.
This is compounded by having to navigate the unknown. When you place a call, you don’t know for sure what’s going on at the other end of the line. Who will pick up? Will you get their voicemail? Will you be able to get a hold of the person you’re looking for? Will they be receptive to your call, or will you be interrupting them?
Thus, phone shyness is caused by knowing you will be judged based solely on your voice, and not knowing what’s going to happen when the line is picked up.