Do You Have A Fear Of Speaking?
Laliophobia is the fear of speaking or talking. People with this fear worry about speaking because they fear they may fumble over their words, forger their words, stutter, or babble. The origin of the word lal is Greek (meaning speech) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). Laliophobia is considered to be a social phobia (rational fear), it is also known as Glossophobia or Lalophobia.
What Causes the Fear of Speaking?
This phobia could have been brought about by a traumatic experience in the past such as having to talk in public and making a mistake in pronunciation or was not able to convey what he or she was supposed to say and was humiliated in the process. Others might have been conditioned by their peers or friends that speaking in public is a really scary thing and they develop the phobia themselves.
It could have originated when an individual has been ignored. If the individual feels no one will listen they may conclude it is to their advantage to simply remain silent. When this becomes normal it can become a fearful thing to actually speak. This same scenario can be true if the individual was made fun of because of ideas they expressed through words.
Some who have this fear may actually grow to fear what their own voice sounds like. They may obsess about it for so long that when they do use their voice it sounds strange. It may even sound to the phobic as if it is not even their own voice, which may further heighten the fear.
What are the Symptoms of Laliophobia?
As with any phobia, the symptoms vary person-to-person depending on the level of fear. An individual with this fear who avoids speaking altogether may become socially withdrawn. In their trusted circle of friends this person may feel comfortable writing responses or composing responses on the computer.
Because this is a sensitive issue for the phobic individual they may have a secondary social phobia because they may be afraid of being in a place where they might be expected to respond verbally. Ironically they may thrive in communicating via the Internet where voice is not a consideration.
Other symptoms may include:
• Extreme anxiety
• Inability to articulate words or sentences
• Shortness of breath
• Rapid breathing
• Air hunger
• Dry mouth
• Elevated heart rate
• Control loss
• Urge to flee
How to Overcome Laliophobia
A therapist can help understand why we fear, where the fear comes from and how we can determine the way in which we respond. Consulting a therapist is recommended to receive referrals or joining a speaking group to relate with others who also have the same phobia. Exercise can also help and practicing speeches for presentation will help one become more comfortable with speaking and slowly get over the fear.
Because communication is so vital to life it is important to be able to reestablish your ability to speak to others comfortably. The longer you wait the greater the fear can grow. Additionally that fear can blossom into additional fears that can leave you frustrated in a world in which communication is difficult.