Why I HATE talking on the phone...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I could care less if I have my phone on me, which seems to irritate people.

People often say that I am difficult to get a hold of….
I hardly ever answer the phone. I never answer a text.

I found an article that explains the exact reason why I HATE talking on the phone:

~The other day, while talking on Skype with one of my best friends, I realized that something was horribly wrong.  The video option was turned off.  And, as we all know, Skype without video is just a phone.
Like most introverts (*see note below), I detest talking on the phone.  This begs the question, why do introverts hate the phone so much?  After giving it some thought, I’ve come up with a few possibilities.

Let’s begin with the ring.  Whether your phone sings, buzzes or plays a piano tune, a ringing telephone is annoying.  The phone doesn’t care that you are busy, or deep in thought.  It pays no mind to the fact that you really don’t feel like talking right now.  A ringing phone wants your attention – and it wants it RIGHT NOW!

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I once had a friend who often put his home phone in the fridge in order to avoid its intrusive squawking. Thankfully, cell phones can be set to silent or vibrate.

The incessant bark of a telephone presents an inner debate for an introvert.  To answer or not to answer? That is the question. Usually, we don’t want to pick up.  We might promise ourselves that we’ll call back later.  Later could be three days from now or never.  Another option is to commit a communication faux pas and send a text in response to their call.  This might be considered rude.  Meh.

As a last resort, we may have to actually answer the phone.  What ensues is something introverts dread; a conversation robbed of any visual or physical cues.  That means that our nodding and subtle facial expressions are of no use.  The other person can’t see that we are pausing to think, or process, or pet the dog.  All they know is that there is silence at the other end.  And it is awkward. Of course, we can’t see their facial expressions either. 

For introverts who rely heavily on observation skills, this is frustrating.
Keeping all this in mind, is it any wonder that introverts avoid or put off talking on the phone?

Indeed, talking on the phone is not something we look forward to.  But a lot of times it is necessary.  I’m not opposed to short and sweet calls made to tighten up plans or answer an important question.  Sometimes the discomfort of talking on the phone is overpowered by the joy of connecting with a loved one.

But the majority of the time, a text message will do just fine.

Side Notes:
          A person who spends a lot of their day at work talking on the phone, often does not want to spend time on the phone when they are at home. The continual interaction over the phone at work can drain them emotionally and leave them desiring some reprieve from the telephone when they are in the sanctuary of their home.

*An introvert is a person who is energized be being alone. Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feeling. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to "recharge."

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Important Side Notes:
1. Introverts find small talk cumbersome and tend to crave authenticity in their interactions.
2. Downtime doesn't feel unproductive. Whereas an extrovert might get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazine, this sort of down time feels necessary and satisfying to an introvert.
3. Introverts alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.
4. It's true that opposites attract, and introverts frequently gravitate towards outgoing extroverts who encourage them to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.

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Whew...I hope that was eye opening. ;)