We all have that one friend who would do anything to avoid talking on the phone, and when they have to speak, they try to be as short as possible and avoid any conversation longer than two minutes.
Well, many introverts are notorious for this habit of avoiding phone conversations. In fact, they loathe talking on the phone. And you should not take it personally. They would rather miss an important business deal than talk on the phone about it.
So, why do they hate talking on the phone so much?
Introverts are well known for their habit of pulling their thoughts inside and having long periods of self-reflection and deep thinking. They like to take their time and prepare themselves mentally for whatever they are supposed to do outside of them.
And a ringing phone is nothing different than an alarm clock or a crying baby for them – it yells for them to get out of their heads and answer at that very moment. You could say that it is one of the most intrusive things that can happen to an introvert.
Which is more, you cannot possibly plan when somebody is going to call you nowadays, so they have no time to mentally prepare themselves for the conversation that requires them to phase out of their introverted state.
And that is not all. Once the phone conversation starts, it most often begins with small talk – perhaps an even bigger deterrent for an introvert. Introverts tend to focus on the meaningful parts of the conversation, so they have a very awkward time when they are forced to be polite and wait for the speaker to get to the point (if there is one).
When it comes to responding, introverts choose to take their time to think things through, which is not really a useful skill for phone conversations. The silences that are caused may feel very awkward for both speakers.
In the end, introverts prefer to communicate with people face to face, because they rely heavily on visual cues to discern whether the other person is being honest, what they are feeling, or even whether they are about to say something.
In a phone conversation, these elements are simply gone, and this makes the already difficult-to-achieve conversation even more difficult for the introvert. Honestly, many things are already happening in the introvert’s head, and adding the burden of deciphering and trying to respond to a disembodied conversation only adds more strain on their minds.
So, the overwhelming experience makes them want to retreat in their thoughts and take a break, while the conversation urges them to get out of there and respond. It is not a situation they would prefer getting into, so they try to avoid it as much as possible.
There is, however, a way to navigate the conversation with (some) ease
Of course, some conversations are necessary, no matter how much a person can hate them. From scheduling appointments to disputing charges, these phone conversations are bound to happen, and everybody needs to go through them.
Here are some tips for introverts that can help them save their heads from burning out during phone conversations:
If it is a business-related call, it is best to write down the main points on which you want to talk about, or even a brief script. This way, you will be able to avoid stumbling on your words or get into a deeper thought that would cause silence.
Get to a quiet place where you will be alone to avoid interruptions or being overheard. It is also good to have a notepad with you to jot down important things that were mentioned during the conversation.
For friends and relatives, creating some schedule will be mutually beneficial. They are perhaps already aware that you tend not to pick up the phone in most cases, so working out a time when you both are available will work perfectly for a normal conversation.
That way, you will have enough time to prepare mentally, and they will be aware that you will actually answer the phone.
A good activity that you can introduce while talking on the phone, as much as it sounds counterintuitive, is doing something that does not require much thought while speaking. It could be anything from making doodles and coloring and assembling a jigsaw puzzle to brushing your pet or doing some housework.
These activities will help you to occupy the restless part of your mind, and you will be able to focus on the conversation more.
In the end, motivation plays the biggest role in whether you will want to talk to whoever is on the phone. One way to build your motivation for this activity is to give yourself some kind of reward after a phone conversation.
You could treat yourself to a slice of cake, or a candy bar; take a walk in the park; read something you love; watch a movie; whatever makes you feel happy and satisfied.
De-phoning your life
Some calls are indeed necessary, but that does not mean that your phone has to take over your life. If you want to reduce the amount of phone time in your life, here are some hints:
– Put your phone on vibration or switch your ringtone to something fun or calming;
– Leave a voicemail that will instruct your callers to text you or email you;
– Avoid leaving your phone number when you fill out forms whenever possible – use your email instead;
– If you are making a call to a business or a person that you do not want to know your number, hide your caller ID – your phone has that option too;
– Let your friends know that you would rather text than talk on the phone and that you are highly unlikely to pick up the phone;
– When you miss a call, get back to them with a text message;
– Return messages (email, chat, phone) promptly to reinforce the notion that this is the quickest way for people to reach you.
If you are an introvert, be aware that there is nothing wrong with avoiding phone conversations, and you should not feel bad about it at all. It is simply not in your habit, and you would rather prefer chatting and talking to people face to face.
Let your friends and family know that you do not prefer talking on the phone and that you would rather have them text you, and when you do have to talk, use the tips from above.
Source: Introvert, Dear