Why Introverts Hate Talking on the Phone

extravert vs introvert

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, 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.

Lets 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!

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.

79 Comments

  1. DJDarylNorthrop Ooh, I’m so glad I don’t have your job! Interruptions are bad enough in person, on the phone it’s just plain maddening!

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  2. So glad I’m not the only one who hates phones…thanks for helping explain it.

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    • No problem, Elizabeth. 🙂

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      • Wow so true. I thought I was the only one that ever felt like that. Good to know I am not alone and that it is just part of who I am. The best thing that ever happened to me is the invention of email and texting (and blogs LOL). Now I can communicate like I have always wanted to without the stress

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        • me as well! even online pizza ordering! (means I eat more pizza lol) seriously. I am the epitome of an introvert. makes job seeking REALLY hard. my choice of job paramount.its embarrassing also as I am 42..it seems expected that I would “grow up” instead of seen as a natural part of my personality. its called a disorder instead. Many take Zoloft and things and I went that route too just to make it through a day. I don’t mean to confuse true anxiety or depression with being an introvert though! its just that some of us have been hounded for our natural shyness so long we get labeled.ive been an introvert through times of high self esteem and confidence. and am outgoing online etc like many have said here.

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          • Yesss!

  3. I’m glad you wrote this article. I now know I am not alone in my hatred for using the phone.

    I don’t think I am an introvert but the signs do point that way. As I see it everytime the phone rings it’s somebody wanting something from me. I’m on the No- call lists but that only slowed them down a little bit. It seems to me that once hit your 50’s and 60’s these folks who call you seem to think you are some kind of idiot whose mind has been scrambled by age. They assume that you will cheerfully hand over your life savings to they give you some slick line

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    • Oh, yes it’s so annoying to pick up the phone and hear a generic greeting from a random salesperson. Eeek!

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      • Couldn’t agree more 🙂

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  4. Really love this article. My sister will say “what is wrong with you?” When the conversation pauses and im always stunned because nothing is wrong, im usually just taking a moment to think what to say next or pondering what she said. It makes me fwel bland or wrong every time and intensifies my dislike of phone conversations. I feel much more comfortable in person. And thanks to your article i understand why. So thank you.. 🙂

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    • You’re welcome, Jessica! I’ve had people ask “what’s wrong” when I’m just pausing to think as well. It is pretty frustrating!

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  5. I strongly relate to this article, though another reason I hate not only talking on the phone but having a phone is that I consider it a stressful presence and an intruder almost. I’m alone in my safe home, and then anyone at any time can interrupt me and force their presence upon me.

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  6. Same here…. I jus don like picking up calls. I then promise myself to call them later..

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  7. oh my goodness. this is incredible. I was looking for an answer or something to relate to and here it is. when I say I don’t want to answer my phone I mean it. and I am literally in the middle of one of those should I call back or not mind games that I constantly play with myself. I just want to get over it already and not make these things such a big deal. thank you for writing this.

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  8. I totally agree! I always have to play a game afterwards where I try to figure out how long to wait so it doesn’t seem like I just didn’t answer the phone. At the moment, I’m not letting myself go to the bathroom until I return this call. (At least I get to live in the email age, it could’ve been so much worse.)

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  9. I’d much rather text than talk any day — even with people I’m close to. I’ve always felt that I should enjoy talking on the phone with those I love, but I just dread it. I don’t dread being around them. I love talking to them face to face, but since I live in Minnesota and my mom and brothers and sister live in Oregon, my phone is my main link with them, and I feel guilty when I avoid calling them, but I HATE talking on the phone. Always have. It’s ridiculously awkward and something I usually try to avoid. I dread it when my husband asks me to call someone to get information about something. Sometimes I’ll jot down the things i need to say or ask so I won’t forget as soon as I get someone on the other line (sudden memory wipe — very frustrating).
    Thanks for writing this! 🙂

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    • You’re welcome, Sarah! 🙂

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    • Sarah Lentz I am the same way! I have to force myself to call and get information from a store or something. As a job seeker I’ve found that companies are doing a frightening thing-phone interviews! ack!

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  10. I agree with a lot of you. I hate when people call to sell me something. What I hate even more than sales calls are people who call only to hang up after you say “hello”. Its these instances where you have to call the person back and ask “why the hell did you hang up” because it helps validate you as a person on the receiving end of a phone call. I know it will take practice, but I’m trying to get used to this often dodgey method of communication.

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  11. I hate the telephone because it loudly interrupts me when I’m relaxing or doing something important. I usually hate what the caller wants to say too.

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    • Haha, exactly, Bobby! 😉

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  12. My husband and I didn’t have texting because his mother is an incessant texter about every. little. thing. UGH. We finally got it and I have to say we both (both introverts) love texting – even with each other.

    And after reading this post, I finally felt somewhat normal.
    I recently (as in within the last month or so) that I am a non-shy (okay – very non-shy) introvert. This wasn’t news to anyone around me. But it was HUGE to me. I have had a huge amount of guilt over things like not answering the phone, or feeling like I have to leave someplace right. now. before I blow up (even when everything is fine). I had been told when I was young that because I wasn’t shy I had to be an extrovert and had just classified myself as “bad person” because I couldn’t handle all the things extroverts do.
    Now I know I’m not bad, I’m just done with interaction!
    🙂
    Lea

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  13. I’m glad to be not the only “phone-hater”. Often I have to pay “administration-charge” about 1 Euro to my cellphone-provider, because I use the phone very rare. 🙂 – Normally I use the phone only in “case of need” or to confirm a date! – At this time, my mother is the only person, I could phone for hours (she’s introvert :)) – It’s interesting: My “extrovert” friends prefere to phone and they always talking…blablablabla (nothing really important!) and I totally “zone out” (hoping that they wouldn’t ask me, about what they were talking…) and my rare introvert friends prefere to send me a e-mail and they’ve a lot of interesting deep thoughts… The rare mails of my “extrovert” friends are just boring. Nothing else than “WRITTEN blablabla”. – I’m so sorry, but it’s the truth! 🙂
    – Matthias

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  14. I love being on the phone with friends and family. It lets me spend time with those I care about while still being alone. If I had to spend that time around people there wouldn’t be enough time to recharge. Close but far away.

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  15. Absolutely true. I am always, and I mean always deep into my own mind when a phone rings, because I am always deep into my own mind. The phone is always earsplitting. A violation. A living, uncaring screaming thing that simply prioritizes itself above anything and everything I’m doing.

    And so does the person on the other end, unless I am specifically wanting to talk to them, which means I was awaiting their call. It’s like there could be nothing on my end of the line that is important enough to not interrupt. And I resent that, even when I know that’s only in my perception.

    There is only one thing worse than the phone, and that is e-mail. I am a far better writer than speaker, but the immediacy of the expectation of response followed by the tldr; attitude displayed when I take the time to be thorough with whomever was asking for my interaction, just infuriates me. Trying to explain what I mean over and over with no way to emote is just an exercise in futility. And as an INFJ, being unable to add inflection, or emotional weight to what I am saying or writing? You might as well cut out my tongue and cut off my hands so I can’t speak or write at all.

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  16. two kinds of phone calls I don’t mind:
    1) from family or close friends
    2) phone calls made by advance appointment with a known purpose. I can be ready to take the call at the appointed time, and I can think out ahead of time what to say to the person, even jot down notes so I don’t forget to say what I want to say.

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    • that is me too, so interesting; I thought I was a freak…

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  17. Your blog is spot on – however, you left one important thing out .. when I _have to answer the telephone, I almost always get stuck listening to someone drone on endlessly – I try and close the conversation – get to the point and get off the phone – but the phone loving person ignores all my cues and just keeps on blabbing – stealing all of my precious time. I have lost friends because of this but they were superficial friends. My true friends understand that texting is a much better way of reaching me – if we can not be in person. And yeah, I’m an introvert. 🙂

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    • Ah, yes, that is a good addition to the list. 🙂

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    • Oh my goodness I love this post!!!! Ever since I was young, I hated answering and speaking on the phone and would get such bad anxiety over it. I still do. My parents would force me to speak on the phone when I was happily alone on my room… even if it was friends or family, I still feel so guilty but it would give me such anxiety that I often couldn’t mask it when I picked up the line, and the ensuing conversation would fail or be so awkward, because I couldn’t just pretend I was excited to answer the phone on these forced or unexpected occasions. Lately I have been searching “i hate the phone” too, and that’s how I found your blog! 🙂
      This particular post struck me, because I too have lost many friends over my phone issues. I have one friend in mind that I still am so sad to have lost, but I have to accept it because I have tried on a few occasions to explain how I hate the phone and texting is preferred, or how I have trouble leaving the house on my days off…. but unfortunately she has not responded in a way that shows she has truly tried to understand or perhaps slightly alter her method of trying to communicate with me. To make things worse, She has told me on more than one occasion that she doesn’t like texting or emailing and is irritated to type on her phone. :\ So the once in a while phone calls and “call me sometime so we can do lunch” continued for a little while (maybe a month or two) until I just assumed we weren’t friends anymore and she stopped trying to contact me, because how could she put up with my lack of response?
      This brings up another question in my mind. … what to do if we try to explain to our friends our needs in terms of communication and it doesn’t work? I have tried something different this past year or so and directly told a few acquaintances how I don’t like the phone and get some anxiety over it (usually as an answer to the “why haven’t you called me” questions) and so far I have gotten two instances where literally they say nothing and it’s awkward silence…. In person or on the phone. I don’t understand. … If not liking the phone is apparently not “normal”, how is not responding to personal honesty an acceptable behavior?
      I have spent almost my whole life feeling guilty and like there is something wrong with me that I hate the phone. Seeing these posts are a relevation in my mind! I am sorry if this is long. .. it is my first post here and i must admit i am a little nervous!!!

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      • Hi! You don’t have to feel nervous or guilty for being an introvert, I have felt everything that you wrote before. It’s really horrible when an extrovert doesn’t understand our clues to finish a phone call. That is why I dread answering any calls and even texts sometimes, because every time I try to hang up and they get sad I feel so rude lol
        Anyway, I don’t know what Michaela Chung will answer you (she knows better than me), but I think the world has always told us that the “normal” behavior is the extroverted way of dealing with things. So, in my opinion, the extroverts had never had to actually stop and think about our introverted needs and desires, about how awful it feels for us to have to “change” to fit in. It’s a shame your friend couldn’t understand you, but you tried to explain the situation, and it was up to her to think and deal with what you said too. After all, in a relationship of any kind we have to give up some things to gain other things. For what you said, she wasn’t keen on giving an inch to make you feel better about yourself, but hopefully there are other people out there who will be able to love you the way you are, hating phone calls and all 😀

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  18. Interesting. I did not realize that I hate receiving phone calls until I read this blog. I guess I do cringe when I receive a phone call. However, I now know it’s okay to let the call go to voice mail then when I’m ready I’ll listen to the message. Also, I like that this blog gives me permission to do an email, IM, or text if I want to clarify my thoughts before discussing something in person (or on the phone). I used to think that was the “chicken” way; however, it’s now okay.

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  19. I just did a google search on: I don’t like talking on the phone – this article showed up. And I can so relate, because I simply hate talking on the phone and prefer text messaging instead. Unless it is out of necessity I would avoid answering my phone or even calling anybody. I just don’t enjoy the experience… and yes I’m an introvert 🙂

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  20. So glad I found this blog. I feel so much better about myself and my dislike for phone conversations. I too struggle with the call or don’t call dance until it turns to procrastination which then leads to never calling unless I get another call back. This is even worse if they never call me. Which I’m okay with. Ha!

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  21. I absolutely hate talking on the phone. Reading this made me realize why! And I feel good knowing that others feel the same way 🙂

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  22. Thank you so much for this post. I literally googled “i hate talking on the phone”, and its reassuring to know that I’m not the only one. I couldn’t put it any better than you have… Thank you!

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  23. I laughed out loud at this “an inner debate for an introvert. To answer or not to answer? ” This is soo me 😀 . Thanks for writing this article Michaela. I don’t live with my parents and they always like “What wrong with you to not to call us for so long or not to answer our phone calls.” I always knew that I hate phone calls and that it feels like an intrusion in my life but now I know why. And I’m relieved to know that I’m not the only one on the universe to feel that way. Thanks again 🙂

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    • You’re welcome! There are lots of us who hate the phone as much as you do. 😉

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      • Imagine another human being standing in front of you saying “excuse me? I’m sorry to intrude, but may I speak w/you for a moment?” Now imagine that you stare into space and ignore this person. Now imagine this person is a friend or family member who may need your assistance. You call your behavior introverted; I call it rude. There are so many of you introverts in agreement w/this article, I wonder if even one of you considers who may not be answering their phone when you call. I’m just sayin.

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        • That’s called a ‘chugger’, and they don’t deserve my time. Fuck off, Prissy Bart Farts.

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        • Usually when someone does that to me in person, it’s someone asking me for money. Unless it’s urgent, no one has the right to interrupt what you’re doing and talk to you. No one is obligated to answer the phone.

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        • That’s a moot point, Priscilla. An introvert probably won’t be calling back anyway. So please, feel free not to pick up. Certainly won’t hurt their feelings, LOL! Also you’ve missed an integral part of the article. If you stood in front of an introvert and asked face-to-face, you’d likely get a positive, and if you’re extra nice, cordial reply. Introverts are not sociopaths, just normal people who are tired of most people’s BS and over inflated sense of importance.

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  24. Thank you for this article. I have always thought I was the only phone-hater.

    I actually usually don’t mind if someone calls me—as long as they can keep things short—but I do not like the thought of interrupting someone else, or having to explain things to them when I don’t have the visual cues that they understand what I’m saying. Ending long phone calls can be very difficult as well.

    Funny story: Last summer I called a friend to ask her to bring a pump when I had a flat tire on my bike home from work, and my own pump wasn’t cooperating. She actually didn’t answer the call: she just assumed that I must have accidentally dialled her. I had to send a text to get my message through.

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  25. I understand you don’t like phone calls, but as an extrovert, I HATE texts. I much rather hear a person’s voice and if I call, I usually have reason to call.
    It frustrates me to no end when someone ignores my call and I find out later that it was on purpose.

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    • Hi Kim – I certainly understand the frustration you feel. No one likes to be intentionally ignored. I wonder, however, if you have taken tine to think about reasons why some people ignore your calls? I know I avoid answering when it’s someone who wants to stay on the phone for an extended period of time or if it is someone who only calls to complain.

      I think honesty is the best way to deal with people who don’t answer your calls. There may be a reason and once that is out in the open, you can then come up with a solution that works for both of you.

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  26. I don’t hear anyone talking about how they handle the people we don’t want to talk to. My wife or ederly parents put me on a constant ‘guilt trip’ about not answering my phone. It makes me have very hateful feeling towards them. What do you say to those people? I’d love to say “I’ll call you or answer when I feel like I have something I want to say”. Seems like ‘answering’ the phone is a generational thing from the days of having and old land line in your home.

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  27. I hate using the phone. I always hated it but it blew up because of my job. I am a computer systems engineer for a large healthcare insurance company and often have to deal with complex IT problems/troubleshooting which require THINKING. I absolutely hate various ppl from other departments calling me, using me as some kind of helpdesk while we have a separate department for that. Its because its mandatory to have our mobile company number on the corporate fucking intranet. Lucky ppl are getting to know me and they accept it, because I do my job well.
    @Kim
    From an introverts (like me) point of view, YOU think you have a reason to call. YOU think it’s reasonable to immediately interrupt someone’s thoughts/activities. It frustrates me to no end people not seeing that.

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  28. I’m an introvert too and I hate phone calls, except if it’s from my parents. I prefer phone text or social medias than phone calls. For me phone calls only make me nerves

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  29. Intovert here. I hate the phone also. Especially when people feel that you simply MUST answer your phone. No, not really, that’s what voicemail is for. Or why not shoot me an email? They’ll say, but it might be an emergency! Really, because in 48 years I can only think of one emergency-type phone call that I ever received, and it wasn’t time-urgent anyway, actually. If it really is an emergency, you should be calling 911, LOL.

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  30. I’m an introvert (big groups make me tired, being alone charges my batteries, meeting strangers is not fun)… and I LOVE talking on the phone! I look forward to the ring (at least, if it’s a friend ringtone and not a crisis from work) and I tend to have quite long calls. (I don’t mind video either, except it’s inconvenient–harder to do other things while talking, plus you have to put on a “real”shirt instead of grubby home-wear.) Even people I barely know I will talk to on the phone without a problem, even if small talk in person would grind me down. (Texting annoys me—but it has its uses.)

    Yet I have a family member who shares my introversion but DOES hate the phone (which I respect and don’t call).

    So saying “introverts hate talking on the phone” is a blanket stereotype that doesn’t help—people know I’m an introvert already, and it would be even harder to make friends if people hesitated to call me.

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    • I’m with you.
      I found this blog by googling I don’t like the idea of “Skyping”. I have actually never skyped but I don’t like the idea of it. I like being able to talk on the phone without having to look presentable. I can lie on the floor in my pj’s, or underwear, or with hair color on my head, or just plain old looking like crap and don’t have to worry about how I appear to the person at the other end of the phone. I can talk on the phone with no problems. I also at times let the answering machine take it and call back later unless it is urgent. Now, I am a bit of a dinosaur and I don’t have a cell phone. I like the freedom of not being attached to my phone as I see so many others seem to be. I don’t mind emailing, but people never get back to me because they haven’t gotten to their emails yet. I understand the younger generations like to text instead of calling. My daughter prefers to text everyone.
      It seems to me there are different degrees of communication likes and dislikes and that is understandable.
      I was interested in anyone’s additional thoughts on skyping.
      Thanks.

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      • I’m with you Val, I don’t like Skype either. I tried it once with my husband and sons when I was overseas, it’s just awkward! I’d rather phone than Skype, which is just a phone call with pictures. Overall, I prefer emailing, as I can gather my thoughts without pressure, at a time that’s convenient to me, and the recipient can read it at their leisure, when convenient. Phone calls are generally annoying, unless they convey something necessary and important in 10 mins or less. There is nothing more I hate than people waffling on (and repeating themselves) for 20 mins or more, or heaven help me, an hour or more. If I want a chit chat with people I know and like, I would much rather do it in person over a coffee, than stuck on the end of a phone. And choosing NOT to answer the phone is not rude – it’s not mandatory, it’s a choice. If I’m tired and grumpy, or stressed and anxious, my brain does not want to deal with prattle or chit chat and I’m doing you a favour by not answering. Email or text me and I’ll get back to you when my energy levels are up to communicating.

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  31. I am SO thankful I found this post. I am going to link to it on my Facebook page. Over the 10-12 years I have come to dread the telephone ringing. I thought that I just hate talking on the phone because it has brought so much sadness and stress into my life, starting around 2003. I experienced several deaths and serious family issues – and a lot of the time I got the news over the phone. Or, certain people would call and I could barely get in a word and end up on the phone for an hour.

    What a relief to know that a lot of it is just because I’m an Introvert! Thank you! I just discovered Introvert Spring and I am excited to read -and learn – more about my “uniqueness”.

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  32. I hate the phone with a passion… its a necessity in some ways but not for long coversations when Im not in the mood or busy… I had an online friend some years ago who was actially making me quite ill, by phoning on HER time.. not on mind… Every night just before five she would phone knowing full well my hubby would be home soon and that Id be cooking or busy…. then after talking for over an hour or more she would say……….Well thats me now time to prepare dinner.. but Ill phone you at nine….. Nne to me is settle down time to a film… but no not for her… Even if I didnt answer she would keep ringing until I had to…. then one night I said… Are you not watching that good film on telly………….OH NO I dont like silly films….. I prefer talking to you or on my conputer.. so one night while she was doing my head in… I could hear her computer keys going…. I said to her…. Are you talking to someone else while you chatting to me…..NO NO your imagine things … she said….. I wasnt……..then she would be drinking her nightly bottle of wine and get more slurry as time went on…. honestly the phone used to be stuck to my ear.. and if she heard my hubby call on me she would ask to talk to him to……she tried to take over my life telling me that my grandchildren shouldnt be left with me so much as they had another granny… then ordering me around like a wee girl… Id never met this woman .. and only felt sorry for her originally as she said she had a serious illness….mmmm and I know now what it was… She put me right off phone calls for life… and one night while she was mid sententce bawling at me for not being in when she had called the night before, I hung up on her… didnt work of course so I had to email her asking her to stop calling……….I fully expected to see her at my door hahaha. but its been four years now of heaven without her taking over my life for three hours every evening….

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  33. Thank you so much for this! Last night I connected with a guy I kind of like over the phone and it left a bad taste in my mouth. It becomes all the more difficult when other party goes on a rampage of anecdotes and you squirm with a feeling to escape. How can people just start talking incessantly? Thank you for the explanation. M happy with myself 🙂

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  34. I am glad I found a site that actually relates to introverts. I am only recently educated on what I am, and always had wondered why I feel so awkward around people and prefer to be alone..

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  35. honestly, i’m an introvert too.. and i feel so uncomfortrable talking on the phone. i feel so nervous and i can’t speak clearly. So epic when i get job in marketing division, and what i do everyday is speak with somebody out there with phone -_-
    btw i’m sorry if i can’t speak englishg clearly..

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  36. Even though this was posted over two years ago, I think, it was the top hit when I searched for “I hate phone calls” – even without using the word introvert. Though I am an introvert, and I’m sure that’s a big reason why I struggle with this! Everything in this post rings true (ha!) and it’s reassuring to have an explanation and not be alone in this.

    My husband works in the tech industry, and he hasn’t had a desk phone at any job he’s had in years. He and his colleagues use programs like Slack and HipChat if they need to “talk” to each other. I love this alternative, because then you don’t have to clutter up your email inboxes with brief things that can be resolved quickly, but you also don’t have telephones blaring at people and interrupting their flow. And I imagine it’s got to save a business a lot of money to not have to install and maintain phones – the VoIP phone I have on my desk at my job cost my department about $700 for the device, never mind the monthly fees, and every one of us here has our own. (Unlike my husband, I don’t work in tech.) What a needless drain on resources. And in my own life, I frankly ONLY order from restaurants who let me use an app or website. I don’t even mind paying more just to not have to make that call. Calling restaurants is awful – there’s usually a language barrier and the restaurant is loud and nobody ever understands what anyone else is saying on those calls.

    On a personal note, I moved far away from my best friend last year and the phone issue has really been a problem in our relationship. She is very extroverted, and when we lived near each other, that worked well. We would meet for coffee and we would have great conversations, and it was nice. But it’s hard from a distance – she wants to call and keep our conversations going, but it just doesn’t work as well for me, I run out of things to say, we inadvertently talk over each other, I get restless being stuck on the phone in a way I did not get restless back at our coffee shop dates. It just stinks! But I love her so I try to forge my way through it…

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  37. I hate phone calls because it puts me on the spot and I have to scramble for what I’m going to say. It’s so stressful! Whenever I need to make a phone call, I almost always rehearse, outline, or write down what I have to say so that I’m as prepared as possible. It may sound crazy, but it helps minimize the awkward silences.

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  38. I have to admit that I not so infrequently yell at the phone when it dares to ring and disturb my peace. I don’t mind occasionally talking on the phone, but it is just that, occasionally. Other times I couldn’t make a phone call that day if you paid me. I sometimes set it on silent. I laughed at the man sticking his phone in the fridge. Could he not just have unplugged it? I often unplug my home phone, and then I forget that it has been unplugged for weeks. haha. I have people who expect me to be contactable 24/7 and either cannot understand, or refuse to understand that I am not, and never will be contactable 24/7. It’s just too damn draining, and why should I be at their beck and call anyway? Having said that, I do get frustrated when people send dozens of texts to ask or organise something when if they had just picked up the phone it could’ve been sorted in minutes, instead of the frustrating back and forth texts for an hour or more.

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  39. I’m definitley an introvert, but I completely disagree. I hate texing, and I’m not too fond of email, even though I enjoy writing. Maybe it’s an age thing, or due to the fact that I have poor coordination and find it hard to type fast, but I would far rather pick up the phone and talk to someone than spend ages trying to pick out letters on the tiny keyboard on my phone. If the phone rings and I don’t want to answer, I don’t. If I answer and it’s a stranger trying to get money out of me, I hang up. If it’s a friend I talk for as long as I feel like, then say I have to go. It took me many years to get comortable talking on the phone, so it’s frustrating, that, increasingly, that’s a skill that is no longer valued.

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  40. It is nice to know there are others that feel this way. I want to thank you for putting into words what I’ve been been struggling to describe myself for years. I’ve often said to people, ‘I don’t know what to do with my eyes’ when I talk on the phone. I can also sometimes get a headache if I stay on too long. So what you say about introverts needing visual cues seems so spot on for me. I like talking with people in person and now feel a little less guilty about not talking often to people on the phone. There is something going on mentally and physically that is real and unpleasant for me. Thanks again.

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  41. I know what you mean: I am and always was unbelievable shy throughout my young life (I’m 22 years old by the way) and I cannot stand phone calls. They just give me anxiety, I feel forced to talk- also I am ALWAYS in thoughts so it is really hard for me to focus on what people are saying at the other end. My parents are the opposite: my dad is also very shy and all, but way more open than I’ll ever be (he actually NEEDS social relations any minute, while I force myself to call just out of love! and what love! I do it for him only!); my mom is very talkative, even though she’s more similar to me as for physical contact – she’s very far from being a touchy person and she does not like being touched at all. Basically I took all the asocial genes: I am as shy as my dad is, I cannot stand physical contact just like my mom can’t.
    I know people tend to misinterpret my behaviour sometimes… but I easily feel… bound by attentions from other people.

    Regards from Italy!

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  42. Great article…..up until today I hadn’t realised that am an introvert. Your piece fully describes me.
    I irritate my friends and family because I rarely contribute to conversation and take time to answer.
    The only phone calls I don’t mind is from clients and business.

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  43. THIS IS EXACTLY ME. OMG.
    I mean, I am an INFJ too but your blog is just spot on with everything I feel.
    You have no idea how happy I am that someone understands.
    I get tired too easily and all the time but when I tell my parents that, they will tell me to stop whining. lol.
    Good to know that I am not the only one. :/

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  44. So me! I hate phone calls and messages. Everytime someone calls or messages me, I am angry and thinking What’s now. Most of times I simple don’t answer and even for text messages I am sometimes slow/ignore them… If I need to make a phone call, like to call the doctor, I fear it so much – so my heart is pumping 180 beats in minute. I often left the important calls to last minutes because I can’t do this until it is “You need to do this now”. Even then when I call I struggle with words and barely can say anything.

    I don’t have friends, so these won’t call of course, but I even decline calls from family because I don’t want to talk to anyone… If I talk to people at work, that’s enough for me, the rest of day I want to live with me in my own world listening music.

    Everyday my hope is that no one will call or text message me!!! I don’t even know why I have phone, but I get cheap internet with it I use to post this comment.

    So happy that I am not only one.

    And yes I heard this from my family everyone, I should answer calls, I should talk to people. “You will not answer anyway, so do the job I am asking now”. And I so hate this, because there’s nothing my family can do to change me. I simply hate talking to people especially on the phone when I can’t see them. Even in real life I barely talk nowadays to anyone or talks are pretty short small talks until I want to run away… to my own world…

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  45. You know what else I hate besides telephones? Popup overlay boxes on web sites that suddenly pop up in the middle of the browser while I’m reading an article and ask me to subscribe to a newsletter or something, and that won’t go away until I close them (always without reading them and while cussing out the web designer who put them there in the first place.) Because, like the telephone, the popup overlay box “doesn’t care that you are busy, or deep in thought. It pays no mind to the fact that you really don’t want to be bothered right now. A Javascript popup overlay box wants your attention – and it wants it RIGHT NOW!

    Something you might want to consider, given the irony of complaining about something that doesn’t care what you are doing and demands your attention RIGHT NOW, given you are using features on your own web site that do exactly the same thing.

    Reply
  46. This makes so much sense. I’ve recently started getting to know a guy I met through Plenty of Fish, and he enjoys talking on the phone. . . I feel bad because I’m so bad at it and I just really don’t want him to think it’s because I don’t like him, and ugh. Should I tell him I’m just really socially awkward??

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  47. To me phones are awkward. I’m already antisocial. I want to be social, and try to answer the phone, but when I do I can get really uncomfortable.

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  48. I think it has nothing to do with introversion. Just because you don’t have the annoying incessant need to be talking to someone constantly does not make you an introvert. Maybe do an article about how people with low self esteem and control issues feel the need to be constantly bothering people so they have company and can keep tabs on everyone. Please put their stupid phones in the fridge lol.

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  49. I am an introvert & I LUV answering phones & also do @ work, just because a person may be shy, doesn’t mean they can’t talk, answering the phone is easy I would rather do this than go to a party with 50 people I don’t know, & by the way I have a few outgng friends that HATE answering phones & they are Extroverts too, so please don’t label us OK?

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  50. Thank you. This is me. Had rather do practically any thing than talk on phone. Love to communicate but please in person, email or text. Phones stress me out.

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  51. Omg I thought it was just me but I loathe the phone and the reason being btwn talking to people at work all day I need to disconnect from communication at the end of the day….too I am a busy mom so there you have it

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  52. I had no idea this was something so many people identified with. I *detest* a phone call and work, get this, as a phone customer service rep. I’m artsy fartsy, but every time that damned phone rings, it’s like curtain’s up and I get into my character. I’m good at it. I’m mr. life of the party, gregarious, etc. buy inside, I want off the phone. I’m an actor. Yes, I hate talking on the phone and go to great lengths to avoid doing so. Text or email, though even then I dread getting back.

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  53. In fact it is the other way around. Im extrovert and i hate meaningless long phone conversations. There is nothing else that is on the level of boring BS like some 2-3 hours long “talk” haul.
    I prefer to talk in person. Introverts may find phone convo more appealing but i just plainly despise phones.

    Reply
  54. I’m pretty darn introverted but I think my lack of desire to talk on the phone is on par with that of a lot of peoples’. I don’t want to talk at all in the morning but after coffee I’m OK. Now, if I have my headset on and I can go walking around, it doesn’t bother me at all to talk. In fact, I think more clearly when I walk. What annoys me more is having to hold the phone up to my ear – I find it physically uncomfortable after 5 minutes or so, especially on a smart phone. I’m not sure why, I just like having my hands free.

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  55. Interesting, I am exactly the same, I have answering phone.
    I mostly convey my intentions and feeling by facial gesture
    I hate disruption when I am concentrated on my work.
    I am an absolute introverts and I like my character but the truth is living as an introvert person is harden than as a extrovert person

    Reply
  56. I can’t stand it either, largely because I can’t do anything else while the other person is on the phone, I’ve realized. I think it’s the same reason I don’t like listening to audiobooks… my mind wanders. My ear/brain connection is pretty fast and can understand near-immediately; in fact, it generally wants to be fed more information ASAP some could say, this is another form of saying “Person A’s conversation is boring” if you like, lol; but I don’t think this is really it, as I find the reading of the selfsame audiobooks on paper, to be pretty enjoyable and suspenseful; because then I am in control of the pace and the flow of information).

    This proves to be a big problem generally, because no one in the world wants to receive a response of “Really, I understand that you’re lonely and have very few other people to talk to; but “no offense”, time I’m spending listening to you on the phone, is time I can’t be spending concentrating on doing other things, from killing the DVR backlog, to sorting through the filing system pileup, even down to showering or washing the dishes; so could we please terminate this call now?” (I kid you not, if it were acceptable to make or take phone calls in the shower I’d be all for it and phones, at least the “returning-calls” part of the obligation.)

    Reply
  57. So it’s not just me then. Seems pretty spot on to me but even after reading this I still don’t understand why it is so easy for me to communicate via text but not over the phone or even face to face

    Reply

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