How often does your introverted friend miss your calls? Do they text you shortly after you hang up to say, “Sorry, I missed you! What’s up?”
Well, it’s awkward to tell you this, but they didn’t miss you and aren’t sorry. You’ve been ignored.
Avoiding phone calls is, unfortunately, another reason that introverts can appear rude.
| Read more: Are Introverts Rude?
There are a few reasons introverts hate talking on the phone.
In this post, I will explain why a phone call does not suit an introvert’s social skills and offer alternative options for accommodating your introverted friends.
Introverts Have Boundaries
Social interactions of any type can drain an introvert’s battery.
I feel this is one of the most well-known and understood facts about introversion.
Therefore, I hope everyone will understand that introverts decline phone calls to protect their energy.
When your friend shares their dislike of talking on the phone, they are setting a boundary.
This boundary relays their desire to be there for the people they care about in a capacity they can manage.
I have set boundaries with family and friends to ask for a text message before all calls. And they are incredibly considerate, sometimes scheduling a call a few days in advance. Of course, they have also set boundaries with me so that I may meet their needs in return.
Try to consider how you might support your introverted friend.
Having a conversation about boundaries is an excellent place to start. Ask how they prefer to be contacted and try to remain open to their options.
Introverts Need to Prepare
But if it’s just a quick call, it should be okay, right? Well, not exactly.
Think about how you feel receiving a phone call from a telemarketer when you’ve sat down for dinner. Perhaps dinner is your time to recharge, and you have been looking forward to this moment all day. You prepared your space, set the table, served the food and just got comfortable when the phone rang. Will you answer it? Assuming you have caller ID, probably not.
For an introvert, all phone calls feel like a telemarketer is interrupting dinner.
Except, in place of dinner, the peace of the introvert bubble has been burst.
Most phone calls come without warning. And within the introvert community, anything last minute feels rude and intrusive to their personal time.
Introverts need to practice their social skills and prepare their energy for all social events.
I always like to have talking points prepared so I seem less standoffish, and I want the ability to leave a conversation if I start feeling drained.
When the phone rings, there is no time to practice for the conversation, develop a polite exit strategy or know how long the call will last. In the end, it feels like such a gamble to answer.
Out of respect for your introverted friend, I suggest texting them first. A courtesy text will allow them the opportunity to mentally prepare for your call.
Introverts Use Body Language
Perhaps your friend also declines when you ask if you can call them. Or, in those rare instances you do get them on the phone, they don’t say much. What’s that about?
Introverts are observers and non-verbal communicators. They read situations and use actions to participate in conversations.
Body language and facial expressions reveal your mood and needs. They say far more than your words ever will.
And for an introvert, reading is how they can understand a social situation:
- What is the vibe?
- What does their friend need (i.e., a listener or advice)?
- How should they react (i.e., choosing the appropriate emotion)?
- When should they speak?
Without body language, they must adjust their listening and response skills.
This means that when introverts are on the phone, they focus their attention on your tone and try to detect when they should reply rather than stay present in the conversation.
It is frustrating, exhausting and distracting to the point that the conversation seems wasteful. And it definitely gives off this could have been an email vibes.
One option I recommend is to limit phone calls to ongoing conversations. Ongoing conversations would be events or social situations your introvert is already apprised of through previous messages and face-to-face interactions.
Continuing an earlier conversation ensures your friend has the social data they need. And that will allow them a better capacity to participate in the call.
Phone Calls Will Always Be Exhausting
You may be tempted to claim that phone calls can become easier with practice.
But based on my experience, while we can develop new social skills to make phone interactions less awkward, they will always be exhausting.
I have worked in an office building and trained myself to be comfortable with sending and receiving phone calls. However, I found I would either reach my capacity or force myself beyond it every day.
And I would still rather not take phone calls in my personal life.
I’m very much at a place where I will only make or take a phone call if I absolutely must. But I will always search for alternatives first.
Please keep in mind that you can also adapt to your introverted friend.
Match Your Communication to Their Needs
Within the introvert community, the consensus is text is best.
Texting gives introverts a break to recharge between messages, and there’s no requirement for an immediate response.
They are free to participate as much or as little as they choose.
And they can decide when they are available.
Nothing beats the comfort of checking the notifications bar before determining if it’s worth the energy.
A second option I prefer over a phone call is a video call.
Video calls let me read the facial expressions of the person I am speaking to. As a result, I feel more present in the conversation and can demonstrate that I am paying attention by using non-verbal cues.
The appeal of this option will vary from person to person for various reasons.
So my best advice is to ask your friend directly whether texting or video calls are comfortable.
Understand Your Introverted Friend
Ultimately, most interactions are exhausting for introverts. And phone calls feel like the worst form of communication because they cannot prepare or use their strongest social skills.
If you do need to call your introverted friend, only call with a purpose. Try to keep the call as short as possible and stick to the point.
Also, discuss and decide on a communication option that serves you both.
Today, we have so much technology to allow people to choose their preferred methods of communication. So should introverts really be required to answer the phone?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.