Why Your Introvert Ignores Your Calls

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.

Pinterest Pin: Why introverts avoid talking on the phone and alternative options for accomodating 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.

Pinterest Pin: Why Your Introvert Ignores Your Calls

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.

10 Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone

Does anyone else dislike the expression “get out of your comfort zone?”

I’d rather stay comfortable while I try new things.

Instead, I prefer the idea of expanding my comfort zone. I don’t want to break it, but I want to stretch my limit just a little to enable more experiences to feel comfortable.

10 Activities to Expand Your Comfort Zone

I learned the hard way to take baby steps in the expansion process after forcing myself into a panic attack—it wasn’t a great time.

It took practice to recognize what I could accomplish and when I needed to stop.

During the process, I reflected on the past events that produced my short limits and considered how I could let them go. And I discovered why certain activities made me feel more comfortable than others.

I am sharing this list of activities that I used in the hopes that it can inspire others to expand their comfort zones as well. Some of these activities are small steps, and others are giant leaps.

Deciding on the activities that are right for you will take a lot of self-reflection. Some things to consider are:

  • What are your goals?
  • What will make you uncomfortable in that situation?
  • What can you do to make the situation more comfortable for yourself?

Please read the list and consider an activity that serves your comfort zone.

Disclaimer: The activities on this list may result in interactions with strangers. Be careful and trust your instincts. Do not force yourself to remain in a situation that feels unsafe or uncomfortable. If your gut tells you to go home, go home and reflect on the interaction. You did not fail!

A residential street for a short walk
Gurye, South Korea, 2019

1. Go For A Walk

Can it be that simple? Well, yeah.

Exercise can help relieve some anxiety, and you won’t be stuck in one place for too long–unless you want to be.

Take a solo walk around your neighbourhood. Feel comfortable being alone outside of your home, in an area you are familiar with.

If you already walk regularly, try taking a different route. Follow the path to the left rather than the right and see where it leads you.

Along your walk, take some time to sit on a bench, relax and observe.

If someone greets you while walking by (which is very common where I’m from), decide if you’re comfortable with greeting them in return. If you’re unsure, wear earbuds without music playing to give yourself an excuse for not hearing (AKA ignoring) those people.

A selection of traditional Korean desserts
Seoul, South Korea, 2017

2. Dine Out Alone

This one can be somewhat scary, and I don’t recommend forcing yourself to start here.

But, if you love dining out and don’t want to wait for your support system to go with you, perhaps this could be your end goal.

At a restaurant, you can eat alone at a table. And the only people you need to talk to are the waitstaff.

If you are like me and get anxious about talking to waitstaff, practice and prepare before going to the restaurant. I practice a script in my mind about what they will likely ask me and how to answer.

I ook at the menu online to get an idea of what you would like to order. Pick three drinks, appetizers, entrées and desserts so you have a back-up plan in case they run out.

Also, prepare “I’ll just need another minute,” and don’t let them rush you.

Keep in mind that restaurants are typically full of people, which could mean a potential sensory overload if you are sensitive to sound and movement. Bring a book or plug into a podcast to establish a wall from the other restaurant patrons.

Woman holding a ukulele

3. Join A Class

Are you interested in learning ceramics, dance, martial arts, yoga, or another language? You can do it!

A class offers three core benefits while you expand your comfort zone.

First and foremost, you can learn or improve an activity that interests you.

Second, classes offer a safe social aspect.

When the class first begins, everyone starts as a stranger to each other (i.e., no scary cliques).

The class has also brought together a group of people who have similar interests, so you already know one thing you have in common.

And when you see the same people every week, you may slowly begin to form a bond, which has the potential to develop into close friendships.

Third, and best of all, if you do not enjoy your classmates, you won’t need to see them after class ends—there’s no commitment necessary.

There is nothing wrong with having an escape plan.

Image of a joined Facebook group page

4. Join An Online Group

Disclaimer: Do not provide personal or financial information to people you meet online. Should you decide to meet up one day, have a video call first and choose a public location. Also, tell a friend or family member who you’re meeting and where.

From the safety of your own home, unite with people from around the world who share your interests.

Social media, online games and forums provide a space to create meaningful friendships.

And even if you never meet these people in real life, online friends are significant and empowering.

The internet offers something for everyone, so finding potential groups you click with can be accomplished with a quick search.

Follow the topics that get you excited. Participate in discussions. Follow the people who post the content you like. Share, like and keep conversations going.

Remember to be respectful and that it’s okay to disagree with someone without being rude.

Close up image of a blue mug and the interior of a café in the background
Gurye, South Korea, 2020

5. Visit A Café

Get a change of scenery while doing something you like: read a book, work on some knitting, listen to a podcast, or update your blog.

As long as you order something, you can sit in a café.

Full of comfortable chairs, a few plants and a well-spaced seating arrangement, most cafés are designed to be a calm place for people to meet or work outside of the home.

If you’re lucky, they’ll have a window seat where you can enjoy the sun’s warmth and take breaks to people-watch.

It is customary to order a few drinks should you choose to remain there for a few hours, so take a gander at the menu before arriving and think of what you might enjoy.

If you visit a small café often, there’s a good chance that the baristas will remember you, and you can create a comforting friendship. Of course, it doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it feels great!

Cœur de pirate at the 2017 Regina Folk Festival
Cœur de pirate, Regina, Canada, 2017

6. Go To A Concert

You may be asking, why would I ever want to be squeezed together in a mob of strangers? It’s simple: you like the music.

I’ve seen my favourite band ten times, and while it can take a long, calming pep talk to get myself in the building, I’m always happier for it.

For me, the most awkward and anxiety-inducing moment of the night comes before the concert starts. This is the time when the lights are still up, and I’m standing alone, away from the crowd, scrolling social media and feigning confidence in my solo venture.

But once the lights go down and the music starts, the group comes together as one, and I’m no longer alone.

I’m not a fan of crowds, but in this setting, even though a horde of strangers will surround me, I barely notice them as I focus on my band and their music.

For those more interested in trying to ally with a new friend, this activity again allows you to be around people with similar interests. Try to strike up a conversation before the show starts, and maybe you can meet up after to talk about it.

Solo woman visiting light art installation
Yeosu, South Korea, 2022

7. Take A Tour

This is an excellent idea for the solo adventurer and history lover.

Tours can be of a single location or provide transportation to various places. It could be a famous landmark in your own city or a set of islands on the other side of the world.

In other words, a tour can give you a short or long time bunched together with a ragtag group of people.

Tours have allowed me time to become familiar with other people as well as time to venture out alone.

As they are full of solo travellers, it is understandable and expected to break off alone sometimes.

I also enjoy tours that provide transportation and accommodation as I will only have to talk to the tour guide to sort out any issues.

And with a tour guide, you can listen and follow along or participate and ask questions.

Never forget that when you pay for a tour, you have the right to ask many questions, so don’t be embarrassed—you’ll be giving the tour guide a chance to show off their knowledge.

Explore all the available options, and decide what will make you feel the most comfortable.

One green and one red mug at a Christkindlmarkt in Germany circa 2019
Germany, 2019

8. Visit A Street Fair Or Market

Perhaps this idea came to mind as the weather is getting warmer. Still, it allows you to flex a few of these suggested activities: walking, eating alone and playing tourist.

The market could be in your city or the next town over. It could be a farmer’s market or an artisan street fair.

During the spring and summer months, there are many markets displaying various wares that will likely meet your interest.

But don’t feel trapped inside during the colder months as winter markets can be overflowing with beautiful decorations and warm drinks.

When purchasing from a vendor, you can keep the conversation strictly to your purchase or ask them about their process and get into a deep discussion.

People who set up these booths are often very chatty because they are excited about what they do and want to share it with everyone.

Should the interaction become too much, you can say “thank you” and leave.

Don’t forget to bring cash along with your credit card for those few vendors without a machine.

Hearts and love locks in Busan, South Korea
Love locks in Busan, South Korea, 2020

9. Go On A Date

Disclaimer: Please be careful with online dating. Try to video chat with your match before the date, share their details with a family member or friend, and meet in a public space.

Yeah, I know, dating can bring the worst kind of judgemental behaviour against introverts for their limited social skills.

We must talk about ourselves and keep a conversation going to get to know a new person. It sounds awful!

But, if you really want to learn about someone, you won’t get stuck in small talk.

Deep conversations are often intoxicating for introverts.

A first, second or third date is a great place to get that fix.

And we live in a time when dating apps are the go-to place to meet a potential partner.

Checking a profile can tell you if they are physically and personably attractive to you.

With your conversation opener, the small talk can get out of the way very quickly or be ignored entirely if you ask a pointed question about their profile.

You don’t have to meet until you are ready, and by that time, they won’t be a perfect stranger anymore.

Lanterns in Jiufen, Taiwan
Jiufen, Taiwan, 2020

10. Take A Solo Trip

Disclaimer: I always share my itinerary with a family member or friend. Be safe and have fun!

It’s another scary one but beyond worth it if you’ve always wanted to travel.

When you are on a trip, you will interact with so many more people than you usually would in your daily life.

You’ll meet hotel staff, gas station attendants, bus drivers, flight attendants, restaurant staff, and tour guides. And they might also not speak English depending on where you want to go.

For your first adventure, I recommend taking a short trip to a nearby city or simply checking in to a hotel to explore your own city as a tourist.

I have found that many tourism experiences follow the same formula, so there is some comfort to be found in the routine.

Because travelling and experiencing the world is my dream, I have promised myself that I won’t waste my vacation time and money staying inside.

Instead, I plan a short itinerary for some activities to ensure I get out of the hotel.

Trust me, it’s easy to get comfortable in the solitude of a hotel, but remember that at the end of the day, you can retreat to that safe space to recharge.

On many of my solo trips, I would be out exploring from 8 to 5 (or whenever it started to get dark). I would then spend the remainder of the evening alone in my room.

The activities can be simple: go for a walk in a new city, read a book in an interesting café, try new foods, and take tours.

I admit that I have found a lot of comfort in being a stranger in a strange city.

That’s the list!

Once again, I don’t recommend forcing yourself to try something if it triggers any anxiety or negative thinking. Before most activities, I would need to give myself an encouraging pep talk. And sometimes I would last maybe 5 minutes before bailing.

After trying an activity, reflect on how it made you feel and why.

Find encouragement in every activity you have tried.

You are doing this for yourself, so be kind and set small goals to accomplish along the way.

If you have tried any of these activities or would like to recommend more, please share in the comments.

Expand your comfort Zone with 10 Activities

Are Introverts Rude?

It’s a Fair Question

I am fully aware of how awkward I am in social situations. Everything from my body language to conversation topics to how I speak (or don’t) is very uncomfortable.

I will always arrive late, so I am not the first person there.

If I find a place to sit, I will hold up there for the whole night.

I become very aware of my hands when I’m required to stand and will cross my arms as a result.

I will not speak unless spoken to.

And will leave without saying a word when I decide I need a break from people. Though, in my defense, I do return to resume my previous position when ready.

I have been told that none of this is okay on multiple occasions. And while my friends understand my introversion, I’m deemed rude and weird to new people.

We live in an extroverted world where enjoying each other’s company and connecting should bring happiness and prosperity. Therefore, actively trying not to participate in social gatherings can appear subversive and rude.

Control Your Perception

Despite others’ opinions, I see myself as a very polite person.

The minimum exchange required to be polite is saying please and thank you. And I’m all over that.

I am a great listener and care about the stories that people share with me. However, I typically don’t listen to respond; I listen to be an ear and show understanding. Sometimes this is okay, but active listening often requires responding to demonstrate we are giving our full attention.

However, knowing when it’s acceptable to listen and when a response is expected is challenging.

I think that’s what many people don’t understand: it’s difficult to pick up on social cues different from our own.

I assume all introverts have seen and shared the meme that introverts are told to leave their comfort zone, but extroverts don’t make the zone comfortable.

Perhaps the real issue then is perspective.

Introverts and extroverts see interactions very differently.

For example, let’s consider an interaction between a self-isolating, quiet introvert and a well-meaning extrovert.

The extrovert may assume the introvert is very shy. So to be polite and help them feel comfortable, the extrovert will attempt to interact with the introvert. But to this, the introvert responds with annoyance.

They’re just being polite, so why is the introvert being rude?

Well, from the introvert’s perspective, the extrovert is rude. They were content, comfortable and vibing in their safe space. But now they need to dedicate their energy to this unwanted conversation.

Each party views the interaction differently because they have different perspectives and different needs.

Trying to Find a Middle Ground

It is possible to create a space that is comfortable for everyone.

But how do we do that?

Communication.

One of my biggest pet peeves while driving are people who do not signal. And when I was in high school, another student told me that she doesn’t signal “because they should just know where I’m going.”

I feel like a lot of people use this attitude as if people “should just know” how to make spaces comfortable.

But a middle ground is only possible when we can communicate and respect each other’s boundaries.

I have found that sharing my boundaries has relieved a lot of stress in my life. Not all, but it has helped.

I feel more comfortable with other people, they are noticeably more comfortable with me, and I have also gained the freedom to terminate uncomfortable relationships (including with family or friends).

Some of my boundaries include no touching, needing breaks to isolate, and being a listener (not a talker). These are things I need to keep me comfortable and safe. And i need other people to understand them.

I share my boundaries through a quick conversation or simple statement.

If they accept the boundary, everything is copacetic.

On the other hand, if they break the boundary, the relationship is broken—not ended, but needing repair. Only once someone has repeatedly ignored my set boundaries will I remove myself. It’s never an easy decision, but it is necessary.

Thankfully, I have surrounded myself with people who have chosen to respect my boundaries and those who did not are gone.

Assert Your Boundaries

In order to create comfortable spaces, we must declare our boundaries. But how do we do that?

4 steps for asserting boundaries as an introvert. 1 Decide how to communicate. 2 State your boundaries. 3 No one has a right to your story (don't overshare). 4 It's never too late to set a boundary.

Decide how to communicate your boundaries.

Answer these questions when considering how to communicate your boundaries:

  • What is your relationship with that person? Are they a family member, friend, or co-worker?
  • What kind of relationship do you want with that person? How close will you want to become?
  • What is the current setting? Is it a quiet place, appropriate for a deep discussion, or a public place with many people?

These are essential questions to answer when judging how to communicate.

Your communication style and how much information you share will be determined by your relationship. For example, I speak to my parents differently than I do my friends or co-workers. And I consider the person and location when deciding whether I want to reveal the reasons behind my boundaries.

State your boundaries.

Once you’ve decided how to communicate your boundaries, it’s time to consider what you will say.

Some tips to keep in mind:

First, always verbally state your boundaries, especially if someone unknowingly crosses them.

Our close family members or friends may recognize the non-verbal cues that signal when we are uncomfortable. But non-verbal communication leaves too much room for interpretation and misunderstanding.

We want to clearly identify the specific behaviours that will make us comfortable in social situations.

Second, control your tone.

We want to share to educate and not to shame. If a person feels shamed for breaking a boundary they were unaware of, they will feel disrespected and respond negatively.

There are not many genuinely evil people who actively want to distress others. More often than not, it’s a simple misunderstanding, and they will change their behaviour if you politely state your boundaries. So, again, share and don’t shame.

Third, know what you want to say.

You can be very broad and say that you are quiet and introverted. In my experience, that typically forgives your actions and behaviours to make others comfortable. However, it does not tell others how to make you comfortable.

Therefore it can be helpful to name the specific behaviours that disrupt your vibe.

Just to give you an example, I will politely decline when a person reaches for a handshake because it crosses my no-touch boundary. I will say, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude. It’s very nice to meet you. But I prefer not to be touched.”

As polite as I try to be, there are still some people (especially the older generations) who treat it as a slight.

I cannot control how they respond and may need to field some questions. But the boundary has been set and I feel protected.

The idea of setting boundaries can seem daunting. I recommend practicing with your safe people first to find the best strategy for you.

Be picky about who you bare your thoughts to.

It is important to always state your boundaries but choose carefully before sharing your personal stories.

No one is ever required to explain why they have boundaries.

We set boundaries for a reason, and we shouldn’t need to give a tragic story for them to be respected.

If you choose to explain your boundaries, being very open and personal can bring you closer to people. However, it can also be considered oversharing in the wrong relationship or venue.

For example, you may see your co-workers more often than your family. However, they are not owed your deepest, darkest secrets. They are the people you are placed with, not those you choose.

And you may feel more comfortable telling the partner you’ve been dating for a few months why you shut down during arguments than you might have felt on the first date. Or you might never feel comfortable sharing your story, and that’s okay too.

My friends know more details than some family members regarding a few of my boundaries. And I have other boundaries I will likely never explain to anyone.

Yet, while many people do not know the history behind my boundaries, they still respect them.

Receiving the personal reasons why we form a boundary is not a right; it is an honour that they must earn.

It’s never too late.

It’s okay to change your boundary.

It’s not always possible to adequately express your boundaries to new people.

Meeting for the first time already requires sharing a flood of information. We share our names, where we’re from, what we do, how we know our mutual friends and any other tidbit of data pulled from small talk.

I’m often too busy trying to remember names to think of mentioning my boundaries.

Thankfully, it’s never too late to share, explain or change your boundaries with a person.

A first impression doesn’t mean much. Impressions change as we get to know people.

Sometimes they change for the better, or sometimes the worse.

Sometimes we realize that people have misunderstood us. Sometimes we realize that we have misunderstood them.

Sometimes we decide that we want to become closer with someone. And sometimes we decide that someone is getting uncomfortably close to us.

It’s okay to change your boundary.

I remember changing my no-touching boundary with a friend. When we first met, I mentioned the boundary and he has always been cool with it. But during one of our get-togethers, I went in for a long hug. He asked me what had changed, and all I could say was that it felt right.

So never rush. Take all the time you need to decide the best course for expressing yourself and your boundaries.

Boundaries Change the Rules of Etiquette

In my mind, respect plays a prominent role in being polite.

And boundaries are an expression of respect.

They can remove misunderstandings, make spaces comfortable for everyone, and establish relationships.

But we cannot assume what will make a space comfortable for other people.

A person cannot walk into your house and move your furniture to suit their preferences.

Nor can they claim your boundaries are unnecessary, inappropriate, or rude.

And the same goes for the boundaries set by others.

Try to think from different perspectives about what other people may need from you and how you can have the appropriate conversations.

Read more from the pros (I have no affiliation with these websites, but have found them useful on my journey):

Do you have any examples for communicating boundaries? Please share them in the comments!