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to think that if you phone someone, the onus is then on you to initiate conversation

(28 Posts)
FarleyD Mon 25-Mar-13 13:34:52

.. and not to do what my BIL does every single time. Conversation goes like this:

Phone rings, I answer:

Me: "Hello"

BIL: "Hello"

Me: "Hello?"

Long awkward pause

BIL: "Hello"

And so on, and on and on. Drives me mad. I have no problem asking what he wants, but that's not the point. All very trivial in the grand scheme of things I know, but he's been my BIL for about twenty years now, and he still doesn't know how to converse properly.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 25-Mar-13 13:36:22

Oh I HATE this...yanbu. But then could he have an undiagnosed communication diffculty? People with Aspergers find the telephone difficult.

ISeeRedPeople Mon 25-Mar-13 13:37:24

My dad does something simiilar. If my mum rings me (or I ring home and get my mum first), he hovers around her, hurrying her up and sighing at her, pressuring her to give him the phone. Then he'll come on, have literally NOTHING to say to me, is really really hard work, and then doesn't pass it back to her.

So I never get a proper conversation with either of them.

YANBU, by the way.

Binkyridesagain Mon 25-Mar-13 13:38:56

YANBU, annoys the hell out of me.

He's one step further than my cousin. Phone rings.

Me: Hello


Me: Hello


Okay you don't want to talk

Cousin: oh hi, what was i phoning you for?

Kiriwawa Mon 25-Mar-13 13:39:40

My sister does this. Drives me potty.

FarleyD Mon 25-Mar-13 13:41:29

No, he has no undiagnosed communication difficulty unless there's some phone connected ailment as yet unnamed. He works in sales, and I would love to be a fly on the wall when he's making work related calls.

Binky - let's introduce them, they could have hours of endless silent fun smile

GettingObsessive Mon 25-Mar-13 13:41:30

Used to be a guy like this at work. He'd approach your desk and just sort if hover, looking at you expectantly. He once did this and then, when I got on with my work because he hadn't said anything made out that I was being rude!

ElegantSufficiency Mon 25-Mar-13 13:42:22

I think broader qutism phhenotype. i know a woman like this. she was cycling towards me obe day, saw me, stopped her bike.... had nothing to say to me. i can talj to most people. but i feel like i am just pulling the cord in my own back when i talk to this woman .

Binkyridesagain Mon 25-Mar-13 13:44:00

grin grin

FarleyD Mon 25-Mar-13 13:45:08

What does "broader qutism phhenotype" mean Elegant? I like the "pulling the cord in my own back" idea!

MadamePenguin Mon 25-Mar-13 13:45:22

YANBU,but if your BIL is always like that maybe ask him what he's calling about after he's said hello the first time, so you avoid the repeated hellos.

ElegantSufficiency Mon 25-Mar-13 13:46:26

Yeh and a colleague used to do this. with her tho, she felt the onus was on u to entertain her. she'd been half way round the world, spoke four languages but none of made her feel obluged to b interesting. her manner was 'entertain me" and like a pp noted , if ever u werent up to it she'd react like u had been very rude to her.

ElegantSufficiency Mon 25-Mar-13 13:49:47

Sorry on phone here. broarder AUtism phenotype. Baron-cohen identified this as a kind of half way between having aspergers and not having it. on an autism quotient test the result wouldnt be - oh u clearly have aspergers, but, if most womem score 15-17 somebody with the broader autism phenotype might have a score of 25.

FarleyD Mon 25-Mar-13 13:53:29

Elegant - thanks for explanation. He's very easy to chat to in person, it's just the bloody phone that seems to floor him.

ISeeRedPeople Mon 25-Mar-13 13:54:30

I do think my dad has an undiagnosed communication difficulty.
He was driven out of his previous company because of his phone manner shock

Even his text messages and emails don't seem to follow the usual conventions - just really abrupt. Some will be just one word.

It makes him very hard to... well... communicate with.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 25-Mar-13 13:55:18

Elegant yes...I think there's a lot of that about.

FarleyD Mon 25-Mar-13 13:55:49

Elegant - thanks for explanation. He's very easy to chat to in person, it's just the bloody phone that seems to floor him.

FarleyD Mon 25-Mar-13 13:56:13

Oops, sorry, got distracted!

Crinkle77 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:57:39

I hate it when some people don't know when a conversation has come to a natural end and just stand there and look at you.

ElegantSufficiency Mon 25-Mar-13 14:00:55

Yes phone is difficult. the taking turns part of a conversation is magnified. the is it my turn to speak decision is more confusing on the phone. also a roll of the eyes, a nod, smile, laugh buys you a PAUSE in a rl convo

2rebecca Mon 25-Mar-13 14:03:19

If he phones you then can you ask him why he phones? I presume he's your husband's brother so maybe he wants to talk to your husband but is too polite to say so. If one of my husband's relatives phones I usually say "do you want to speak to x?" fairly early on. I'm not my husband's social secretary and if the phone is for him I'd rathet pass it on than make polite chit chat just because I happened to answer it.
Some women do seem to feel they are custodians of the telephone though and get upset if the caller won't waffle on to them for 5 minutes first because they always get to it first.
Just pass the phone over, it's obviously not for you.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 25-Mar-13 14:06:28

My sister does this, it's so annoying.
And then she huffs because she says I don't want to talk to her confused

mmmuffins Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:20


When I lived at home, I thought one of my sisters had fairly dim friends, since when they called conversations went like this:

Phone rings.
Me: Hello
Them: Hello
Me: ...hello?
Them: Hi
Me: Who is this???

This happened frequently. Who calls a family home with 5 people living in it and doesn't bother asking to speak to the specific person they are trying to reach? I think they kept assuming that my sister had answered, but as she has two sisters who sound just like her, you might want to check?

I eventually started getting quite arsey with them.

FarleyD Mon 25-Mar-13 14:11:04

I do ask him why he phones 2rebecca, but it's only polite to say "hello" first. Unrefined though my telephone manner is, I can't just pick up and say "what do you want?".

mirry2 Mon 25-Mar-13 14:42:29

I hate it when people phone and don't say why they're phoning eg for a chat or for a particular purpose. I usually chat for a couple of minutes and then ask them if they phoned about anything in particular but some people take offence at being asked that. I really am a busy person and don't have a lot of time for aimless chat, but can't say that to them.

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