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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.

WhispersOfWickedness Mon 25-Mar-13 14:48:42

My dad used to have a friend who wouldn't say anything when he answered the phone confused A couple of times my dad didn't say anything either and they stayed on the phone for ages in absolute silence! grin I think my dad was always the one to give in as well confused

2rebecca Mon 25-Mar-13 14:48:41

I answer the phone with "hello rebecca speaking" If it's one of my inlaws and they aren't forthcoming I then say "do you want to speak to x?" although they'll often just say "Is x around?"
If they don't want to speak to my husband I say "what can I do for you?"
If every time he phones you have long drawn out going nowhere conversations as you say in your OP then stop the waffly crap and ask him as soon as you know who it is if he wants your husband and if he says no, ask him what he wants.
Yes of course you say hello first but there's no need to prolong the waffly pleasanteries if he obviously isn't into them.

twentythirteen Mon 25-Mar-13 14:48:39

I hate this, but I also hate the reverse. Why answer the phone if you can't talk. Me to Step Father

"Hi, how are you?"


"I'm just wondering how your appt went?"


"Um, great, glad to here it. Is mum there?"

He's a slow talker and I simply cannot wait out his silences for him to say anything. It drives me crazy!

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.

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?".

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Oops, sorry, got distracted!

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

grin grin

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 .

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!

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

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

My sister does this. Drives me potty.

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?

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