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to ignore phone calls from people I don't want to speak to?

(28 Posts)
909090Gertrude Wed 03-Jun-15 10:08:42

A family member has a habit of phoning me frequently (like at least once a day) to update me on various things happening in his life (nothing major like health problems or emotional problems just usual boring life stuff). I'm getting really sick of this -mainly because of how one sided the conversations are but also because, bluntly, I'm not that interested.

It's possible that this person is lonely and so I have been fairly tolerant in the past, but my patience is dwindling and the phone calls are getting more frequent and more tedious.

AIBU to ignore the calls and only pick up, say, once every 2 or 3 days?

OstentatiousBreastfeeder Wed 03-Jun-15 10:16:29

Of course yanbu.

NomiMalone Wed 03-Jun-15 10:17:39


A phone call is an invitation to talk, not a demand.

I never answer my home phone during the day. It's always fecking PPI and "Microsoft" scammers.

Frecklefeatures Wed 03-Jun-15 10:20:03

No, I do this too. My mother calls and tells me the same news I've already had when I visited her, plus she may also have sent it via email/Facebook too! It's often intimate details of her friends' (who i have never met) medical issues, or a list of everything she has eaten that day. I phone her back once guilt gets the better of me, but I'm really busy and find the calls draining as I'm sitting thinking of all the other things I've got to do. She's got an active life, isn't ill/lonely/sad, she just likes to talk (at me)!

NinkyNonkers Wed 03-Jun-15 10:36:10

I rarely answer the phone. If someone wants me badly they will leave a voicemail or call again.

909090Gertrude Wed 03-Jun-15 10:52:27

Phew, glad people think IANBU. Why do I feel so naughty/guilty?!

I just switched the ringer off grin

bluebell345 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:57:58

YANBU, just use the phone when you need to ring someone. smile

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 03-Jun-15 11:11:36

I ignore people all the time. I figure if it's really important they'll call again, invariably they do not.

MiddleAgedandConfused Wed 03-Jun-15 11:21:35

NinkyNonkers - that makes no sense. If somebody calls again - you still wouldn't answer it?!

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 03-Jun-15 11:22:05

YANBU. I'm currently ignoring an annoying agency. They don't seem to understand that trebling my commute for less money is not in my interest.

fortyfide Wed 03-Jun-15 11:22:48

Cold callers all deserve to be ignored. And they have cause many people not to answer their landline phone at all Which is a shame

Relatives, well some can be too persistent. Maybe we should try and humour them out of their phone addiction

KingTut Wed 03-Jun-15 11:27:31

The relief when you allow yourself to not answer the door or phone if it's not a good time is great.

I had a neighbour who was similar to your relative. It took a while and he is clearly making things up about me as I am being thrown daggers by other neighbours. It's worth it to escape his boring me with his meals and movements that day, the final straw waa when he had a romantic crush on me.

TedAndLola Wed 03-Jun-15 11:34:29

This is one of the many reasons I got rid of my phone. So many people now think a phone call must be answered, even if you're talking face-to-face with someone else at the time. People were getting shitty with me because I was ignoring calls when it wasn't convenient, or when I just didn't want to talk.

Now they have to email or message me on Facebook and there isn't the same expectation of an immediate reply. It's been two years and I haven't regretted ditching the phone for a moment.

Fluffyears Wed 03-Jun-15 12:14:30

I don't answer house phone as it is always MIL and I hate speaking to her it feels awkward. I let DP answer it.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 03-Jun-15 12:19:15

I do this, and also refuse to answer calls or texts after my bedtime. I have one family member who's a repeat offender and one who did it for the first time last night. I can't turn my phone off or the alarm doesn't go off. sad

Skiptonlass Wed 03-Jun-15 12:24:36

Most phones have a sleep function, I know my iPhone has an evening one where you can set it not to ring between whatever times you like. The alarm still goes off smile

HootyMcTooty Wed 03-Jun-15 12:28:20

Surely everyone ignores calls, I do it frequently

RackofPeas Wed 03-Jun-15 12:30:59

Yanbu at all.
If I'm doing something I can't easily stop I ignore the phone, especially if I'm on the loo - which seems to be a prime time for cold callers!
I've got in the habit of silencing it during the little ones naps - but I'm crap at remembering to turn it back on.

EeekEeekEeekEeek Wed 03-Jun-15 12:35:38

Totally fine. As a PP said, the phone ring is an invitation to chat, not a demand. I screen calls from a particular relative who gets all huffy and hurt if I answer but can't chat (even if I'm carrying a screechy baby at the time and it's obviously not a good time) - it's easier to not pick up!

KnittyFoxyMa Wed 03-Jun-15 12:39:20

I'm so glad you posted, I had a huge argument about this the other day! YANBU!!! The phone is an instrument, not our master!!! I have caller display, and have to yell to the rest of family to leave the phone if I have seen it is someone I don't want to talk to immediately. We have call screening too, that is, the answering machine is always on. My Aunty has an unerring habit of calling at really awkward times, and if I answer, she will insist on coming over, even if I say i need to go out etc. i try to call her once a week, and do colouring while she moans at me for 20 mins...

selby Wed 03-Jun-15 12:41:26

I have Caller ID and I rarely answer it if I don't recognise the number. If it's important, they can ring back or leave a message or contact me another way - mobile/text/email! This filters the majority of junk calls I unwittingly answer.

Theycallmemellowjello Wed 03-Jun-15 12:41:52

Not unreasonable at all but I think it's a fair assumption that this person IS lonely. So if you care for them you might prefer to have a conversation about how busy you are/what would be an appropriate frequency of calls, rather than just ignoring. And maybe encouraging the person to volunteer or join a WI or whatever is appropriate so they can get a bit more social contact.

Justusemyname Wed 03-Jun-15 12:42:41


My FIL rings about four times a week. Far too much. Never get a chance to ring him. DH doesn't always answer. FIL doesn't ring his other child as much, just once a week hmm.

BabyMurloc Wed 03-Jun-15 12:44:35

YANBU. Most people screen calls. You should not be expected to always answer your phone all the time, especially "just to chat".

I can never decide if these are worse than my immediate relative who only ever calls if they need something and then tells you the problem asks how you are and hangs up before you answer...

My Dsis always wants to be on the phone for an hour, so I only answer if I know I can spare the time. If I don't get to the phone in time and call her back, she never answers...
I also never answer unrecognised numbers - they can always leave a message.

I've never understood this compulsion some people have to answer every call, no matter how inconvenient.

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