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Phone calls

(29 Posts)
bornwithaplasticspoon Wed 14-Oct-15 14:19:35

As background, I'm shy and introverted and only have a couple of close friends but I'm happy. I hate using the phone as a phone, I will merrily text all day but I'm not a chit chat person. If I have to make a call my heart rate rockets and I fear I am disturbing and inconveniencing the person I'm calling sad. If my phone rings I usually ignore it unless it's dh (he only actually rings if it's really important) or school or childcare. I assume people will leave a message if they need to.

Dd made friends with a girl at school. They've had a few play dates (which I just about cope with!). The trouble is her mother - who rings rather than texts me. I ignore and follow up with 'sorry I missed your call, text back if you need me' type of message. She rarely texts though and will call again. Still I ignore and repeat the text. I recieved two missed calls on Monday. Yesterday at school she said 'You never answer your phone!' and seemed a bit annoyed. I asked why she called and she said it was to ask about food for the play date this week. I repeated 'sorry I was busy, it's usually better to text me' and she just laughed as if I was joking confused

I am feeling the need to back off from this woman. What is wrong with preferring to communicate via text?

GloGirl Wed 14-Oct-15 14:21:45

I am the same as you. Most people get the hint and if they don't I just breezily say "Ah but I don't do phones. And tell them it is always on silent so I will never know they're ringing.

elelfrance Wed 14-Oct-15 14:23:56

When trying to sort out dates/availabililty/arrangements I often find a phone call a quicker & more efficient way of doing it, not to mention a bit more sociable, so I can understand someone who prefers this, I wouldn't find it pushy on her part.

Of course, you've every right to be uncomfortable on the phone and prefer texting, you two might just have incompatible communicaiton styles

claraschu Wed 14-Oct-15 14:30:23

We don't get mobile reception in our house, and I have a cheap old phone which I use when I am out. It is a real nuisance for me to have to text anyone. I also prefer to talk, as I can figure out everything at once, and get a feel for the tone and nuance of a situation- things which are lost in a text message.

Remember that, until very recently, everyone called each other. It might not occur to the other mother that you would be anxious about talking on the phone, which used to be how everyone communicated.

LittleRedSparke Wed 14-Oct-15 14:37:43

Most people over the age of 25 are well aware of "Remember that, until very recently, everyone called each other."

I hate phone calls too and prefer texts/emails/whatsapp/messenger - i will answer calls, but cringe doing so - i dont call people.

Geekmama Wed 14-Oct-15 14:37:59

I hate texting but I'm dyslexic. So it takes a lot to get stuff down in the way that I'm happy with. smile just tell her you don't like talking on the phone. I'm Sure she'll understand smile

DoJo Wed 14-Oct-15 14:44:45

What is wrong with preferring to communicate via text?

Perhaps she prefers phoning to texting - someone I know is dyslexic and it takes him hours to put a text together so he much prefers phoning. Also, some conversations are easier to have on the phone - I can see how discussing food could be one such conversation - so perhaps she thought it would make more sense to do it in a phone call than a series of texts.

Neither of you are in the wrong, but it would be a shame to fall out with someone who is clearly trying to forge a friendship over something so meaningless in the great scheme of things.

HellKitty Wed 14-Oct-15 14:52:39

Last week me and DP got separated in a shopping centre so he called me. In five years of being together it must have been the fifth phone call we've made to each other! We used to text or FaceTime before living together. It was really weird hearing him on the phone. He has a slight stutter but not IMO noticeable but it means he'd rather text.

In your situation I think you should make an effort, tell her you hate chatting on the phone, a lot of people do! Exaggerate hearing problems or reception problems if you don't want to admit it. But make an effort with this friendship for your DD at least.

EponasWildDaughter Wed 14-Oct-15 14:54:33

There are some good reasons mentioned here why she might prefer to call rather than text.

I do agree with you though OP - i prefer texting. Most folk do now i think. The more we have all got used to not having to leap to the immediate attention of the ringing house phone, the more we have come to love the informality and 'reply when you can' feel of texting.

I wish my mother would learn to text, but she point blank refuses. She's just about the only one who rings the house phone. and then doesn't ask if now's a good time or stop to draw breath for 20 mins straight. I'm always getting the ''whyyyyy don't you answer your phone? I could have been dead!'' spiel.

ConstanceMarkYaBitch Wed 14-Oct-15 15:00:22

I am feeling the need to back off from this woman. What is wrong with preferring to communicate via text?

And what is wrong with wanting to communicate by phone?

Jeffreythegiraffe Wed 14-Oct-15 15:02:07

Well, she may think you're coming across as rude. She may prefer to phone.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 14-Oct-15 15:06:06

Has it not occurred to you that perhaps she doesn't like using text, and prefers the phone??

bornwithaplasticspoon Wed 14-Oct-15 15:09:07

I just feel phoning is such an intrusion.. talk to me Now! Now! Now! I'm always busy and as well as hating calls I don't have the time. I'm really awkward on the phone. I see her twice a day at school and have a chat. I'm much happier with face to face communication than on the phone.

Scremersford Wed 14-Oct-15 15:11:05

YANBU. I got several missed phone calls today. Assuming they were about an ad I'd placed on Gumtree, I texted back to say I was at work and couldn't take calls but I'd respond to texts when I could.

Then I got a text asking me to phone them. Followed by another arsy text 30 minutes later.

Do some people not realise that many are in work sometimes?

DoJo Wed 14-Oct-15 15:20:26

I just feel phoning is such an intrusion.. talk to me Now! Now! Now! I'm always busy and as well as hating calls I don't have the time.

But for someone who takes a long time to text, or is hoping for a swift answer, a quick chat is much more practical than a potentially drawn out text conversation. I completely appreciate that you prefer to text, but I think dismissing those who prefer to chat on the basis of how you feel about phone calls is bound to end in misunderstanding.

TheHouseOnTheLane Wed 14-Oct-15 15:22:13

I tell people I'm a bit deaf...I explain that I struggle on phones as I can't see their face. They NEVER complain.

I am a bit deaf but not that bad.

HellKitty Wed 14-Oct-15 15:22:59

DB tells DM he doesn't do phone calls because of tinnitus. He's a lazy twat in reality.

EponasWildDaughter Wed 14-Oct-15 15:23:49

OP, when you know she's called (and left a message?) how about you text pretty much straight away and say 'sorry can't talk right now, but i will ring you later tonight' or similar.

Would you feel better being the one to make the call? Especially as you know she is a person who likes calls and is actively waiting for you to call.

You can mentally prepare for the call, make it at a time which suits you, and possibly engineer an end time for the call too - get DH or someone to interupt the call at a certain time, and you can say you need to go now.

Roussette Wed 14-Oct-15 15:27:56

I think you have to imagine a phone call as a face to face without the face! If you can manage to speak to her face to face, you can manage to talk on the phone, you can look what you like, pull whatever faces you like, no one can see you, but just talk and make arrangements. I find it odd I have to admit, if someone will never speak on the phone. Some people hate texting.

JapaneseSlipper Wed 14-Oct-15 15:35:20

I'm with you. I hate the phone. I've hated it since I was a kid. I went through a phase in my 20s where I didn't mind it, but a stressful job with a 24/7 blinking and ringing Blackberry has made me hate it once again.

Occasionally I run up against people who insist on calling and do the exact same thing as your friend, OP. I have a baby, my phone's always on silent. I will turn it off occasionally if I'm expecting an important call, but it always, always wakes my baby up, and then I get angry at the thing.

You need to tell this person that you're not going to talk to them on the phone. Too bad if she doesn't like texts. If she's the one who needs something from you, she can do it on your terms or not at all. Don't feel you have to apologise to her.

JapaneseSlipper Wed 14-Oct-15 15:35:58

"Some people hate texting."

And some people hate talking on the phone.

poocatcherchampion Wed 14-Oct-15 15:36:07

The thing that annoys me about this and is reflected on this thread is that lots of people think it is fine to say they don't like to text but not socially acceptable to say you don't like to chat on the phone. confused

I dont like chatting on the phone and rarely do except for at work but there are a number of relatives who go on and on about me being hard to get hold of but then never reply to texts as they don't like texting. Often it is not convenient to talk on the phone as it is actually not that much fun trying to chat on the phone with my toddlers hanging off me,or having to super organise them to achieve peace. Or once they are in bed I just want peace.

Like you op I am also sociable face to face.

claraschu Wed 14-Oct-15 15:48:07

poocatcher I get the impression on this thread and in real life tht everyone expects you to text.

What is clear is that there are legitimate reasons for people to be uncomfortable either with texting (no reception, old phone, dyslexia, difficulty expressing complicated or nuanced ideas as a text message) or with talking (anxiety, work, general busyness, intrusion of phone demanding immediate attention).

Maybe we should all go back to writing letters: support the good old Royal Mail.

bornwithaplasticspoon Wed 14-Oct-15 15:50:33

Thanks all.

I hate the thought that anyone would think I'm rude. That just makes me feel even more anxious. I answer texts fairly quickly. I like to think about my reply first. I think that's another problem with calls - I can't think properly and end up agreeing to something I don't really want to do and then get more anxious about having to say I don't want to do it.

I understand that in ye olden days we didn't have texting, but we didn't have a phone ringing in our pocket when we were shopping or having a family day out either. Phone calls tended to only take place between the end of corrie and the nine o'clock news. I can remember my mother's disapproval if anyone called after that time.

Life is just so stressful. When I get home at night with my family around me - I want to shut the world out. If that's rude - so be it.

DoJo Wed 14-Oct-15 15:51:38

The thing that annoys me about this and is reflected on this thread is that lots of people think it is fine to say they don't like to text but not socially acceptable to say you don't like to chat on the phone.

I don't think anyone's said that, just that there are equally good reasons for people to prefer talking on the phone and one person's preference doesn't trump anyone else's. You can say that you don't like to talk on the phone, but that doesn't mean someone who doesn't like texting has to fall in line with your wishes at the expense of their own.

From a purely practical standpoint there are times when texting makes more sense such as giving someone an address or phone number that they would otherwise only have to write down anyway, and times when phoning is a more practical option such as discussing where to meet or similar. In the example cited by the OP, I can see why the mother wanted to speak as organising food for a play date is the kind of thing that might be easier as an actual conversation rather than a series of texts, but that's not to say that either party is wrong to prefer to do it there way, just that it's not as simple as one person's preference being 'wrong' enough to warrant insisting that the exchange takes place on the other's terms.

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