I felt really sad and guilty today because I did not have the energy I needed to attempt a telephone conversation. I slept poorly and was having a bit of a down day. But I miss my family and want to communicate with them. This got me thinking about my aversion to being on the phone. I recently read about introverts and telephones in a book I’ve mentioned previously “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World ‘ by Sophie Dembling.
I have long been uncomfortable talking on the phone, and my depression and anxiety have heightened that. As Brene’ Brown would say “I Thought It Was Just Me”. Turns out it’s not. Ms. Dembling also has a blog called “The Introvert’s Corner”. The blog I read was called “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call … Well, No, Actually We Probably Won’t…” The website is:https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-introverts-corner/201002/dont-call-us-we-ll-call-well-no-ac…
Here are some summarized excerpts:
Ms Dembling starts out with “I love Facebook. I love e-mail. I love letters…But I hate the phone. Hate it. Hate. It.” Hate is a pretty strong word, but in many situations, I definitely prefer texting, Facebook (that’s why you see me on Facebook so often <grin>), be this good or bad.) I also like to send hand-written letters and e-mail rather than talking on the phone. As she says, I can be on the phone “when I feel up to the exertion the phone requires for me.”
Ms. Dembling notes that “A lot of you have said you feel the same.Introverts don’t do phone if we can help it.” Ms. Dembling says she has been “racking my brain for the definitive explanation for this shared aversion… I can think of a few reasons… “ Here is summary of the reasons she lists:
- The phone is intrusive. We don’t know when it will ring. When it does, we need to tear our minds away from whatever we were focusing on and refocus on whoever is on the other end of the line and whatever he or she has to say. This can make introverts brains hurt.
- Phone conversations require a block of time. When that kind of call ambushes me, it derails my whole day. I try to schedule them–and even so, a certain amount of bullet biting is necessary for me to keep the appointment.
- Introverts tend to be slow thinkers and responders and long pauses don’t go over well on the phone. If I am on the phone with a talkative person, I struggle to get my say. I end up doing a lot of listening and uh-huhing. After a while, my mind wanders or gets exhausted.
- It can be difficult to focus a busy, busy introvert mind on the abstraction that is telephone conversation. Listening to one thing and seeing something else is a lot of sensory input piled on top of everything that’s already going on in our heads. This is exhausting and our mind drifts back into itself; it has to be forced back to the conversation.
- Ms. Dembling suggests a headset because holding a phone to the ear can make introverts feel even more trapped. This allows us to do simple chores, such as sweeping or loading the dishwasher, while we talk. Again, this keeps our wandering minds engaged enough to stay on telephone task.
- She concludes “Dislike of the phone is often presented as a moral failing. But honestly, it’s not the people on the phone we dislike, it’s the instrument of delivery.”
This summarizes the difference between extroverts and introverts: “Every introvert has a limit when it comes to stimulation. HuffPost blogger Kate Bartolotta explains it well when she writes, “Think of each of us as having a cup of energy available. For introverts, most social interactions take a little out of that cup instead of filling it the way it does for extroverts. Most of us like it. We’re happy to give, and love to see you. When the cup is empty though, we need some time to refuel.” When you add a chronic illness (or 2 or 3) to the mix. this is even more true.
Another interesting article entitled “Why Introverts Hate Talking on the Phone” is found on the “Introvert Spring” website:http://introvertspring.com/introverts-hate-talking-phone/
Andy Mort, at http://www.sheepdressedlikewolves.com/phone-reluctant-introvert/ adds some additional insight on this ink.
Here are links to some more articles.
So just remember, I love you and cherish our family and friendship, but I might not be so great on the phone. ❤