I hate talking on the phone. I always have and always will. We introverts are so lucky to live in the times when the Internet and texting are in wide use, so we can just send someone a text or an email instead of making that phone call. This makes life much easier, doesn’t it?
Some of us go even further and are actually afraid of talking on the phone. There is even a term for it—it’s called phone anxiety or phone phobia. And it’s not just socially anxious people who suffer from this irrational fear. Some mentally healthy introverts have it too.
Whether you dread or hate talking on the phone, you may be wondering where this weird feeling comes from. What’s so scary and annoying about a plain and simple phone call? Below are a few possible explanations.
Why Do I Hate Talking on the Phone? 10 Reasons
1. You don’t feel confident in oral communication
Not all people are good at expressing themselves by speaking. Many of us feel much more confident in written communication. This is certainly true for introverts.
Solving problems by phone requires sound oral communication skills: you need to get your point across, choose the right words, and reply quickly. Typically, introverts are not very efficient in this type of communication.
Hence the phone aversion—you simply know that this phone call won’t help solve your issue. To effectively put your thoughts into words and reach the desired result, you will most likely prefer to send an email.
2. A phone call is a synonym of intrusion
Introverts put a special meaning into the concept of personal space. In a sense, it’s sacred for us. We don’t like to be interrupted and bothered, and we certainly can’t stand when other people intrude into our personal space bubble of safety and comfort.
And that’s exactly what a sudden phone call does. It disrupts your routine and, in a way, invades your personal space. You may not be ready or in a mood to talk. You may be busy doing something else, such as working or sleeping.
In general, introverts feel more comfortable choosing the moment to contact someone because we want to be fully ready for interaction. Incoming phone calls certainly don’t give us this privilege.
This is one of the reasons why I hate phone calls as an introvert, especially when they come from strangers and turn out to be a waste of time.
3. You don’t like bothering other people
The concept of intrusion works both ways. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an incoming or outgoing phone call.
Introverts hate bothering other people just as they hate being bothered. Since personal space means a lot to us, we also respect everyone else’s boundaries.
When it comes to making a phone call, we may feel awkward because we can’t know what the other person is doing at the moment. What if they are not in a mood to talk or our call distracts them from something important?
That’s the last thing an introvert wants. That’s why we may hesitate to call a stranger or someone we don’t know well. The less we know someone, the more considerate we will be about respecting their personal space.
That’s a matter of psychological comfort we have with different people. We may not overthink calling our mother, best friend, or special someone, but we will certainly be very cautious about bothering a co-worker or acquaintance.
4. It’s a distraction
Imagine that you are busy doing some complex calculations or writing a report at work when your phone rings. You pick it up and talk for a couple of minutes.
What happens when you get back to work? You find that you have lost your train of thought. So, you need to tune into the task at hand one more time.
An introvert needs total concentration to be able to work efficiently. When we have to deal with constant interruptions, such as phone calls or contacts with other people, our productivity suffers. And it annoys us too, which means that we get tired more quickly.
So, why do I hate talking on the phone, just like many other introverts? Because most of the time, a phone call turns to be an unnecessary distraction.
5. It exhausts your social battery
Speaking about getting tired, you probably already know that introverts give their energy away during social interaction. It’s the way our brains are wired and we can do nothing about it. Too much socializing drains our batteries.
So, what to do with those people who can talk on the phone for hours? You probably have a couple of those in your circle. It may be your friend, sister, or even mother!
When you see his/her name on your phone’s screen, you already know that it won’t be a quick call. You will have to listen to one long story after another.
Introverts are patient listeners, and we hate to turn people away when they want to share something with us. So, most likely, you will patiently sit and listen to your mum talking about her neighbor’s personal drama. Or to your best friend telling you each detail of her argument with a boyfriend.
What happens when the call is over, though? You realize that you have no energy left for any other interaction. Your battery has run dry. This may be one of the reasons you hate talking on the phone.
6. You prefer to take your time to think up your reply
There is one huge disadvantage of phone calls. They don’t give you the time to think up your reply. When you talk on the phone, it’s obvious that the person on the other end of the line is expecting you to say something right away.
But what if you can’t? What if you want to think it over before replying?
It happens to introverts all the time. We can be pretty indecisive even in the most trivial everyday situations. We tend to analyze things a lot and hesitate, which doesn’t give us the opportunity to make quick decisions.
So, when someone pushes you to make some kind of decision by phone, you feel confused. That’s why you don’t like to discuss such matters on the phone. You prefer to take your time, think it over, and make a decision in no rush.
As for me, this is certainly one of the main reasons I hate talking on the phone. I just can’t think clearly and quickly during a phone conversation.
7. Phone communication is too unpredictable
Talking to someone on the phone can bring unexpected results. You never know in advance what the other person will say and where the conversation will turn.
Once again, a phone call doesn’t give you the opportunity to think over your reply and handle the situation in the best possible way. If the conversation takes an unexpected turn, you may feel lost and confused, not knowing what to say.
Typically, introverts aren’t quick thinkers. And we hate unpredictable situations, too. That’s why most of us don’t like talking on the phone—at least, when it comes to resolving disputable situations and complex issues.
8. An important part of communication is missing
Introverts give great importance to non-verbal communication. This includes facial expressions, body language, and the overall “vibe” someone gives off.
We are pretty good at decoding these nuances of human behavior. We can “sense” if someone is lying, feeling bored during a conversation, or just doesn’t like us.
So, when we talk to someone on the phone, we feel like an important part of communication is missing. We can’t see their face and understand how they feel about this conversation. This is confusing as we don’t have the full information to approach the person in the right way.
Because of this, I hate talking on the phone and prefer to resolve issues face-to-face if it’s not possible by email or chat. Seeing the person I’m talking to gives me a clearer picture of what they are thinking.
9. You are afraid to mess it up
This reason for phone aversion is mainly true for someone with social anxiety. But you may also find it relatable if you are not a skillful communicator.
You may hate phone calls because you are afraid that you will say something wrong and the other person won’t get it. Or that it will bring the opposite result from what you expect.
If you also have social anxiety, then you may have real phone phobia, not just simple aversion. In this case, even the idea of calling a stranger will seem scary and painfully awkward.
If you need to make a call, you spend a great deal of time preparing yourself psychologically. When you finally dial that number and wait for the other person to pick it up, you feel anxious and tense.
But when you hear the voice on the other end of the line, you suddenly realize that you’ve forgotten what you wanted to say. You seem to have lost all your thoughts because of your phone anxiety.
The result? You never find the right things to say, the words don’t come to you, and your speech sounds confusing.
And you are still wondering why you hate talking on the phone?
10. You are afraid to mishear or forget what the other person said
I always notice the same curious thing: my hearing magically deteriorates when a person explains something to me by phone. I often mishear and misunderstand what’s being said.
Why does it happen? My hearing is perfectly fine, and so are my cognitive abilities. Yet, my brain seems to stop functioning properly when I talk to people by phone.
Sometimes I even close my eyes to better concentrate on the other person’s voice to make sure I won’t miss anything. And of course, I write it all down too because otherwise, I will forget it. That’s why I hate talking on the phone so much, especially when I need to get some info.
If you have this problem too, this most likely has to do with the way you prefer to learn. You may be a visual learner, which means that you find it harder to process information by hearing.
If we also consider the fact that non-verbal cues are missing from phone communication, we get the following situation. You feel like you are wearing a blindfold and don’t get the full picture. It confuses you and blocks your cognitive processes.
Hence the phone aversion. You simply know that any information received by phone won’t stick in your mind, so why bother making that call?
I hope that all the above makes sense, and it’s now clear why introverts hate talking on the phone. Fortunately, there are numerous means of communication in today’s time and age, so everyone can choose one according to their preference.
Featured image by nakaridore on Freepik