I believe the phone should always be answered. It's just common courtesy, right? If someone is calling our home, they must need something...so SOMEONE should answer it - it just shouldn't be me.
I DON'T like talking on the phone. I thought it was just me.... but then my son came along and I realized that he hated talking on the phone possibly more than I did. It was like this PHOBIA with him. And I thought, 'well, this can't be good' - so we actually instilled it into his 'homeschool objectives' one year that he had to answer the phone 36 times, essentially once per school week. It was a long year. He did it. So I know he has the skills. He still avoids it like the plague. I avoid it if at all possible as well. And you know what? I found out we're NOT the only ones.
I was reading Facebook or some blogs the other day - sorry, I really don't recall which or what the original article was - but it mentioned INTROVERTS hating the phone. Whoa?! What?! It's an introvert thing? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT! I stopped in my tracks. I went to Google. It turns out there's a LOT of articles and blogs out there that talk about the same thing. So pardon me, but I'm joining in.... because I'm SURE I'm not the only one out here that didn't know.
I learned a long time ago that I am an introvert and, quite the opposite, my husband is an extrovert. But I've never delved into that knowledge deeply. I knew it meant that I prefer quiet and small numbers of people, while he doesn't mind noise and enjoys big parties and social events. Beyond that, I had no clue. Until now. Now I'm intrigued. Now I want to learn more and perhaps embrace this thing called introversion because it's not really a bad thing- being surrounded by extroverts most of my life, one would think it was. It's not.
Extroverts and Introverts just don't really understand where the other is coming from most of the time. That doesn't mean either of our perspectives is wrong. That's important to know in relationships, especially marriage by the way! So I'm doing a bit of research....
The biggest difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts draw energy from being ALONE! Social interactions and stimulating environments (lots of people, activity,noise, distractions, etc.) completely drain us. Extroverts draw their energy through those human interaction and stimulation.
So apparently, when my husband or children wants to go to some activity and my energy is already low and I say, "Oh? Really? You want to go THERE? Hmmm... mind if I stay home?", I am not being rude or anti-social, I'm recognizing a physical need within myself to stop draining myself and gain some energy. It's not rude. It's not anti-social. It's not wrong. It's actually normal and healthy for an introvert to do.
And when it comes to the phone? I do NOT draw energy from speaking on the phone. It drains me. First there's the physical intrusion of this unexpected NOISE when it rings. There's no time to plan what to say to this person that's calling. Caller ID helps, sure, but - no, not really. I often do not pick up the phone. It's not that I don't care- I'm just NOT ready. I'm doing something else. I'm in my quiet home enjoying the peace or getting things done. Talking on the phone stops me. And trying to focus on the conversation on this inanimate object in my hand with someone I can't even see and might not even know - well, that's just exasperating. Yeah, I prefer you leave a message, text me or email me. Really. I can focus on the response then.
And wouldn't you know it? I'm researching this and trying to write this post and I text a cousin of mine - SHE's ALWAYS trying to text and call me. I love her dearly- but I JUST CAN'T talk on the phone that often. I text her... "Hey, do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?" And it happens. UGH. You guessed it. The phone rings.
Did I answer?
Uh, no. Does that make me bad? Rude? Turns out no. I texted her later and told her what I had been doing. I'm finally learning I really do need to do these things that give ME energy - time alone, writing, NOT answering calls.... for my own sake. It makes me a better person, not a rude one.
It seems, according to the Huffington's post article reporting information from PsychologyToday.com, that most introverts do screen their calls - even from their close friends (and in my case, uh, dearly loved cousins). An introvert physically can't stand talking on the phone because it forces them to lose focus on a current project or thought and place that focus point on something unexpected (hence my 'unlgued' response to my son interrupting my train of thought in the middle of my very introverted activity of writing). The conversation itself will need a huge amount of focus. In addition to this, a phone call typically require 'small talk' -the type of conversation introverts finds stressful. An introvert will, most likely, allow the call to go to the answering machine and return the call (if they do) at a time they are able to prepare for the conversation and have the energy required to do so.
As for making calls? Uh, NO thank you. I'll choose texting over the phone. Or email. Or....um...."Sweetheart? Can you call and make that appointment for me? Oh, and call and order dinner? Please? Pretty please? Oh, PLEASE have mercy and make the call!"
So this phone thing is an introvert thing. WHO KNEW?? I am so relieved it's not just me.
If you are interested in further information, here's a few of my favorite articles I found while reading more about this.
23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert (I got 22 by the way)
**As a side bit of information here - rarely can anyone be considered 100% introvert or 100% extrovert - each person falls somewhere different on the scale. We all just have more obvious tendencies to be more on one end of the scale than on the other. So it's possible that some introverts like parties while some extroverts might not. And some extroverts might not like talking on the phone, while some introverts might be sort of okay with it.
Are YOU an introvert? Do you hate talking on the phone? What have you done to avoid it?