No one likes answering phone calls: Here’s what your specific avoidant style means

May 14, 2019 at 03:00AM by CWC

Phone anxiety is so in vogue these days, but in true off-putting, I-live-in-Brooklyn form, I had it before it was cool. As a kid, I would burst into tears trying to invite a friend over for a play date. And now, I’ll walk 1,000 miles, Vanessa Carlton-style, to get Asian takeout before I resort to calling a restaurant to place an order. In fact, my staunch stance on not using my cell phone in the way it’s primarily intended to be used has gotten me close to some dire situations. For example, only under threat of eviction did I dial my landlord’s number to have a conversation, using spoken words, so I could renew my lease.

I know deep down (or even shallowly down) that I’m in good company with my phone anxiety. Perpetuated by the rise of texting, Facebook messenger, and yes, even DMs, real phone calls have become a hearty source of stress. One 2017 survey by Jive Communications revealed that of 2,000 Americans, as many as 61 percent regularly screen their incoming phone calls. Basically, the people have spoken, just not into a receiver.

But not every talk-and-text style is the same, so I sought to decrypt what your phone-avoidance personality says about you. And, in the event you don’t agree with my prognosis, please remember I’m not a credentialed anything except reporter who hates phone interviews (LOL, *nervous laughs*, how did I get here in life?), and certainly not a psychologist. I’m just a hard-core phone hater with a lot of opinions.

Learn below what your specific strain of phone anxiety and avoidance style says about you.

If you feel ambivalent about talking on the phone…

You’re, like, a well-rounded human being, or maybe even a bit extroverted. You probably learned at an early age how to conduct regular phone conversations, without a script and everything. Brava! Don’t know what you’re doing here, reading this piece about not wanting to speak on the phone, but you go, Glen Coco!

If you intentionally screen your phone calls and then call back…

You have a gentle, empathetic heart and a Disney Princess-esque blush of shyness. You’re someone who needs a minute to breathe, be brave, and then call back that number to—oh wait, it’s just a Robocall.

If you intentionally screen your phone calls and then follow up with a “Sorry, was in a movie” text…

You are savage and I effing love you. You have the good common sense to know that not every issue requires a full-length conversation, especially when second-tier friends dial you up. (And really, why does that ever happen? Is someone dying?) That said, even I think you should entertain a phone call here and there. Like, in case someone’s dying.

If you only reserve phone calls for select people, special occasions, and important tasks…

You actually have a thriving social life, and may even be a thriving person. You’re all about efficiency, and your phone habits reflect it. You’ll entertain a call to order contact lenses, wish your grandma a happy birthday, and let a friend into your house. Related: Is nobody going to talk about how we’ve fully abandoned doorbells in favor of an unending “Hey, I’m outside!” correspondence? Are doorbells the new landlines?

If you absolutely will not talk on the phone but will happily send text messages rivaling War and Peace in length…

You’re a little sensitive, a little defensive, and really big on expressing your feelings all the time. You may also be self-interested and give off some narcissism vibes every now and then, given that monologues, more so than dialogues, are your thing. (Also, you’re me. Nobody take offense here, because I’m really just describing myself).

If you send two text messages in a row and then call when you don’t get a response…

Mom, stop trolling me. I’m working, and I will talk to you later.

If you feel totally fine sending 40 text messages in a row… 

I’m glad! You’re so! Enthusiastic about everything! Texting! Is so! Fun! You are probably bursting with energy and may just need a place to channel it. (Okay, you definitely need a place to channel it.)

If you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE making and taking phone calls…

You are a total people person. Hell, you may genuinely care about what we’re supposed to glean from a phone call: two people coming together, all nuances of vocal inflection, everything technological communication precludes us from enjoying. Or, going to go on a limb here, you were born before 1980.

If you refuse to respond to text message for days on end…

Okay, well, now you’re just being rude.

Maybe it’s best to just trash our devices once and for all—phone addiction might provide for similar effects to substance abuse. But if digital minimalism is more your speed, here’s where you can definitely take a break from your phone: at a party.

Continue Reading…

Author Mary Grace Garis | Well and Good
Selected by iversue

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