How an Introvert Makes a Phone Call

introvert_makes_call_2b-1

Humanity has been teleconversing for the last 139 years. What, pray tell, is the big deal about the humble phone call? It's a simple 2-step process:

 

1. Dial number

2. Talk

 

Quite easy, is it not? Well, maybe for those who are extroverts. However, if you are an introvert, this process becomes much more complex. What could be an expedient 2-step process becomes a 21-step monstrosity of a nightmare.

 

This is how an introvert makes a phone call: 

 

1. Think about what he or she is going to say

 

Just picking up the phone and dialing would lead to disaster! To avoid awkward silences and stuttering, the introvert must spend time, much more time than the actual length of the envisioned phone call, to decide what he or she is going to say. This includes writing a script or talking points on paper.

 

2. Consider what the other person may say and how she’d respond in return

 

Inevitably, thinking about what he or she will say leads to pondering just how the other person may respond, and what they might say to what was painstakingly scripted before hand. This of course leads to simulating in the mind just how to respond to how the other person could respond, and so on and so forth.

 

3. Get a drink of water

 

All of this mental exertion results in the need for refreshment. And she certainly wants to be sure she has a clear voice. A drink of water is a must!

 

4. Go to the bathroom

 

Of course, upon getting a drink, the introvert finds they are much thirstier than they originally realized, and so down several glasses before returning to their desk...only to realize they now need to take a bathroom break.

 

5. Reply to an email

 

Arriving back at their desk, the introvert now discovers they have an extremely, mildly, not-so-much-but-kind-of, urgent email that must be responded to!

 

6. Rehearse what she will say if she gets voicemail

 

Nothing  strikes more terror in an introvert’s heart than having to leave a message on someone’s voicemail, for her mistakes and fumbles to be digitally recorded for what possibly could be forever. Of course, at the same time, nothing brings greater relief than not having to talk to a real person.

 

7. Read a book to the kids

 

Twenty minutes later, the children want to read a book. The introvert acquiesces. After all, what kind of parent would they be if they turned down this request?

8. Make sure everything is quiet

 

Children satisfied, it is now time to make this phone call! But all must be quiet, from running appliances, TV, music, or the construction project next door.

 

9. Make arrangements to ensure that everyone will actually stay quiet

 

Then the dreadful realization hits that the children could start up their ruckus after the phone call has begun. This. Can. NOT. Happen! Shewing them into the great outdoors, spontaneous nap-time, or good old-fashioned duct tape are all viable options.

 

10. Get a notepad for jotting down notes

 

"Wait, what was it I had decided to say after spending all that time thinking about it?" The introvert realizes that it would be smart to get a notepad to jot down some notes. This will also ensure that nothing the introvert wants to say during the phone call will be forgotten.

41WWtP0Ak0L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

11. Get a snack

 

"Well, done!" the introvert thinks to herself upon completion of the notes. "I deserve a reward, and I need a snack! Once more to the kitchen we go!"

 

12. Get another drink of water

 

Without fail, eating a snack will work up a thirst. More water is in order!

 

13. Go to the bathroom again

 

Nature will probably call once the phone call begins so better make a preemptive strike!

 

14. Find a place to call alone without distractions

 

All being quiet is not enough. Our introvert must now find a locale free of all visual and olfactory distractions. "Ah, this blank wall will do nicely!"

 

15. Check Facebook

 

It then occurs to the introvert that it has been many seconds since they last checked Facebook. Better check it just to make sure nothing urgent has come up rendering a phone call extraneous.

 

"Nope, nothing has come up. That's...good..."

51p5xuJez+L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

16. Take deep breaths

 

"Okay!"

 

*Deep breath*

 

"This is it!"

 

*Deep breath*

 

"Time to make a phone call!"

 

*Deep breath*

 

17. Reread message or listen again to the voicemail from the other person making sure she really did ask that she give her a call

 

With a surge of anxious hope, the introvert realizes they should reread the email or listen to the voicemail again from the other person just to make absolutely certain they really are supposed to call them. No need to make an unnecessary phone call! That would be the worst.

41m0N7IIcsL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

18. Add her contact info into your iphone

 

Yup, still supposed to call...but it is here that our introvert realizes they have yet to add this person to their contacts. "Better do that now so I know it's them when they call in the future..."

 

19. Pray

Because it's always good to have God on your side.

 

20. Write a blog post about how an introvert makes phone calls

 

The introvert then comes to understand just how difficult it is for her to make a phone call, and decides to write a blog post detailing this difficult and delicate process.

 

21. Realize with relief that she is out of time and puts it on her to-do list for tomorrow

 

With a great sense of satisfaction, a tremendous weight lifts off of the introvert as she realizes she no longer has any time to make a phone call that day anyway, and she can put it off until tomorrow.

 

It's been a good day.

 

Did you see yourself in this post? You'll definitely want to check out this one too then: How an Introvert Gets a Haircut:

introvert haircut

 

 

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

 

Linked up at: 

Favorite Things Friday

The Modest Mom

A Mama's Story

What Joy Is Mine

-

Facebook Comments
If you found this valuable, please share!
Share on Facebook67.1kShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest6.2kShare on LinkedIn33Tweet about this on Twitter

94 Comments

  1. This is hilarious! I can relate to some of these all too well. While I agree, that being an introvert makes things I difficult, I also put blame on the invention of social media, email, etc. When the use of all those other technologies are all so accepted, it makes phone calls that much more daunting. Sometimes when I call someone I’m afraid the person on the other end is silently saying to herself, “This better be good since she felt the need to call instead of email/text/Facebook message, etc.”

    Reply
    • Basically everything! Hilarious and oh so true. Thank God for texting.

      Reply
    • And then some people are like, “I found this out through Facebook? Why didn’t you call me?” We can’t win!

      Reply
    • I just have my wife call

      Reply
  2. LOL As an introvert, I can relate. My thought pattern is usually “Maybe I should call…….nah, I’ll text!”

    Reply
  3. Lol I use to love talking on the phone. I don’t know what changed, but now I only call those closest to me.

    Reply
  4. I can relate very well….however, one thing I also do is, by scripting the conversation in my head, I end up answering any questions I might’ve had and talk myself out of calling the person convinced I already know what they are going to say….

    Reply
  5. I’m and extravert! You don’t even wanna know what I think about that!

    Reply
  6. Is it bad I even jot down a script to go by too? lol

    Reply
    • LoL. I do that too.

      Reply
  7. my steps: set yourself a deadline of, say, 8:00 pm, to call. Then, at 8:00 pm, wait several minutes so the person doesn’t notice it is exactly on the hour and suspect you had scheduled the call, then note they are probably putting kids to bed, so wait longer, then decide it is inconsiderate to call this time of the evening, and put the call off until the next day.

    Reply
  8. Nailed it!

    Reply
  9. Don’t forget writing out a message you can leave in case you get their answering machine. 😉

    Reply
  10. I was laughing way too hard at that this. Describes me too well!

    Reply
  11. Oh yes! This is me! LOL

    Reply
  12. You crack me up, my friend! I can hear you saying this, too. This might also explain why you wouldn’t help me with fielding calls from other Dublin moms who were considering homeschooling. The truth comes out! Bwahaha. Thank goodness we’ll always have Facebook Messenger. Hugs!

    Reply
  13. I don’t get it. i just pick up the phone and dial. the rest comes naturally.

    Reply
    • Exactly. A big reason I wrote this is so extroverts can have some understanding of what introverts go through when having to make a phone call.

      Reply
      • And I thánk you for that from the bottom of my heart, Paula.
        I cried when I read your post …. but I feel better also, knowing now I’m not alone in this.

        Reply
        • Jos, this post has totally gone viral, because it has struck a chord with so many people! So many think that they are the ONLY ONES going through this, but they ARE NOT ALONE!!! Yes, it is so good to know that thousands of people that are just like you! The good news is that we can improve, but it will take time and practice and will not be easy!

          Reply
      • Thank you for sharing this. I hope my husband will in future understand that I am not unhelpful if I do not want to answer his phone when he is busy or driving. I do not even take my own calls !!

        Reply
      • Thanks for sharing. I had no idea.

        Reply
    • Rosemary, of course you don’t get it, and I won’t blame you, cuz I totally understand.
      Let me just say I can’t get how people can ‘just’ pic up the phone to begin with … I won’t even touch the part : “The rest comes naturally”, LOL.

      Reply
  14. The Plain Yogurt: Scripting human conversations is a daunting task and is literally impossible. So why stress yourself out? Just make the call. Even if the call turns negative, at least you have learned more about your relationships. And isn’t that why we are all here on earth? To learn and evolve? Today, it is socially acceptable to communicate electronically, but the most rewarding communications comes from human touch, sight, smell and the sweet sound of a friends voice, which is not available online. So instead of trying to script a call, make it one that sounds like this, “Hey, wanna take the strollers out for a walk sometime?” Or, “Let’s go for a bike ride to Tim Horton’s.” I guarantee you will feel much more satisfaction from a human encounter than to be held hostage in your introverted caged.

    Reply
    • This is a common misconception about introverts…that they dislike and avoid human contact. On the contrary, introverts MUCH prefer one-on-one (or very small group), in-person situations to the unnatural communication method of the phone, which is inherently disruptive to others (and introverts are extra sensitive to the feelings of others.) They would welcome your scenario of going out for a walk or bike ride!

      Reply
      • Yes. I’m a Web developer who works from home. I’ll offer to meet with people who are an hour from me rather than talk on the phone with them. I can do business over the phone when I have no choice, but I hate it. The lack of visual cues is what does me in. I want to see their expressions.

        Reply
      • Paula, did you by any chance write the article: “Hi, it’s us … Introverts”?
        I found that article late last year, and after 62 years of trying to figure out what was ‘wrong’ with me I finally got the answer, via the web, no less. LOL, só far for psycho-therapy, ha,ha,ha.

        Reply
        • No, Jos, I did not write that, but I think I should write more posts for introverts as they are much needed!

          Reply
    • Quite a judgement, here.
      Extroversion is not a superior state.
      Why we are here is biological.
      Highly intelligent philosophers and deep thinkers do not define existence. Introverts have the right to not call at the request of others.

      Reply
    • So true … I work as a organizational psychologist – consultant, and have to make a lot of annoying phone calls (“Hi, one of your coworkers feels like being bullied by you … so eh … let’s discuss this … together …”). I feel the same way: I can do it, because off practice … but i totally agree .. it NEVER gets easier … I still hate it. I have a to do list, with a sub-to do list: “to do phone calls”, because I keep on postponing them ^^

      Reply
  15. I relate to this so much, it’s unbelievable! ? I can’t even go, ‘nah, I’ll just text/email, because that fills me with even more anxiety. Being a socially awkward introvert is such a curse sometimes.

    Reply
  16. This is absolutely hilarious and so true! I have been putting off a phone call for a while now, I guess I will go make that call after I finish commenting on this awesome post. 🙂

    Reply
  17. Oh this is too funny!! I don’t even like to call to make a doctor’s appointment!

    Reply
  18. I can totally relate. I hate talking on the phone. Thank goodness for email and text messaging! Now, if only we could get everyone onboard. 😉

    Reply
  19. I can so relate to this!

    Reply
  20. That is so true, that is so me!!!

    Reply
  21. Finally! Someone put it into words. Haha! My family and friends have NEVER understood my dread of making phone calls. I cannot handle the awkward silence and stuttering that will inevitably happen. This is why I text like a teenage girl. Surely an introvert created texting. Definitely sharing this on the blog. Hoping someone I love might come to an understanding of the struggle!

    Reply
  22. I’ve been married to joy for 48 years. It’s good to know a little about phone calls. Love you

    Reply
  23. This is quite funny. I, too, starting blogging about my introvertedness recently and it really has been popular content. It’s nice that we’re all coming together! 😉

    Reply
  24. Spot on! Or, go through ALL that, finally make the call and, no answer or answering machine. Whew, thank you God! I can leave a message (prepared & written of course).

    Reply
  25. So very true. I really hate making phone calls. I try to get away with email or text whenever I can.

    Reply
  26. This was great! I saw your response to another guest: “On the contrary, introverts MUCH prefer one-on-one (or very small group), in-person situations to the unnatural communication method of the phone, which is inherently disruptive to others (and introverts are extra sensitive to the feelings of others.)”

    I have a tendency to text my friends first to see if they can chat before calling. Those that are extroverts think it’s crazy and always joke when they call me unannounced. 🙂

    Reply
    • Yes, Paula! Perfectly said, and so true for me. I’d rather drive 30 minutes to meet someone face to face than talk to them on the phone. I, too, am always worried I will call at a bad time but won’t know it. I love in person contact, especially one to one or small groups. Another poster had a good point that in the world today, with all the technology available for communication, a phone call is a gesture of kindness, affection, and an example of not taking the easy way out; I will try to remember that next time I’m dialing 🙂

      Reply
    • So true, Kimberly! I also tend to text a friend to make sure she is available before calling; it’s become a great source of comfort and I feel much better when making the call. Thanks for sharing – now I know I’m not alone 😉

      Reply
  27. While this is a hilarious and spot-on article, there’s one flaw: a true introvert wouldn’t even be on Facebook at all 😉

    Reply
    • That may be true for some types of introverts, but I think in general, introverts thrive online in settings such as Facebook, since there is a level of anonymity and perceived safety. They also have time to think though their written posts and responses rather than being “on the spot” in having to think of what to say immediately in person.

      Reply
      • Agreed!

        Reply
  28. It’s like they were looking in my window. It’s also very comforting to know it’s not just me. Nothing gives me anxiety like talking on the phone. Well….nothing that happens often enough to compare, anyway.

    Reply
  29. Kudos! Your outline is clever and true. I have researched quiet spots in my car, in the garage, in the closet and yet I always manage to hear extraneous noise that feels purposely intensified because of the call. There’s comfort in the phrase. “Introverts unite …separately.” Keep writing and sharing.

    Reply
  30. What a great article! Although it is a somewhat exaggerated version of my ordeal when approaching a phone call. Most of the time If I know I have an important call to make, I will try to do it in the morning, push through making the call with the thought ‘it will soon be over’, although I do find it difficult to respond in a timely manner over the phone, often having to take long pauses. I too find phone calls a challenged as so much of communication depends on body language and facial cues, even over the phone you can still have problems with people misinterpreting your meaning. I could even go to the extreme of saying it is mentally draining to make a phone call.
    As for facebook, I have not had it in 6 years.. the reason I am bringing this up is well, basically, for those introverts that are more emotionally sensitive, it is definitely not a bad idea to take yourself off it, definitely helps with your emotional well being (in my humble opinion). The people who are really important will make the effort to make contact with you just the same.

    Reply
  31. Omg… Story of my life!! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one 🙂

    Reply
  32. Bahaha..I did this for 4 weeks before I made the phone call..too funny! I was so prepared..you missed out writing out a script and talking points too..(or is that just me?)

    Reply
  33. Lol, this is so hilarious because it is so true! I just had to add a phone call to the doctor to tomorrow’s to-do list after reading these comments because I remembered I hadn’t done it the last 2 times I put it on my list! Good thing it’s just for checkups & nothing serious! 😛 (And yes, I make urgent calls when needed.)

    Reply
  34. No, a male introvert makes his wife make the call for him. It matters not a bit that she is even more of an introvert than he.

    Reply
  35. I thought I was the only one that avoided making phone calls. When they’re really important though, I put in on my calendar and probably make the call a couple days after I planned to do so.

    Reply
  36. The biggest horror of all–and this happens to me frequently–is when I diplomatically text a friend that I am in my car, or in the store, or otherwise too occupied to actually talk, and they respond by promptly calling me! What is up with that? It’s like since I can text they know I’m at the phone and since they hate texting and adore spending time on the phone, they just call. Then I have to text again and say, “Sorry I just can’t talk right now,” so they say “Call when you can” and it hangs over me like a ton of bricks. No! Can we just have long deep text message conversations like I do with my introvert friends?

    Reply
    • THIS!

      Reply
  37. Or this…I think of a friend and text them saying, “I’m thinking of you and hope you’re doing well…etc.” I’m just checking in with them. They text back, “Ohhh, I’m so sorry I haven’t been in touch! I’ve been so busy! I’d love to have a chat with you and catch up. I’ll call on Monday.” Then my life is ruined until Monday because I know it will be a 2 hour phone call. I’m thinking, “What on God’s green earth made me think checking in would be a good idea? No! No, no, no, no. No phone call. Pleeeaase.” It’s not that I dislike having conversations with my friends at all; it’s just the torture of a phone conversation–of interrupting each other because you don’t know when the other is done speaking– of silences, of being held captive to someone else talking and you can’t get off the train…I’d walk on nails to a coffee shop rather than have a phone conversation most days.

    Reply
  38. This may be true for a socially awkward introvert. I have no problem speaking with people. Mostly because so many people love to talk about themselves. Since I don’t like to talk about myself to everyone it’s simple to manipulate the conversation to only talk about the other person. I’m an introvert because people can be exhausting and needy. I’m usually disappointed by people like that because they aren’t willing to put in the time or effort into making a relationship two sided. I lose friends because I’m not the friend you call to get wasted with at the bar several nights a week; I’m the friend you call to be there when the real and important things in life happen. Many people don’t seem to really want that, they want superficial.

    Reply
  39. I love this. Reminds me of when my boyfriend and I were haggling over who had to make the phone calls since we’re looking to move and both of us are introverts.

    I have to clean up after every single animal we ever get, but I also don’t have to make a single one of these phone calls ever. We’re talking about getting a homestead with a variety of critters and I still feel like I came out ahead.

    Reply
  40. Believe it or not, I used to make a list of topics we could talk about when I called my own Mother every week! 😉

    Reply
    • I totally remember those lists that my mom made when she’d call her mom!

      Reply
  41. Thank you thank you thank you for this! I’m going to forward this to my husband cause he sooooo doesn’t get it! Thanks to all the other commentators too because now I know I’m really not alone.

    Reply
    • Extroverts really don’t get this AT ALL. One big reason why I wrote it! And for other introverts to know that they are not alone!!!

      Reply
  42. Yep! I’m not calling to make that Doctor appt until tomorrow. Ran out of time.

    Reply
  43. I am guilty of rehearsing what I will say and yes, voicemail is annoying to hear since I rehearsed for a live person but it’s definitely, ultimately better than actually talking to a live person! LOL!
    Ultimately, I feel annoyed as to why the heck they couldn’t have just texted!!

    Reply
  44. Great truths, but what’s the solution? I can’t run a successfully business like this! I recognize than its an issue, but really want to overcome it.

    Reply
  45. So SPOT ON!! I love #20, haha!

    Reply
  46. I didn’t realize I was being watched when I make phone calls LOL! This is exactly what goes on around here when I have to make a phone call…although I try to pass it off on my husband first hehe

    Reply
  47. How true!! I would add: Dial all but the last number in the phone number, then hang up. Repeat at least ten times. 🙂

    Reply
    • Yes, perfect! Or check the number 5 times to be sure it is correct!

      Reply
  48. IMHO you left out procrastination. Procrastination is my *favorite* event for avoiding making that dreaded phone call. Now it is possible that someone might think that many of the items described in this scenario could be filed under the category of “procrastination,” but if so, it isn’t terribly creative procrastination. I’m thinking of grand procrastination (which may very well be engaged in on the following day) that include things such as rearranging one’s entire filing system, decluttering the closet, and scrubbing the grout in the bathroom tile with an old toothbrush.

    Reply
    • Oh my, yes, absolutely!!! LOL

      Reply
  49. The worst part is when you’ve scripted the conversation and then they deviate from what you had scripted so the panic begins in your head about what your next response will be… At least now I have something I can show my mom when she wonders why I hate making phone calls. It’s not just that I like the technology of email or texting, but that I’m really introverted!

    Reply
  50. Absolutely true

    Reply
  51. Gosh, I realized Why I hate phone calls now and I never use my mobile at all. What a relief I am not alone.I really need to forward this to my extrovert husband and extrovert daughter why it is such big deal for me to make a call.

    Reply
  52. For everyone who identifies with this, and that includes me, here’s some advice: Go take improv comedy classes! Those classes helped me probably more than anything with fear of phone calls. It forces you to think extemporaneously, and actually learn to enjoy it (*gasp*)!

    Here’s another little piece of advice that helped me:
    Small talk, and having a successful conversation in general, is about matching other person’s mood, level of depth to discussion, etc. The analogy I once heard is you’re like two birds trying to find the same song. That’s why it feels awkward to jump into something too deep (or too “business-y”) too quick — you’re not matching pace. Learn to enjoy the moment and match the “feel” of the conversation and it’ll naturally evolve to the next stage and eventually even to the end. You’ll start out small talk-y, move onto something more in depth, maybe go on a tangent naturally but successfully (!), and then eventually it’ll feel natural to end it. And the whole conversation will feel so much better than if it were scripted!

    That’s my 2 cents at least. From one awkward phone conversationalist to another. 🙂

    Reply
  53. Wow, so funny because it’s so true! My husband will tell me someone wants me to call them and doesn’t understand why it takes me three(or more) days to follow through. It’s truly amazing to me that there are other people who know how such a seemingly simple task could cause so much stress; I always feel like such a weirdo, so thanks so much for posting this!

    Reply
    • Great article! Just shared it on our Facebook page. I really wish extroverts could understand the introverts in their lives!

      Reply
  54. Very fun. As an introvert myself may I add one more to you list? It is necessary to debate with yourself long and hard about the best time to call. Will. This be a bad time? Mealtime? Nap time? Etc.

    Reply
    • Oh, that’s a great one, Rebecca!!! Absolutely!!!

      Reply
  55. And I thought I was the only one! Thanks for letting me know I’m not!

    Reply
  56. Oh my goodness! Yes, all of that! 🙂

    Reply
  57. Haha, yup can relate! Number 22 is: while the phone is ringing, hope they’re not home 🙂

    Reply
  58. I relate to like every single bit of this…..

    Reply
  59. I found your blog while avoiding making a phone call! ha And then I had to share it to FB, because it is SO me! After replying to a few comments, I FINALLY made the call that I needed to make, before I put it off too long, since it was time sensitive.
    Thanks for the chuckle

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Simmer Starters - August 15, 2015 - The Simmering Mind - […] How an Introvert Makes a Phone Call (Paula Ramm) – Hilarious truth here. ? […]
  2. The Weekend Wave: August 16 | Milly Becoming Wilder - […] a completely different and goofy note, read How an Introvert Makes a Phone Call. Finally, someone put the struggle into words. I…
  3. High Notes {Week of October 26th, 2015} - Sheri Dacon - […] How an Introvert Makes a Phone Call — It’s funny because it’s true. […]
  4. Happy Homemaker Monday 01.01.16 | Anniehow... - […] FAVORITE BLOG POST: How an Introvert Makes a Phone Call […]
  5. Why I love being an Introvert – Grace&Pretzels - […] How an Introvert makes a phone call — There are maybe 5 people on the planet I will drop everything…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *