if the phone doesn’t ring, it’s me

this is something i’ve thought about writing about a few times, but it felt like i was running the risk of offending someone, or at least of making them uncomfortable that they had caused me to write it. c’est la vie.

file this under “things i would change about myself if i knew how” — i hate making phone calls. absolutely detest it. avoid it to the detriment of my own well-being. i still haven’t set up an appointment with accountant to get my 2004 taxes done because it involves calling to make that appointment.

it’s just one of the ways in which i wrestle with what you could call limited social energy. another is in spreading out my plans so i don’t totally short-circuit on a busy weekend. jonathan rauch’s article from the atlantic monthly, “caring for your introvert,” sort of explains the principle. (if you have a los angeles public library card, you can get the full article by doing a title search in the “magazines - general interest” databases.)

and of course, it is a lie to call it something i would change if i knew how — i do know how. like changing in any other way, it takes practice, patience, and hard work. so maybe it is something i’ll work on eventually, but for now i’m frying other fish. fixing my phone phobia can wait.


i wonder if it's possible to be a bit of both...i like people but i definitely like my alone time...thanks for linking the article.

» shannon (link) » august 25, 2005 9:36am

I have the same troubled relationship with my phone, and I think it's genetic. My whole family is the same way.

» owen (link) » august 25, 2005 10:01am

it is certainly a continuum, not an either-or situation. it’s not really “i like people” vs. “i like to be alone” — it’s “after i am around people, i have to be alone.” at least that’s the case for me.

» jim (link) » august 25, 2005 10:15am

Yup. The whole concept of phones is fairly obnoxious and retarded to me. But for now at least, it's a necessary evil because I know people whose email skills are pretty horrendous (just like my phone skills).

I'm going to disagree slightly on the "practice, patience, and hard work" thing. For example, when I'm on the phone with the cable company (or something) I write down the name of service agent and use it a couple times in a friendly way during the call. I usually get better service and hopefully make them feel a little better about their crappy job. It might be a bit unnatural at first, but it's not quite "hard work".

» geoff (link) » august 25, 2005 11:10am

hey btw, just like to mention that I do that too. I haven't really found a good way to deal with it yet.

» Justin (link) » september 10, 2005 5:55pm

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