I rarely answer my telephone, often forget to check voicemail, and can take a shockingly long time to return phone calls.
So sue me.
The telephone is intrusive, especially for introverts, whose brains don’t switch gears all that quickly. When we’re deep in thought, a ringing telephone is like a shrieking alarm clock in the morning.
And we often give bad phone—awkward, with pauses. We struggle without visual cues, and our tendency to ponder before we talk doesn’t play well on the telephone. Being stuck on a too-long call makes me want to chew off my own leg to escape.
Sometimes, if I’m feeling devil-may-care, I’ll pick up calls from far-flung friends who want to catch-up, But I more often let them go to voicemail and then make a date (via email) for us to talk. My friends understand.
Dislike of the phone is often presented as a moral failing. But honestly, it’s not the people on the phone we dislike, it’s the instrument of delivery.
YES. Finally someone has read my mind.
So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are). But that’s not what I actually needed. What I actually needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered.
I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren’t constantly berating yourself for being sad.