Welcome to Episode 129 of the Sheep Dressed Like Wolves Podcast. In this episode I discuss the tricky relationship that many introverts have with our phones and how we can find alternative ways to communicate with people without annoying them or overwhelming ourselves.
“The Phone-Reluctant Introvert”
In 2013 I wrote a blog post that changed the trajectory of Sheep Dressed Like Wolves. It was called Phone Reluctant Introvert: there is nothing wrong with you.
It was my response to a big frustration I was experiencing in myself in the process of learning what it meant to be introverted:
The apparent “moral failing” that comes from being genuinely crippled by using the phone.
In this week’s episode I revisit the article and expand on it, looking at 7 specific reasons introverts and sensitive types struggle with the phone, and also what we can do to change how we (and those around us) approach it to the benefit of everyone.
There’s never a convenient time to get an unexpected phone call because by definition it breaks into a place where there is no warning and it interrupts whatever it is you’re doing.
There is an expectation with the phone, which is that you will answer.
No one likes being put on the spot and expected to make a decision about something. An incoming call often presents a request that you are expected to respond to in some way without time to think.
The phone is a social instrument that requires energy expenditure for introverts in much the same way as in-person contact. Perhaps more.
The majority of communication is non-verbal. Body language cues a lot of how we communicate with one another. So when this is missing as it is on the phone we have to work harder to communicate.
It is difficult to take control and be pro-active with phone use because it requires two-way dialogue. It’s important to close loops of communication so that your battery isn’t being drained in the background.
There is a need for mutual understanding and respect, and I believe we can use a mixture of reciprocity, context and communication hierarchy to work it out.
Unless a dialogue is genuinely required a phone call is often not the best way to communicate. However for many it is default to pick up the phone and call.
Is there a better way?
Over to You
How do you feel when you hear a ringing phone? I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on this so please leave your response in the comments below.