We’ve come a long way when it comes to the way we communicate. Most people suck at making phone calls. I have a lot of quirks as a person. I am also easily irritable when it comes to said quirks. One of these is that I hate people who call you and instead of talking to you, they start talking to someone else who’s standing right next to them. In fact, I asked a lot of friends, and they agree. This is common and an annoyance. Let me tell you why that is.
When you call a person, you are essentially asking them for their time. That is what happens when someone sees their phone ring, and they decide whether they want to take that call or not. In that little decision-making, they weigh your value, time, urgency and so on. They answer your call.
This is the part where they have paused whatever they were doing because you want to say something. Maybe it’s something mundane, but that isn’t important as long as you can get to the point fairly quickly. They answered your phone call. You’re important enough, or they’re free enough. If not, they’ll call you back.
Then, you stop talking to them and start talking to whoever is in front of you. That or you start doing something else while you’re on call. The person who has paused their entire life for whatever it was that you wanted to say to them in the first place is now continually going, “Hello?” on the phone. By the time they utter the word for the fourth or fifth time, their voice changes to an outburst of frustration.
A Classic Case of the Statue Game
Imagine you were doing something. It could be anything. Perhaps you’re working, or you’re walking or maybe, you’re just fixing yourself a sandwich. Suddenly, a person comes along and says, “Statue”.
Now, you’re waiting for them to let you go. However, they walk away and tell you they’ll be back. They never tell you how much time they will take. You stand there, as you were, for a while. Eventually, you’ll want to get back to whatever you were doing.
You have two choices once you run out of patience. You can either go about your activity and ignore the person altogether which in our topic at hand is hanging up. However, hanging up is uncool and socially unacceptable. It’s insulting. Since option one is out of the question, you have no choice but to wait for the other person to tell you to start moving again. That is annoying.
Arguably, you can always turn the phone to speaker and do whatever you were but your attention is still divided, and that is the problem here. No one wants their attention divided, and no one wants to be distracted. Especially, if the distraction is a conversation you can barely hear while you are just standing there, listening until further notice. It’s annoying.
What Can You Do Then?
Is whatever you want to tell them important enough? If not, why not send them a text instead? Especially if you’re busy yourself and have people around. If you have to make that call, why not just first finish that call and tell the person “bye” before you engage in a conversation with others around you.
If you’re that person who makes a call, then asks another friend about something they did back in 2015, start a conversation there and then completely forget about the person who’s on call then you know, maybe do one thing at a time.
The other person has surrendered the next few minutes to you. Talk to them in those few minutes. It’s not that hard to prioritise and it’s rude to assume that people don’t have things to do. They’ve given you their time, use it.