what i wanted to say and what i said

after a week of higher anxiety and not answering phones, the phone rings.

phone

this person is calling for the umpteenth time. i answer.

“hello?”

“hi!” she’s surprised. “are you upset with me?”

“no.”

“oh, i’ve been calling and you weren’t answering. i thought maybe you’re angry with me.”

“i’m not. i’ve been busy.” it’s not a lie.

but what i should say is: i don’t do well with phone calls. they make me anxious. so sometimes i let them go to voicemail and hope the caller will leave a message, or better yet will write an SMS or email me. i do better with written communication. with written communication, i don’t feel the pressure to be normal, available, cheerful, interested, have answers, have the right answers, not get triggered, or have the acceptable or expected mood. if offended by sms or email i don’t have to react at the same time, i can process it then respond with the right tone (be it vexed or calm).

but i just say, “no, i’m not pissed with you, just couldn’t talk.”

i hung up on another person on Saturday. he called twice. i felt anxious so i didn’t answer. this caller is always draining. he rang a third time so i counted to ten then answered. still feeling anxious.

“hello?”

“so you don’t want to answer my calls!”

i hung up.

and thank the dodgy cell network his, all caps rude entitled message didn’t get through until hours later. told him he was rude.

so phone calls, like people, are draining. rude people who don’t get it even more.

what i wanted to say to him was that he’s draining. i know if i had stayed on the call, it would’ve gotten ugly because with some people, no matter how you’re explain it, you either come across as weird “o snaaks” or as insulting, as if you’re saying it is them who are draining, rather than as an introvert, being around some people is draining.

so i don’t answer most phone calls. some times, no calls.

 


featured image from The Awesome Daily

image in the post from Psychological Today

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