Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:53 am Posts: 3061 Location: Ohio, US
I only answer my phone if it's my wife. Everyone else, and I mean everyone else, gets dumped to voicemail. Frankly, I want to know what you want before I talk to you. Keeps me from being blindsided by something.
Email, I think, is quickly becoming passé - texting is so much more immediate. Funny thing is, with a smartphone, email is easy to access, no logging in or booting up the computer. Me, I check my email once every few days, tops.
Texting is the best way to get me, but even that doesn't mean you'll get me right now. My phone generally stays in quiet mode, so unless it's within eyesight or earhear (I just made that up), I'm not going to see that until the next morning.
My device exists for my convenience more than anything else. It does not exist to make me more accessible.
I understand too! Although I have a super needy mum friend who, if I don't speak to her EVERY day via text AND fb, she gets the strops and doesn't make any effort to contact me anymore. She used to bombard me with txts and photo txts of her 2 boys, but i have gradually distanced myself from her. It was becoming to much. I was getting messages on my fb every day that would just have a smiley face, or a heart or kisses or a funny quote. It was getting quite immature. She has been to my house aroun 5 times since I have lived here ( about 4 years). I have been to hers more times than I can count (used to be everyday for lunch, which I would make and bring to her, didn't realize I was being such a slave. She pulled the whole 'I'm a new mum' card on me). I realized it was me making all the effort, so I distanced myself more and more. We don't talk anymore which is sad, but it's kinda better for me because it was always a one way street, just took me a while to realize it!
I know for me, I absolutely hate talking on the phone, I hate catching up, and I hate having to feel obligated to return a call. I have friends with different expectations and it just pushes me further away. Sometimes I hit rough patches and I really don't want to talk about it or open up about it or even mention it in any way. Nor do I like having to be perky and fake that everything's great which is draining. I don't like lying and I don't want to share the real deal. And when I have my own stresses or tough things going on, I honestly don't always feel like hearing about their vacations, them being able to quit their jobs, jabber about their kids, or their latest brags or dramas. So I lay low.
My friends who I have the best relationships with are the same....we can pick up at a moment's notice, fall off the face of the earth for weeks, return with no explanation needed, we don't pry, but make it known we're always available for support, talk about it, not talk about it, jokes, laugh, stupid nonsense, or just be. Those are the friends I'm real and honest with, we give each other lots of space, have each other's back, but no prying ever done, no explanations ever needed, and a simple "sorry i just don't feel like it tonight" is all that needs to be said to cancel a plan. no sick grandmothers, emergency appendix out, lost or waterlogged phones or excuses needed, no guilt and no pressure. And honestly, because of our system and motto of take care of yourself first, we are the closest, most honest, and loyal of friends.
But I'd say that when I don't answer the phone or call people back, it honestly has nothing to do with being a bad friend or too busy....it's usually about how i'm feeling and I just don't feel like sharing at the moment or even opening up enough to say that, especially to people who sometimes prey upon vulnerabilities...or I just don't have enough extra to give right now...that can be interpreted as uncaring or rude, but it's more about what is going on with me and sometimes I wish people would realize I have a phone, I know how to dial numbers, if I wanted to talk I would, I obviously don't so the kindest thing you can do is give space and not pressure.
It is even worse with friends that live far away. I will go (seriously) MONTHS without hearing from friends. Then when I text or call and say "What have you been up to? Haven't talked in a while". I get the same response " I haven't heard from you in forever. You should call more. I miss talking to you".
I have given up. My new motto is: If I want to talk to you, I will contact you. If you want to talk to me, you will contact me. Sadly I feel lots of my friendships are one sided. So now we do every other. If I have visited or called you last, it is your turn to get in contact with me.
My husband and I have both decided to take this attitude and unfortunately we have lost a few friends because of it, but we have also learned which friendships to treasure.
Texting isn't an adequate way to communicate unless all you are doing is keeping tabs on someone. I have two jobs. I can't be texting at work, I can't be texting in the car on the drive home, and once I get home, I'm at the computer typing, which is the other job. It would take me 10 times as long to hunt and peck out a text message, it would be too short to have any substance, and I can write an email as fast as I can think as long as I can do it on a full keyboard.
I don't answer my phone unless I know who's calling, just to filter spammers, but I don't give people my phone number if I don't want to talk to them. It's like everyone is making this desperate grab to only talk when it's the ideal time for them, and as a result, the whole thing just fizzles and everyone gives up. I know I have. When I'm talking about friends, I'm not talking about someone I met at a bar a month ago. I'm talking friends I've had for 30 and 40 years. I just think it's ironic that communication technology seems to be making it harder to have meaningful communication. It's all short and shallow and mostly stuff you have sanitized for the rest of the world to see.
And it's not because I don't want to hear from them. I work long tiring days, snatching lunch breaks, and I don't even have five minutes during the day to contact people. I tend to use travelling time to send SMS messages, but there's no point calling on the train. When I arrive home, it's often too late to call. Added to that, I really do not like speaking on the phone when I am tired and frazzled. My holiday time will be spent catching up with people I haven't seen in ages - I'm really looking forward to it.
So, I use Facebook at the weekends to catch up with people. And my latest - sending a picture postcard. It's quick, you can have a stack of them stamped and ready to go, and write one quickly when you are thinking of someone. It's unusual to get personal mail by post these days, so it's kind of fun as well.
_________________ Gib mir den Doughnut. Velociraptors love doughnuts.
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:32 am Posts: 1041 Location: Canada
yepdontcare - thank you for writing a bunch of my post for me I'm a little surprised that so many people on this forum have identified as introverted
I have a few friends that sound very similar to yepdontcare's group. They are all spread out all over the place. My family is also a bit weird, and we really don't have much contact. I don't have much animosity for them, it's more I just don't really care that much. When I was younger, they never contacted me for all the reasons people have been stating (too busy with children, work, time, etc) once I moved across the country and started my own life at 20, I realized they really were never going to put in much effort. I like FB, since it is handy for just a simple update, and knowing the basics.
My brother, one of my neces and my parents are in contact with me the most (for my parents and brother it's phone call every 1-3 months, my niece it's messaging/emails/phone calls about as frequently) . I've talked to one of my sisters twice and another about 4 times in 15 years by phone. The other 3 have never phoned me. I once went back to visit yearly...now it's been 3 times in 7 years. My brother calls me a little more than I do him...and in 15 years my Mother has called probably 20 times (14 b/c it was my Birthday - next one in 3 weeks), my Father probably has called twice. I once called them weekly, but once I realized it wasn't reciprocal I started phoning every couple months - still more than them.
I know it's not friends, and I kind of went on for a bit there - but my main point is - it really doesn't bother me. In fact my brother called tonight, and I was glad for the call to be over. I love him, but ALL my siblings (and a couple nieces) have children and it's that and a lot of money and work and houses talk - just stuff I don't care much about.
I was actually really glad 2 dinners were cancelled this week - I volunteered a lot and attended 3 plays last week and am still feeling hermit-like. I can EASILY go weeks, months and sometimes even years without contacting - or being contacted by people! I rarely notice...it's not that I don't enjoy these people...it's just well, I'm VERY introverted!!
I have one friend who is even more reclusive than I am too!
I love online - I'm a late blooming computer geek! <---- that's probably the wrong term, I'm just using the one people used when I was younger for people who did anything online!
Having said ALL that - I generally don't use excuses or act as though it's someone else's job to contact me - so I can understand it would be annoying to put in more of the effort. It's why I don't have what I call high-maintenance friendships (for me that is contact more than once a week on a regular basis) - it's just not fair for people who have different expectations.
_________________ "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." - Anais Nin
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