The dreaded phone call. It's like every introvert's worst nightmare. Why can't people just send texts and emails?
That would be great, wouldn't it? But the world has never catered to us introverts.
Thank heavens for food delivery companies and sites like Amazon that offer online ordering options. They take the anxiety and pressure out of doing business, and allow us to do it at our own pace. For everything else, we'll have to adapt (like always). Let's take the struggle out of phone conversations and improve our interpersonal skills.
Why are phone conversations so difficult?
There are different elements in phone calls that make it a challenge for introverts. For starters, the small talk can be overwhelming.
For some, i.e the extroverts, small talk is just a way to keep things interesting. It's more of a social skill that many people try to master to relate to others easier. For us, it means not getting to the point and draining our social batteries.
Then, there's the overthinking. We tend to do that quite a lot, sometimes unintentionally. While others are focused on the conversation itself, we're thinking about different hidden meanings, what to say during the awkward pauses, and how to end the conversation without coming off as rude.
The worst phone calls are hands down the unexpected ones. We'll be invested in one thing and suddenly the moment is broken by the ring of a phone. It takes us by surprise, especially when we don't know who is on the other line and how we should act.
Improvise. Adapt. Overcome
Yes, like the meme. We can do it. There's no reason we should feel uncomfortable in our own space. We can turn this dreaded interaction into something positive without overstepping boundaries.
Here's how we can overcome our struggle with phone calls:
Set healthy boundaries
Limit the number of phone calls you get by setting healthy boundaries with friends and family members. A good way to do this is to set no-call periods, for example, no calls between 9 pm and 9 am unless there's an emergency. This is a great way to let yourself breathe, and not feel any sense of obligation to pick up a call.
You may also consider setting time limits for calls. A good way to do this is by saying you only have fifteen or so minutes until you're busy. This lets the caller know that there won't be a long phone call, allowing you to stay in control and maintain healthy boundaries.
Ease the burden of overthinking by preparing for expected phone calls. When it's almost time, consider doing breathing exercises to eliminate stress. You can also create mental or physical notes of what you wish to discuss so there are no awkward pauses.
If you have several calls to make for the day, spread them out. This gives you a chance to recharge before your next interaction. A part of your preparation may also include what comes after the call. This gives your mind a goal.
If your ultimate goal is to improve your overall experience with phone calls, you'll have to practice. The more you implement these strategies the better you'll get at each phone call. In time, you'll notice that the negative feelings surrounding phone calls fade away.
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Nice article. I’d love to read something about Chats, emails ecc… too!
Great article. Boundaries are so important. My friends know that they should text me before calling, that seems to be the support I need. We need to be clear with our boundaries because others generally assume we have the same boundaries they do.
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