As of January 10, 2017, at 2:19 PM EST, I have 58 missed calls on my cell phone. That may make some of you cringe. Do you know how many of those calls I feel guilty about for not answering? None. Zero. Allow me to explain why.
I need you to assume, for the sake of this article, that teleportation exists. Got it? Okay. Now, close your eyes and imagine the following scenario:
You’re just getting home after an exhausting and brutally long day at work. Doris in accounting was a major pain all day, and Gary, your supervisor, just would NOT get off your ass about those TPS reports. Yuck. What a day.
But now… now everything is right with the world. You’ve just poured yourself a glass of your favorite red wine, you’ve got some chill music going on in the background, supper is in the oven, and you’ve just plopped yourself down into your overstuffed easy chair. Alone, you can finally relax at the end of this miserable day. Ahhhh…
Suddenly your best friend Susan appears out of nowhere! Ahh! She’s all up in your face talking about her on-again, off-again relationship with Chad! Then she’s on to the party that’s coming up this weekend. (You know, the one you still haven’t figured out how to back out of?) Next it’s how irritated she is with her hairdresser. OMG! Now it’s how much stuff she needs to get done before bed. If only she had timeeeee!
Man, suddenly teleportation doesn’t sound like such a great thing, does it? All you wanted was to unwind at the end of a long day. Is that too much to ask?
See, the problem with teleporting friends is that they come out of nowhere and without any warning whatsoever. Susan didn’t care that you may have had a terrible day at work and just wanted some downtime. She NEEDED to vent about Chad — right now! It simply couldn’t wait!
Well, as you may have figured out, teleportation is a lot like a phone call. It’s sudden, intrusive, loud, and it doesn’t care one bit about what kind of day you’ve had. It demands immediate attention. A phone call says, “I don’t care what you’ve got going on right now, I need you to answer because what I’ve got going on is more important.” Arrogant, self-centered bastards, those phone calls.
If you’re an introvert like me, your body floods with all sorts of thoughts and emotions when you hear the phone ring. First, we assess the situation. “Shit, it’s Ryan. He KNOWS that I always have my phone near me, so if I don’t answer, he’ll know I’m ignoring him.” Panic. Stare at phone. Two rings now… How long can this go on? Three rings… Should I answer? This is stupid. Just answer. No, I don’t want to. Five rings… Sweat is starting to form on my brow. Six. And then silence.
WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED.
I don’t know about you, but an ill-timed phone call can pretty much ruin my evening.
But there is a better way. It’s called a text message. A text is an introvert’s best friend. Instead of the “YOU MUST ANSWER ME NOW!” phone call, a text calmly and politely says, “Hey, it’s me, your thoughtful and considerate friend. I’d really like to share something with you when you feel up to it. No rush whatsoever. Whenever is good for you.”
Ahhhh, I love you, friend who texts. You get me. You really get me.
So please, if you care about your introvert friends, consider texting them instead of teleporting into their living room. When you do this, you’re really teleporting into their life and getting in their face with things that, most likely, could wait until your introverted friend feels like talking.
DING! Oh God, it’s a voicemail from Ryan…
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