Can you hear me now?

I don’t really call people, and I really don’t talk on the phone.

It’s nothing personal to the parties involved, but it is a personal preference for myself.

Calling one person means I have to then be faced with others finding out; when others find out, they want to talk on the phone.

Talking on the phone is headache-giving and really confusing for me; I never know when or what to say, when it’s my turn to speak, or how to end the call. Because of this, I’ve found myself speaking on the phone for five hours at a time.

Because I didn’t know how to end it, and because I didn’t know when it was my turn to speak, I stayed on the phone for five hours with someone.

Five hours of agonizing conversation/small talk.

Small talk = hell — pointless, redundant hell that I feel like I can never escape.

My ears also hurt after, and I just … I don’t care to have small talk. My logic is that if you weren’t doing okay, I would hear about it from someone.

I take after my dad on this one; he doesn’t do phone calls, either, unless to ask a question.

Perhaps it’s because, like text messaging, talking on the phone cannot adequately compare to talking in person.

While I still don’t understand all the gestures and body language crap, it’s still easier for me to talk in person than to talk on the phone. And, really, if I had a choice, verbally communicating with someone through text (i.e. not just text messaging, but via actual written/typed words) is easier for me in general, because I can actually digest what it being said.

Maybe this is an aspie thing, I don’t know.

Anyway, this is an overdue explanation of what it’s like for me to talk on the phone. It’s an irritant when people expect me to just be able to do it “anyway”. It’s one of those things that seems so minor to others but is actually a big deal to those it affects, like driving.

I suppose, in my case, that I rely on technology to communicate, because it is what works the best for me.

A definite Aspie thing: I’m slow — I’m “smart”, depending on how one defines it, but I’m slow. I don’t pick up cues, I don’t deliberately give off anything… honestly, everything you learn about communication and communicating with other people in your speech classes, or whatever classes you had to take, don’t work on me, thus they shouldn’t be used with me. I communicate differently, and while I understand why relying on non-in-person conversation is probably not a healthy thing, I know it works best for me, because it allows me the time to process something without being seen as too slow, without stuttering, and without getting so frustrated and overwhelmed my tics start acting up. (Because I have Tourette’s.)1

  1. I should probably do a post reply/thing to this to give people an update on what all has happened since that interview.

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Comments on this post

Liv’s gravatar

I don’t consider not liking to talk on the phone to be “weird” or “unconventional”. It’s hard to hear, it burns, and it’s not healthy for you anyway (unless you’re wearing headphones). Also, I hate it when people make phone calls on the train, so add that – it’s annoying. We all have our preferences to communicate and there are people like my mom who can’t stand texting! She insists on leaving me a voicemail. And what did I do? Instead of telling her to “text anyway” I set up my voicemail, finally.

Blake’s gravatar

Oh god! FIVE HOURS?! I would have done anything to get off that phone haha.

I also hate talking on the phone because I think it’s super awkward and I never know what to say… and then they ask me questions, I feel like my answers are so lame and short… and then I feel like a bitch because they probably know I don’t care enough to talk to them… I don’t know haha

Lydia’s gravatar

Ahaha, ikr. Same here. I hate talking on the phone. 🙁 It just drains off all my energy. Like you said, I have no idea how to keep a conversation going, and I have no idea how to end a call. Clueless. Might as well I just type things out in a text message or just meet them face to face. I wonder how you survived that 5 hour call. Oh my. 😮

Tyler’s gravatar

Pretty much every time my phone rings, my first thought is “What now?” mainly because most of my friends barely ever actually call people…we communicate by Facebook, Skype, texting…anything digital where we type what we say. So, I am always worried when I get a phone call – because it is usually someone who either wants something or has news that shouldn’t be shared by text.

The longest I have ever been on the phone was I think 2 hours. I don’t think I could handle 5.