It’s just their nature.
Most introverts dislike talking on the phone — a lot.
It’s something that extroverts don’t naturally understand since they love a good phone chat, and it can create tension in relationships and put people off unintentionally.
The first thing both need to realize is that people interact with the world in different ways and have innate preferences around energy. Introverts direct their energy inward toward their rich inner world. They receive energy by reflecting on their thoughts and feelings. They enjoy solitude, learn by thinking, cultivate deep interests and close personal relationships, prefer communicating in writing, and they intensely value their privacy.
Extroverts, in contrast, direct their energy outward and gain energy by interacting with others and taking action. They enjoy being the center of attention, work out ideas by talking (and thinking) out loud, learn by doing or talking, have large social networks and a variety of interests, and thrive on being around others and expressing themselves.
The difference in communication styles is perhaps never so stark as when it involves the telephone. When the extrovert calls the introvert, what seems like 10 times a day, the introvert is likely going to recoil. Or, when an unknown number pops up, this can be both a nuisance and a source of stress.
Introverts dislike the phone so much they’d rather text Siri than answering the phone. Even if it’s a close friend or family member – some aspect of phone calls is always likely to put them on edge and not feeling at their best.
Here are 6 reasons why introverts hate talking on the phone:
1. A ringing phone feels like an intrusion.
Introverts are highly focused on whatever they’re doing or thinking about, and phone calls interrupt their thought process and solitude. They biologically need their quiet time and introspection. And, it doesn’t matter who is calling – an intrusion is an intrusion.
That said, nothing is worse than an unwanted sales call. These occur at the most inopportune times, such as during daydreams or solving problems. What the introvert is thinking at that unfavorable moment is “Go away! I’ll call you if I’m interested!” I’m sure many a slammed phone is done by introverts.
2. The unknown is anxiety-provoking.
Introverts like to anticipate, and an unexpected call can create nervousness. Blocked or unknown numbers evoke panic, and prompt “Who is calling me?” as well as suspicion for the introvert who likes to build trusting relationships with people before speaking on the phone.
More important, perhaps, is the introverts desire to be an expert and master everything they do. Winging it on the phone, without an opportunity to research something in detail isn’t something they enjoy.
3. Chit chat is useless.
Most phone calls start with meaningless banter about the weather or how busy everyone has been. The introvert values depth and has no time for small talk. They would much sooner curl up on a couch and dive into a comprehensive conversation about the meaning of life or exactly how to stop climate change.
4. It’s exhausting.
Introverts process information in a particular way: Hear, think about it, think some more, respond, then think some more. Here is what happens for extroverts: Hear, talk, think, talk, talk, and talk some more. Trying to process that much sensory information without a break can be tiring!
And, while introverts can be excellent listeners, don’t be surprised if they drift off during the call and you find yourself asking if they are still on the line. They want to get to the crucial bits of the call, and they’re too kind to tell you that you’re rambling.
5. There are no visual cues.
Many introverts rely on body language to interpret conversations. A regular phone call only has words, tone, and pacing. It doesn’t include facial expressions or other sensory information, either. On a regular phone call, the introvert’s inner world is working on overdrive to understand the meaning, and this can be nerve-racking and uncomfortable.