Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Awkward on the Phone

I am really awkward on the telephone. I don't know when this happened to me. I recall a time, not so long ago, that I could handle a phone conversation with skill and artistry. Now...well it gets weird fast.

Photobucket

First, let me start by saying that this whole post was inspired by a rare successful phone call, so I am definitely going somewhere with this. I think I am going somewhere with this.

Anyway, when I was a young girl I picked up my phone skills from my Mom. For the first 12 or so years of my life I would answer the phone, "Hello, this is Maria. How may I help you?" Eventually this got weird and I had to scale back my professionalism. Although I do admit to occasionally using my work voice to answer my own phone. Usually I realize what I am doing halfway through and then I start laughing hysterically, making the caller uncomfortable or entertained-depends on the caller.

I remember being able to talk on the phone for hours in high school. For the life of me I cannot recall what was so riveting or important. I do seem to recall watching TV with friends while talking on the phone. Also, there was a lot of talk about boys.

Since high school and the widespread use of the Internet my phone skills have begun to wither and die. While living away from my family I would talk to them once a week, but awkwardness was never really a problem, because immediate family doesn't count. My skills were stagnant at best. I began to turn into a phone recluse, refusing to be the one who ordered take-out (thanks for stepping up Eric) or to call the landlord.

Now, when the phone rings I really don't want to answer it. It's not that I don't want to talk to the caller, but I fear those weird moments when we talk simultaneously. I have forgotten the elegant dance of conversation. I need eye contact and body language to talk comfortably.

Yesterday afternoon my cousin, and dear fried (the one with whom I went to the New Kids on the Block concert and if you haven't read that post then you're missing out), called to catch up. Of course I wanted to talk to her so I answered the phone. I am not going to lie there were some weird pauses as we both tried to speak at the same time, but in the end we managed to have a very pleasant phone call. We caught up, talked about potential projects, planned for the future and it was overall witty and charming. I hung up the phone feeling more confident in my telephone skills. So now if you call me I may just avoid an awkward melt down, but don't hold your breath!

Are you weird on the phone too?

23 comments:

AKM said...

I don't like to use the phone, either! I thought I was the only one.

Actually, I'm a secretary, so it's kind of a job requirement. I'm good on the phone with a pleasant voice and all that, but I'm still not crazy about it. I love to send emails and I prefer face-to-face contact above all.

Chrissy said...

I only get weird when there is a pregnant pause... when u or the other run out of things to say... and this is someone that u know like the back of your hand...

..... Carmen said...

I'm not sure about weird on the phone, but I definetely avoid it. I agree that the internet has taken away phone talking capabilities. Our phone will ring, and I'll check the caller ID. More often than not I'll let it go to the answering machine. I used to talk on the phone for hours during High School too - what DID we talk about for 3 hours on end??? Do you think teens still do that now or do they spend hours on Facebook instead?

Tammie said...

im incredibly weird on the phone, and yes i too blame the internet. thank goodness for husbands so willing to take over these duties.

Maria Rose said...

I think teenagers only text now. They only talk on the phone with their parents.

Elizabeth said...

yeah - don't get me started on the teenagers and texting thing. we had to ban cell phones from youth group time - they'd all text all the time . . .

anyway - i do the same try to talk at the same time thing. so weird! it drives me nuts!

i'm with AKM - give me face-to-face any day!

Rachael said...

That is too funny. I am WAY less social than I used to be. On the very of anti-social. I don't know why but the older I get the less I want to leave my house. I'm only 23...who knows how this will go as I really age? :)

Emily said...

In junior high the biggest punishment my parents could give me was to ground me from the phone. Now, I don't use the phone all that often! Emails and facebook have taken over. Although I still haven't embraced texting. I guess I'm too old for that. =)

shellyfish said...

I used to be really comfy on the phone - but something sort of happened to me when I was in my late 20s and I just started hating talking on the phone. I feel very rushed and not comfy at all. Thankfully here everyone sends text messages all the time - makes it easier.

Paisley said...

The worst for me is the drive up anything, coffee, bank, gas station (they pump the gas for you here), fast food. I get this blank spot in my brain and I am frantic to try and remember what I need to say. It is horrid. And the more they try to make small talk the worse I get, head turning to the family to prompt me as to what I am supposed to say next. Thankfully they are aware of the phobia and cue me what to say in a whisper from behind me or beside me. One time I even pulled in the wrong way at the coffee place so my dear husband had to order. Didn't do that many times, that was really awkward.

brandi said...

oh yeah. totally weird. I would much rather talk in person or email. I don't know what it is!

I remember being on the phone all the time in high school, too, but I have no clue what I talked about :)

Erica said...

haha- I LOVE this post! I feel this way about the phone and day to day encounters. I think the internet/blogging/emailing have taken away a lot of my normal interaction skills

affectioknit said...

I do still talk to my Mom and sister on the phone - sometimes at length - but I'd definitely say that since I started the ole blog I've been a less frequent telephone user - I often feel like there's no need to call as I've already posted about that...

the dwellers said...

The longer I'm a stay at home mom, the more my professional skills, that used to be second nature, seem to slip. Phone skills included :)

But I have gained new skills...like the ability to change a diaper, teach a math lesson, and tie a shoe all at the same time. :) Not too marketable, but comes in handy!

Rebekah said...

I love this post. All the "weirdness" out there makes me feel better. : ) but beware...a little awkwardness can easily become a full blown phobia!

I've been reading you for months - you're awesome.

Robin said...

I still have the photo of you talking on the phone to me. Don't worry dear, many, many people are akward on phones. Including me!

The Grandpa said...

I am totally weird on the phone. The only time I do good is when I'm talking to my grandkids. I joined facebook a few months ago, and for the life of me I can't figure out what it's all about. But after reading your post I had a lightbulb moment. It's no wonder I don't understand facebook. I still don't get phones.

Mrs. LC said...

This post cracked me up - I used to be so GOOD at wasting, I mean spending, eons of time on the phone! But now - I've become this awkward, introverted, socially inept (well at least over the phone)person. I have been trying to focus on positive efforts though! I am improving! :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog, glad it led me to yours! :)

Val said...

Love the old phone!

I thought I was bad too until I met my husband:

DH to best friend: Hey
Best Friend: Hey
DH: Still 5 o'clock ok?
Best Friend: Yep
DH: Ok, see ya then
Best Friend: Yep

Now, these two will talk for HOURS in person!

Jaime said...

lol that is a weird phone! i hate the phone-- much prefer texting or face to face talking! the phone is so weird!!

yes i dunk carrots in mustard:) hehhe xoxo

Kevin said...

I don't know if I"m awkward or not, I just know I have to do it at work so much that I don't really like to at home. I probably am 'too professional' or 'get to the point' already when I do talk.

Imene said...

I totally relate to that. I sound funny on the phone mainly because I have no patience for long conversations anymore. Plus every time I pick up the phone, hell brakes loose and the kids go nuts..

eLiZaBeTh said...

Oh, Maria, how you make me smile...I am a little awkward on the phone too. Usually happens when it comes time to say goodbye. Never happens as gracefully as I would like. I used to love to talk on the phone, but no more. Funny...I am the "Staff Assistant" (glorified name for a receptionist) at you-know-where and I have to answer the phone no less than 100 times a day. Oh well, at least I get to plan my wedding and read blogs on the sly all day! Hahaha! Sssshhhhh, don't tell anyone!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...