Have you been on the phone and felt like phone etiquette and good manners have gone completely out the window? Or maybe you’re second-guessing your own telephone etiquette because someone complained about what you thought was reasonable behavior?
Well, one thing is certain: we are all human, and at one point or the other, no matter how considerate of others we think we are, or how high we like to think of ourselves, we are bound to eff up. It might also happen because you’re really busy.
It’s easy to get caught up with everyday demands, and sometimes you might feel like even though you’re investing your time in a conversation with someone, you’re not getting the feedback or result you expected.
So, next time you feel that you are unable to connect with people on the phone at a deeper level, ask yourself whether you’re committing any telephone etiquette faux pas like these ones below.
6 Incredibly Annoying Things People Do On the Phone
Are You Guilty of Committing Any of These Phone Etiquette Infractions or Are You Fed Up When Someone Does This on the Phone?
1. Calling Someone When You’re Talking to Someone Else on the Side (In Person)
This should be basic phone etiquette, right? Well, apparently not everyone got the memo, or maybe it has to do with the times we’re living in, when everybody is constantly multi-tasking and trying to be productive every minute.
That’s what happens when people are talking to someone in person and start calling other people before they’re done talking. So, the other person picks up the phone, but the caller continues with his current in-person conversation. This results in making the other person who you just called have to listen through the whole thing. This is annoying and wasteful of the recipient’s time.
Solution: Wait a few minutes to make the phone call, when you’re actually ready to give your full attention to the recipient of the call.
2. Sending Multiple Text Messages to Say One Thing
People seem to be divided over this. Some folks who tend to be more formal (even in their text messages) appear to get annoyed upon receiving 6 texts to convey one sentence. Others (like those who routinely have long conversations by text) embrace it. It’s almost a way to have a more fluid exchange.
Some people get more irked than others because they have their phone sounding every time they get a text, which can get irritating if the phone sounds incessantly.
Solution: To play it safe, avoid sending several texts to say what you could say with fewer (unless you’re messaging someone that exchanges text messages with you regularly and appears to engage in this practice of sending multiple texts).
Also, to cut down on the annoyance, consider setting your phone to vibrate, to minimize the tension with all those “pings” you’ll get with multiple texts.
I’ll bet you know someone (probably a relative) that is “new” to smartphones and texts you jokes, inspirational stuff, or a hundred memes before noon. WhatsApp seems to be the go-to platform for people to do this. Again, the problem is the frequency.
Like most stuff, everybody appreciates the occasional text, joke, and the like. However, when you get 10 memes from the same person in a day, you might not find it that funny anymore. More so if it’s short clips with jokes that can get you in trouble at the office if you’re constantly playing them or open them by accident during a meeting.
Solution: Hopefully, you are not the spammer! If you are, consider how responsive (or not) the recipient of the texts is when they get your messages. No response to your last 20 messages? This could be a sign that you’re annoying them.
If you’re getting these messages all the time, consider muting the conversation for a few days, if you don’t want to tell the person that their constant messages bother you.
4. Butt Dialing Continuously
This is actually funny – until it becomes too frequent and drives you nuts. LOL. I have had people butt dial me by accident and have heard all sorts of stuff.
Once, I had called my parents to say I was on my way, and they thought they hung up after we finished the conversation. Well, they did not and I heard them complaining about how I was not there yet. Apparently, they wanted me to get to their house earlier but never told me anything. It was a silly conversation, but a bit shocking to hear your parents talk behind your back. Oh well!
Solution: For your own benefit, try making sure your screen is locked before you stick your phone in your pocket or throw it in your purse. Oh, and make sure you press end or hang up the phone properly before going about your day.
5. Calling Someone to Ask them to Text You Stuff They’ve Told You About, But You Refuse to Write Down
Again, basic telephone etiquette. Don’t call people to tell them to text you to remind you of something.
Like when you agree to do someone a favor, but tell them to make sure they remind you of it. It’s like bouncing the chore back to the person. Rather, when you take on a responsibility or chore, write it down or set a calendar reminder. In sum, take ownership of whatever you committed yourself to do.
Another example is when people take the time to explain something you ask them about but you fail to pay attention. Thereafter, you keep on asking for the same stuff. They text you the stuff, and months later you ask the same thing again. Very annoying.
Solution: Be more mindful of other people’s time. Don’t expect others to respond to your every question right away; especially when it has to do with stuff they’ve explained to you before. If all else fails, ask politely for the information and be willing to write it down.
6. Asking People to Text You Stuff Readily Available With a Simple Google Search
The blessing and the curse of having so much information available at your fingertips is that there are no excuses for feigning ignorance. When you constantly annoy people on the phone to ask the obvious, you start looking lazy and disrespectful of other people’s time and resources.
A good example is the folks that constantly call you to ask stuff like the closing time of a store or its exact address. A simple Google search can reveal this information. Asking every once in a while is fine, but if this becomes your M.O., people might feel like you’re entitled.
Solution: Google it! Try to figure things out on your own before you start asking people all sorts of questions.
Are you the offender or the victim when it comes to these telephone etiquette infractions? Or maybe you think they’re normal things to do on the phone? Either way, if one of these things happens to bother you, now you have a few tips on what to do.
That’s my take!
What are some telephone etiquette tips you wish other people put into practice?
Do you happen to do something annoying on the phone and had not realized you were doing it? I confess I’m guilty of sending long texts ;-), a bunch of texts, and probably a few other things too!
Credit: All GIFs from Giphy.
I’m Lily, a lawyer and aspiring Miami fashion entrepreneur sharing life hacks and my favorite tidbits on lifestyle, shopping, fashion, and beauty. GIF enthusiast and lover of making shareable lists.