Please help me to tell people I will not always be available to them
December 22, 2010 10:23 AM Subscribe
Please help me to politely tell people that I am not available 24/7 by phone.
posted by triggerfinger to Human Relations (62 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I am beyond fed up with people (mainly family members) getting on my case because I don't answer their calls or texts on my cell phone IMMEDIATELY. The majority of the time this is because I have my phone on silent, I have left it at home or I can't hear it ringing because I'm in a noisy place. I will answer the phone if I hear it and if I miss it I will generally get back to texts or calls fairly promptly if they need some information or whatever but with chatty things, not as much (e.g a text that says "hey, what's up"). Sometimes I will take a few hours to get back to people on non-urgent things (e.g. "When are we getting together this week?").
I am not a phone person to begin with and I can't stand having conversations through text. I have no problem with having brief conversations that serve a purpose, or if I'm speaking to a long lost person and catching up, but I really don't like just chit chatting on the phone and the same goes for texts. However, some of my friends and especially my family get angry that I don't pick up their calls for whatever reason or don't text them back right away. It doesn't matter if I tell them I didn't have my phone with me or I was sleeping or whatever - they've told me that I need to keep a closer eye on it because this is "how people communicate now".
Telling them I'm not a big phone person doesn't help, they just get angry. I've completely had it at this point and am considering permanently keeping my cell phone off and only checking it once a day for messages. This is a bit extreme and I'd rather not do it, but I'm not sure what else to do at this point. I do not have a land line right now, so I do need my cell phone, but I am seriously considering getting one when I move in a few months and ditching my cell phone altogether to get rid of the hassle of my family and friends who think I should be there 24/7. I would rather not do this as I like having my phone for an emergency and so I can easily check my email etc. Please help me come up with a solution that will not further inflame my family members.
If anyone thinks I am being unreasonable, I am completely open to hearing that as well. Thanks for your help.