How to handle a pushy friend

I’m not a really sociable (social?) person - I occasionally enjoy the company of people other than my husband and my baby - but most of the time I find it easier somehow to just do my own thing.

I have an acquaintance who is someone I consider “pushy”. About the only thing we have in common is that we’re both off work on maternity leave these days. I don’t mind her, and meeting up for a cup of coffee or a walk once a month would be fine with me. It’s nice to have a specific reason to get out of the house, and she is a really upbeat person who always has lots to talk about, it’s not HER fault she gets on my nerves a bit.

The big problem is she likes to talk on the phone - and I hate it! I have told her that I don’t answer the phone often, and I especially refuse to answer it if I’m busy with the baby. I’ve tried having quick conversations with her but she drags them out for a good half-hour - even when I’ve told her at the beginning that I only have a minute. If I ignore the phone when she calls (thank Og for call display!), she will leave a long message and then call back a few hours later to see if I got her message!!!

It actually makes me avoid even planning to see her because arranging it would mean at least one or two phone calls - :eek:

I’ve tried making plans with her by email but no luck.

Is there any polite way to handle this? She is pretty thick-skinned and doesn’t take even a very unsubtle hint. But at the same time, I don’t feel right just ignoring her calls because I know it’s rude and it’s got to be hurting her feelings somewhat.

I agree that it’s rude to ignore her calls.

I think it would be best to say something to her face to face.

Something like 'I really enjoy meeting up with a coffee with you, but there’s something I should let you know about me. I don’t really like talking on the phone, I know it’s a bit silly but it’s just a personal foible. Would it be OK with you if we just used phone calls to arrange our meetings and then we talk about stuff when we’re together?"

Say it with a smile and be prepared to laugh at yourself, and I’m sure it’ll be fine!

I agree.

But the thing is, both my husband and I have told her that I hate talking on the phone (me in an email, and him in person). He’s also told her that I am pretty anti-social and not to take it personally.

How much clearer can we make it?

Aaaaah - the phone just rang and it was her again! Her ears must be burning.

Plus I honestly really resent feeling “stalked” by someone - if I wanted to talk to her, I would call her!!! Most people know the rules of the “phone game” - it’s called taking turns. Calling someone 7 times in a row is against the rules. :slight_smile:

I had a neighbor like this when my son was born. She lived across the hall and she’d knock on that fucking door until I thought I’d lose my mind. I was TIRED. I had a new BABY to care for. And she wouldn’t Shut. Up.

I finally moved. It felt so good.

I don’t think it’s rude to ignore her calls, it’s your phone and your time (if anything, she’s the rude one for ignoring your stated wishes). I used to have a friend who called constantly (evne tho’ she know I hated talking on the phone). I basically answered the phone when I saw who it was from. It became a running joke that when I checked my missed messages, it was page after page of Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.

Eventually, since she knew I wouldn’t answer the phone, she stopped calling so frequently (although she never quit completely). And if I ever accidently picked up, I’d get the message (to meet or whatever) and then go “well, shoot, I gotta run, bye” and then *hang up/i] even if she was still talking. We’d still hang out, she just eventually understood that I was a weirdo :rolleyes: (in her eyes) 'cause I didn’t like to spend time on the phone.

That’s supposed to be “I basically ignored the phone”

I am the same way! I am a super social person though…I just HATE talking on the phone. I have told people upfront that it is better to email me as I rarely answer the phone. The only time I will answer it is if it is my mother–I am 36+ weeks pregnant so if I don’t answer, she freaks out. People look at me funny when I tell them I rarely answer the phone and never turn my cell on unless I need to make a call.

My friends will leave me messages, which I will listen to and call back (or better yet email back) if it is something important or they have invited me somewhere.

Just make sure you let this person know that it is not just them you ignor, but everyone (even if it isn’t the case!) and hopefully she will respect this limitation.

Could be worse–you could have “drop-in” friends showing up at your door unannounced!

I agree fully. I, too, hate talking on the phone and 90% of the time, let the machine get it. I am under no obligation to answer it if I don’t feel like talking.

I’m sorry to say, but there’s no way to gently extricate yourself from this situation. If hints and requests don’t work, the only thing to do is not to answer the phone or return her calls. E-mail her and say you were too busy to talk on the phone. Likely, your friendship will suffer, but it’s either that or live with it.

Over the years, my friends and family have learned that I’m not one to chat on the phone, and they don’t call “just to talk.” It’s Hubby’s friends and co-workers who can’t seem to understand this.

What drives me insane are those people who will call and leave a message, then call back repeatedly, hanging up before the machine answers. It’s so. . . imperious.

I’ve known people like that, and they will not stop talking. I started saying that in one minute I had to hang up, so conclude what your saying. I would say "I have to go now and in about 5 seconds hang up. They never got pissed or stopped calling for one reason. They wanted to talk to someone, and they wanted to talk badly. Everybody else already didn’t give them the time of day. I listened for five to ten minutes as a kindness, because I hate phones.

You: “I’m Sorry, I’ve really gotta go. I’ll see you later, bye!”

friend: “blah, blah, blah”

“Sorry really gotta go, Bye!” click

I’m the same way - I hate to talk on the phone. So I don’t. If the house phone rings, the machine gets it unless it’s my husband or the nursing agency he works for. Very few people have my cell number, so that’s not a problem.

If both you and your husband have tried explaining things to her and she choses not to listen/understand, then it’s her problem. Let the machine get it and don’t worry over it.

Works for me. The first three or four times I’ve done the “sorry – gotta go” to a friend, they don’t realize I will hang up. After a few times, however, it goes a bit like this:

Me: “I’m sorry, I have to go.”

Friend: “Okay, bye!” click

You just gotta train 'em, that’s all. :slight_smile:

I just sent her an email trying to make things REALLY clear. This is as honest as I can be without being nasty.

*Sorry I missed your call today - I am really bad for answering the phone. Partly because if the baby is awake, I don’t like to use up our time together talking on the phone … and if she is asleep, I am usually busy trying to get things done, or catching a nap!

So the phone really isn’t the best way to get a hold of me most of the time. Email is really so much better. I am weird that way, I know. I just wanted to explain a bit more so you don’t take it personally.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see you - how about planning something for Wednesday? A walk if it’s nice out, and a cozy coffee chat if the weather is nasty?*

Stainz, you are way too nice. Or I am way too bitchy. Maybe both. :slight_smile:

Stainz, it’s a crying shame you live so far away from Georgia. I would love to have someone to go on walks with, and you sound like a super-nice person.

Well, I have NEVER been accused of that before … thanks Campion!

I just know that this person has a really big heart - she is like a big Golden Lab puppy dog who has NO idea how annoying she really is at times. :slight_smile:

Plus I kind of wonder if she thinks she is doing me a favour? I think she is SO social that she may worry that I’m too reclusive and lonely, so she is trying to draw me out of my shell.

And she plays on my husband’s softball team, so I see her socially a fair bit, and don’t want to cause any awkwardness.

We’ll see if this email gets through to her …

Awwww … sniff sniff. Ditto! I’d tell you to call me if you’re ever in BC, but we both know how that would turn out! :slight_smile:

It’s weird to be called ‘nice’ … most people I know think I’m a bitch. People generally like me and all - but I’m sure behind my back they call me a bitchy ballbreaker and wonder how my sweet husband can put up with me!

Really I’m a big wimp who blunders through life, offending people left and right, most of the time totally unintentionally, and if/when I DO realize I’ve hurt someone’s feelings, well oh my God, I will worry about it for literally years.

sigh … it’s hard to be Stainz!

Sorry, I didn’t read your original post properly and see that you had already broached the subject with her. I’d definately go for the ‘I’ve got to go now…bye! click’ approach that others have suggested! :slight_smile:

For most people, the idea that other people don’t actually like and dislike the same things doesn’t compute. Generally they just figure that you’re just trying to “act cool” or whatever. If you really work to convince them, about the best you can get is a moment of understanding(!), when suddenly they realise that to acknowledge this they would have to change their worldview, and thus immediately delete the information. For instance, trying to convince people that you really are an atheist and that atheists really don’t believe in God; not just saying it to get people riled, or just denying to sound cool, but really just have no belief and don’t care.

Of course, phonecalling is a smaller issue to most than the existance of otehrwordly beings, but oddly it isn’t all that rare to come across this.

The best you can do is to be an ass about it.

That email was a perfect way of dealing with that!

I have friends that do this, a husband and wife with two kids. The husband will call ten times until I answer! Then when they come over they saty all day, I don’t mean a couple hours, ALL DAY. The last visit was from ten in the morning to midnight.
I love the wife, but the husband drives me and my husband crazy. Their oldest child is a holy terror too, I have no idea how to tell her to come over without them, that is just to rude. Oh well.