She Refuses to Talk on the Phone. Do You Have Any Suggestions?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

I’ve been interested in someone for a long time. However, she’s caught in this modern era of never/refusing to talk on the telephone and will only email or text despite my repeated requests to have voice conversations.

This woman is 50, not 18, yet still remains this way. I’m not a phone person either, but when it comes to personal relationships, I still believe in having real communication whenever I can.

Do you have any suggestions?

-Randy (Texas)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Randy,

Boy, do I have suggestions. And I’m fascinated to see addiction to technology is not limited to one gender. Usually men are the ones who won’t pick up the phone.

The good news is you can train her. To do so, you’ll need self discipline and to be prepared she doesn’t want more and may walk.

Sometimes a reliance on text over voice and face-to-face contact is a signal someone wants to avoid closeness all together.

The main way to train someone not to text is to simply stop responding to texts. If all her texts are being rewarded by you texting back, then she has no reason to alter her behavior.

But the other important piece is when she finally does call, you have to reward that good behavior with happy communication.

Don’t mention that she FINALLY picked up the phone. Just get right into the happy talk that she’s used to.

For more details on training a texter, please look at the technology chapter in my book “The 30-Day Love Detox.”

No counseling or psychotherapy advice: The Site does not provide psychotherapy advice. The Site is intended only for use by consumers in search of general information of interest pertaining to problems people may face as individuals and in relationships and related topics. Content is not intended to replace or serve as substitute for professional consultation or service. Contained observations and opinions should not be misconstrued as specific counseling advice.