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

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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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.”

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