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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often complain about the cell phone and how people use it in an entitled way. But I never know if I am being insensitive. What reasons would there be for calling someone back to back in a short period of time without leaving a message of some sort?

This kind of behavior is very panic-inducing for me, and makes me think there is an emergency. But after it has happened so many times that I call back and the person didn’t want anything other than to shoot the breeze, then I have started not to react. It seems emotionally manipulative. Boundary pushing. Desperate for attention or something. Am I wrong?

I have four missed calls (all within the last ten minutes) from a family member who calls me twice a year to ask for a favor. I know it’s the holidays and all... On the one hand I do want to be responsive, but I would like to maintain some boundaries with my time and attention and don’t like rewarding this behavior. How can I respond appropriately, and not passive-aggressively?
 

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I often complain about the cell phone and how people use it in an entitled way. But I never know if I am being insensitive. What reasons would there be for calling someone back to back in a short period of time without leaving a message of some sort?

This kind of behavior is very panic-inducing for me, and makes me think there is an emergency. But after it has happened so many times that I call back and the person didn’t want anything other than to shoot the breeze, then I have started not to react. It seems emotionally manipulative. Boundary pushing. Desperate for attention or something. Am I wrong?

I have four missed calls (all within the last ten minutes) from a family member who calls me twice a year to ask for a favor. I know it’s the holidays and all... On the one hand I do want to be responsive, but I would like to maintain some boundaries with my time and attention and don’t like rewarding this behavior. How can I respond appropriately, and not passive-aggressively?
Text them back and ask them what's up?
 

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I often complain about the cell phone and how people use it in an entitled way. But I never know if I am being insensitive. What reasons would there be for calling someone back to back in a short period of time without leaving a message of some sort?

This kind of behavior is very panic-inducing for me, and makes me think there is an emergency. But after it has happened so many times that I call back and the person didn’t want anything other than to shoot the breeze, then I have started not to react. It seems emotionally manipulative. Boundary pushing. Desperate for attention or something. Am I wrong?

I have four missed calls (all within the last ten minutes) from a family member who calls me twice a year to ask for a favor. I know it’s the holidays and all... On the one hand I do want to be responsive, but I would like to maintain some boundaries with my time and attention and don’t like rewarding this behavior. How can I respond appropriately, and not passive-aggressively?
Well, if I were in your position, I’d think that the only way to get the point across would be in a straightforward manner, which may come off as aggressive. In these kinds of situations, I usually answer the call asap, just in case. To get rid of the whole “instant gratification” effect, I reply in a clearly agitated manner.
This makes the caller feel embarrassed. It works. However, with the relationship I have with my family and friends, I feel comfortable being strict with them and setting boundaries. It might not be the same for you… In that case, it sounds complicated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Text them back and ask them what's up?
This makes people call me and then I have to ignore them again. The whole purpose of me silencing my phone is I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to text them to see what they wanted, but then I’m annoyed like why didn’t they just text me and tell me what they wanted in the first place?

Well, if I were in your position, I’d think that the only way to get the point across would be in a straightforward manner, which may come off as aggressive. In these kinds of situations, I usually answer the call asap, just in case. To get rid of the whole “instant gratification” effect, I reply in a clearly agitated manner.
This makes the caller feel embarrassed. It works. However, with the relationship I have with my family and friends, I feel comfortable being strict with them and setting boundaries. It might not be the same for you… In that case, it sounds complicated.
It’s only complicated because I get accused of being cruel and selfish whenever I take time for myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But update: They texted me and said for me to call them. So I finally called back hours later and...they needed a favor. 😒

Then said, you never even call me 🥺

And I said, you only call me when you need a favor🙄

I mean...How to be a normal healthy adult? This is so weird. I’m sick of everyone all the time.
 

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This makes people call me and then I have to ignore them again. The whole purpose of me silencing my phone is I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to text them to see what they wanted, but then I’m annoyed like why didn’t they just text me and tell me what they wanted in the first place?

It’s only complicated because I get accused of being cruel and selfish whenever I take time for myself.
They only call you when they want something. The answer seems obvious: block their number. Tell them to seek help elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They only call you when they want something. The answer seems obvious: block their number. Tell them to seek help elsewhere.
Hmm. Well this is a relative, so idk if I should block them. I don’t hate them or anything, just tired of the learned helplessness and emotionally manipulative behavior.
I just told them to do it themselves. But I’m sure this news will be making the nightly rounds. Soon someone else will be calling to gather intel about it.
 

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You’re asking a lot of why questions about someone’s behavior that isn’t yours. This is a common problem that INFPs face because they tend to project their values onto others. Learn what the value is for you (ex: calls are only for emergency) and then set the boundary. If they continue to impede as you see it after you explained yourself, then and only then are they in the wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You’re asking a lot of why questions about someone’s behavior that isn’t yours. This is a common problem that INFPs face because they tend to project their values onto others. Learn what the value is for you (ex: calls are only for emergency) and then set the boundary. If they continue to impede as you see it after you explained yourself, then and only then are they in the wrong.
Oh yeah, you’re right. Even though I did say stop calling me whenever you need a favor, I forgot to say stop calling so many times back to back for non emergencies. Fml, that was the main thing I should have conveyed
 

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Hmm. Well this is a relative, so idk if I should block them. I don’t hate them or anything, just tired of the learned helplessness and emotionally manipulative behavior.
I just told them to do it themselves. But I’m sure this news will be making the nightly rounds. Soon someone else will be calling to gather intel about it.
I don't see this changing unless you clearly communicate that you have limited time and energy and don't want to spend it on people who only call for favors. Friendships and family relationships should be based on something more than this.
 

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But update: They texted me and said for me to call them. So I finally called back hours later and...they needed a favor. 😒

Then said, you never even call me 🥺

And I said, you only call me when you need a favor🙄

I mean...How to be a normal healthy adult? This is so weird. I’m sick of everyone all the time.
My dad does this to me and it pisses me off. I think he's a Cp 6 or an 8 because I'm really scared of him. But anyway if he tries to call me I just tell him I'd prefer not to call today, and really what is he going to do next time he sees me? He's too prideful to kill his own child lol.

But no, you have to put up barriers that make other people uncomfortable for you to be comfortable. Do you want to be a doormat forever? You have to assert your desires and stick by them, no one else is going to convenience you in the end, they're all out for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My dad does this to me and it pisses me off. I think he's a Cp 6 or an 8 because I'm really scared of him. But anyway if he tries to call me I just tell him I'd prefer not to call today, and really what is he going to do next time he sees me? He's too prideful to kill his own child lol.

But no, you have to put up barriers that make other people uncomfortable for you to be comfortable. Do you want to be a doormat forever? You have to assert your desires and stick by them, no one else is going to convenience you in the end, they're all out for themselves.
Hmm. Well yes. I normally just put up barriers. Was trying to see if there might be a healthier way of going about things, short of ignoring people like I do currently.
 

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Hmm. Well yes. I normally just put up barriers. Was trying to see if there might be a healthier way of going about things, short of ignoring people like I do currently.
You could have a sit down and talk out your feelings with them. Say something like,; "I really want to maintain contact with you because I love you, but I don't want to call. It's nothing that you're doing wrong, I do this to everyone I talk to. I am just far more comfortable texting you than calling you, so please respect that." If they can't accept that then go to my solution number 1.
 

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It’s only complicated because I get accused of being cruel and selfish whenever I take time for myself.
Welp, in this case, it looks like communication the answer. All you have to do is tell them that you prefer texting over calling. You may worry about being appropriate or not, but you have to put yourself first when it comes to setting boundaries—in the hopes of welcoming a healthier relationship. With my friends, I decline their calls and tell them to just text me, and at first, that was kinda awkward to do, but they understand me now.

Let go of your anxiety. Even if for a moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks all. I’m just clarifying that I don’t mind talking on the phone. I just don’t like the expectation that I will pick up whenever anyone calls. Sometimes I like to not be on my phone for hours at a time and I don’t like disturbances. So I do silence it all day if I want to.

So just clarifying that the behavior I don’t like is the feigned urgency of calling back to back. And the one sidedness of calling only when you need a favor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
During the pandemic i just hit a breaking point with so many calls from work. It’s like my cell phone wasn’t mine any more and then work people started calling me on non work hours all times a day, on the weekends, off days etc and i couldn’t distinguish who was who so i just silenced my phone and i barely want to talk anymore. Just state your business and I’ll try to get back to you at a time that’s convenient
 

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I often complain about the cell phone and how people use it in an entitled way. But I never know if I am being insensitive. What reasons would there be for calling someone back to back in a short period of time without leaving a message of some sort?

This kind of behavior is very panic-inducing for me, and makes me think there is an emergency. But after it has happened so many times that I call back and the person didn’t want anything other than to shoot the breeze, then I have started not to react. It seems emotionally manipulative. Boundary pushing. Desperate for attention or something. Am I wrong?

I have four missed calls (all within the last ten minutes) from a family member who calls me twice a year to ask for a favor. I know it’s the holidays and all... On the one hand I do want to be responsive, but I would like to maintain some boundaries with my time and attention and don’t like rewarding this behavior. How can I respond appropriately, and not passive-aggressively?
I don't understand this. I used to hate it when people would leave messages. "Hi, it's me. I guess you're busy. I'll talk to you later." Why would I want to listen to a message like that? I have call display and a record of incoming calls, so I already know who called.

In another post you say they just want to shoot the breeze. So they're not going to leave an informative message. They just want to talk. They think you're in the bathroom or something, so they call again in a few minutes.

Anyway, now I tell people not to phone, because I won't answer. My ringer is turned off and I don't answer. If someone phones me, I never know about it. Too bad. If a friend wants to communicate, they can text, email, etc.

(I have a separate voice mail number for dealing with the government, etc. I never give it to friends.)

tl;dr I learned long ago that other people can't be trained to respect my boundaries. It's up to me to take control of my phone situation.
 
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