The very first time that Obed and I ever had an argument, I was out of town. We were on the phone and I was having 2 conversations at the same time. I was with one of my besties and as I was speaking to Obed, I kept engaging in conversation with her too. Obed was not particularly fond of me continuing a conversation while I had him on the line. In the moment I thought, he was overreacting. I could not understand what the big deal was.
However, once we discussed his feelings about the situation, I understood why he was bothered. In our entire relationship, time was always working against us. Every moment was important to him. I remember him telling me, that he would rather me let him go and call him back later than for him to be sitting on the line in silence, listening to me engage in conversation with someone else. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, but now I understand the rules of phone etiquette much better.
It is rude to not give the person on the phone your undivided attention. It is also rude to answer the phone in the presence of others in certain scenarios. In this particular situation, Obed and I were newly dating. My bestie and I were on a road trip and he was calling to check on me. I answered his call and continued to chat it up with her while I had him on the phone. He was on his break at work and he didn’t have much time to chat but he made it a point to call and make sure we had made it safe to our destination. From that point forward, it was always an issue when I did not give him my undivided attention and rightfully so.
I always felt like he was just finding something to complain about, but as I matured I understood why it was bothersome to him. When I spoke to him and he would put me on hold for literally 5 seconds, I would get frustrated. It was a double standard. I always expected him to give me his undivided attention but I wouldn’t do the same for him. It may seem like something so trivial, but there is an important lesson here. RESPECT.
Now I am not saying that you can’t say, “Hey can you hold on one second? I have to do X Y Z…” I am simply stating that when we engage in conversation with others, we have to be mindful of the attention we are giving them. It’s ok to say, “Hey, I am right in the middle of something, can I call you right back?” instead of acting as if you have time for someone, when you really don’t. Right now, we are living in a world where everyone is constantly on their cells, we do a million different things at once and completely disregard how we share our time and space with others. That is something I learned in my own marriage and about my own actions.
While O and I were married, we made it a point to put away our phones when we were together. Unless of course we had some selfie action going on, that was always fair game! Now, that I am single and go on the occasional date here and there, I make it a point to put my phone away. We should be mindful of sharing our time and space with others and remember to be fully present. I know for me personally, if I am with a guy and he is constantly on his phone it is a huge turn off. It definitely decreases his chances of hanging out with me again.
When in company, I try my best to make it a point to be completely present and give that person or group of people my undivided attention. There is something very sweet and thoughtful about it. It means this person is engaging and is fully committed to making the most out of your time together. Quality time is what they call it, right? In a world full of social media – sometimes, it’s nice to just be present in the moment and not always try to capture everything. Another thing I learned from Obed. This is a guy that literally never took selfies, unless he was with me. He didn’t have any social media accounts and I honestly loved that about him too.
All this, just to share my thoughts on phone etiquette and how we can express our respect and love for others by being attentive.
When you are spending time with others, be present, be attentive and be mindful of their time.