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Here’s another very common situation: You asked someone out on a date or they asked you out on a date. Or perhaps, you already went on that date. Now, you’re sitting around, thinking about that person. Yet, you’re afraid to call for fear of sounding desperate. You think to yourself, “Well, I should at least wait a couple of days, but I don’t want to miss a call or email from this person”. So what do you do? You carry the phone around, or constantly glance at your email throughout the day.

When you go to work, every time there’s a break, you check your email and messages. When you get home, you wonder why he/she hasn’t called. You take a shower, and when you get out, there’s a message on your phone. Unfortunately, it’s from your mother asking you why you haven’t called her in a while. Maybe this goes on for several days. You’re starting to lose concentration at work thinking about him/her. Then, one of two things happen.

In the first situation, you get a call or email from that person, and eagerly respond to him or her. Now, the cycle repeats again. Once again, you’ll start wondering about the next time you’ll be in contact with him/her.

In the second situation, you do not get a call or email from the person you’re thinking about. Either you decide to break if off with him/her, or call that person. If you break it off, then the situation is resolved. If you call him/her, you’ll start wondering about the situation again.

Aside from all that thinking making you jittery and nervous, it’s wasting a ton of your time. Whether you think about it or not, either the first situation or the second situation is going to happen. No amount of thinking would change that. So why think about it? Not only does thinking about it put you in a probably negative emotional state, it wastes precious time that you could’ve used to think about something else. It’s something you have absolutely no control over, so why waste time on it? If you spent 2 hours a day, 3 days a week thinking about it, detracting from the other things you do, that’s 24 hours of wasted time per month, a value of $720 at a salary of $30/hr.

Personally, I’d rather have that $720 instead of the anxiety from waiting for someone to get in contact with me.

Remember, focus on what you have control over. Ignore the things that don’t.

You can also read about the application of this principle in investing: Stop Checking That Stock

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5 Responses to “Stop Waiting For The Phone To Ring”

  1. kit intj too on September 23rd, 2010 11:24 pm

    That’s so super helpful! Wish I read this sooner, since I’ve already wasted 2 months waiting for some guy to call. True, I can’t make him want to call me, or be nice enough to reply to a text message.

  2. IP Freely on March 8th, 2011 9:07 pm

    Great advice for both men and women. And to the above, 2 months?? I’m sure you’re better than that sweetie. Kiss off to that loser and go on to the next guy.

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  4. Zac on September 14th, 2011 8:08 pm

    This really isn’t reassuring at all… people going thru the emotional distress that comes with “waiting by the phone” don’t need to hear a cold, dry, logical explanation why they shouldn’t feel how they feel…

    I agree it’s a waste of time, but people need advice on how to deal with their emotions, not a logical explanation of why they aren’t “performing optimally”…

  5. tisha on December 27th, 2011 10:28 pm

    Thanks a billion. I am grateful you wrote this!
    Seriously, I have been googling what’s on my mind in order to stop thinking about that phone call. And all I do is holding on the feeling of the phone call. I would go do something else that matter now.