Proper Phone Etiquette

by Doug
(Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

My name is Doug Matheson. My wife and I can not agree on this situation. Please Help. My wife says because I am older I am out of touch and that I am the only one in the whole wide world she has this problem with.


It has to do with the way I answer the phone when she calls me. I have caller I.D. so I know it is her when she calls. I simply answer the phone "Hello" and nothing else. She then replies "Hello" and does not say anything else. She states I should then proceed to talk to her? I say she should state why she is calling or what is she wants as she is the one calling. The only other responsive I say I could possibly reply is another "Hello" which to me is redundant? Please advise me of your thoughts I am a complete loss here and am tried of her telling her friends, family and co-workers that I'm old and losing it and can not adjust to technology like the telephone is a new invention for me.

Thanking You in Advance,
Sincerely, Doug Matheson

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Jan 09, 2015
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Ask a question to get the conversation started NEW
by: Crystal

This happens with me and I also feel the same way. But instead of get frustrated, I think it's more gracious to simply accept that this will always happen with certain people, and count it as one of those little things you don't sweat because there are other greater things about them that make up for this teeny little annoying habit.

After they say "hello" back, I have learned to simply ask a question: "to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?" or "what's up?"

Dec 13, 2012
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Telephone NEW
by: Anonymous

When some one calls some one else, it is the caller's responsibility to identify himself / herself, and why he / she is calling, whether or not a caller id is involved. The person who received the call does not have to answer any thing else, other than, simply, saying, 'Hello!"

Jan 15, 2011
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you are correct
by: Anonymous

You are correct. Your wife decided to call you. Even if she just wanted to talk, the conversation should be more like:

You: hello
wife: hi doug, nothing emergent, I was just calling to talk. Are you free?


Jun 04, 2010
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Lady is acting childish
by: Anonymous

Your wife is being needy, childish, and oversensitive. Caller ID allows us to prevent having to ask who the caller is and immediately aknowledge the caller {assuming you see the name before you answer)- if you have a regular method of referring to each other it can be used or a simple hello will suffice (as you do) and then she should initiate the converstion as the prior reader suggested and STATE WHY IS she Calling.

May 08, 2010
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How are you?
by: Anonymous

You can also go, "Hello dear wife, how are you?"

Or, "What's up?" (which is not very polite but if you are at your wits end)

May 08, 2010
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Caller initiates the conversation.
by: Eunice replies

Well if she is calling, after hearing you say hello, she should say hello and get on with it.

The caller always initiates the conversation.

Otherwise, what is the point of calling?

If she is calling to chat, she could have said, "I'm just wondering what you're up to."

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