Wednesday, June 20, 2007

PSA: How to Talk to Boys on the Phone

This post might also be entitled, "What do boys like to talk about on the phone?"

Well, dear readers, it seems that a number of youngsters have happened upon my blog with the above searches (which mostly brings them here, but also which often land them here, and if they're interested in what they found in that second post, they should probably head over here as well, though apparently I've done a number of posts with the tag of "talking on the phone with boys" so maybe they're also ending up at those), and, although my blog is rated R and I feel that it may not be appropriate for these youngsters are perusing its contents, I do feel obliged to offer what little expertise I have in this area, if only to smooth the passage into The World of Dating for those who find me by this means.

Now, I'm something of an expert in talking on the phone with boys. I've been doing it since I was a lass of 12 years old (that's 20 years, if you're counting). From that sweet Billy, whom I'd known since I was five and who I "went with" for approximately 3 weeks total over the span of two years (it was a volatile relationship), to First Love, to various crushes, and now, to boys I met through online dating as well as to a few select boys whom I know through this here blog (for yes, it's come to that, and take note, youngsters, that this is what will happen if you live in the middle of the country in a conservative town and you don't get married by the time you're 30 - you'll be talking to strange boys you've never met on the phone, so if you're daunted now, it's best if you get married in your 20s) - well, yes, I've got a lot of experience in this area.

So what do I, and have I historically, talked with boys on the phone about? And how do I do it?

Let's address the how first.

How is easy. They call you or you call them. And then you talk to them as you would talk to anybody. You are yourself. Except for when you're really nervous about it, and then I recommend making some notes with conversation starters and topics before such a conversation is to transpire so there isn't dead air. Dead air is the death knell on the phone, as we all know. And boys, not as verbal as girls, as studies have shown, can be prone to the dead air, so it's up to you to fill the space. [Caveat: unless you are a college professor and dead air doesn't make you uncomfortable because you play the silence game in your classes, in which case you can wait until they fill the dead air. But this is a practiced art, and the novice should not attempt it.]

Now for the what:

First, if one is only first embarking on The World of Dating, I would recommend:
  • Music. Talk about what's on the radio - what you hate and what you love.
  • Sports.
  • School. You know the same people. Talk about them. Or talk about the class(es) you're in together. Teachers. Extracurriculars. Whatever.
  • Hobbies. Though probably not yours, unless you share the same hobbies as the boy. If your hobby is collecting stickers (do kids even do that anymore?), then talking about that to a boy who likes video games probably won't win you points.
  • TV. Though stick to shows that the boy would probably also watch. Same advice goes for websites.
Now, if one is more advanced in this phone talking game, I'd like to say that the topics are different, but they're not. Looking over the list, I've got to say that I think I'm still going with the same main categories. I mean, sure, supplant "school" for "work," and supplant "what's on the radio" with "[insert kind of music that only the cool kids listen to here]" but other than that, well, there you have it. Ok, but maybe you talk about sex things, too, in ways that are entirely inappropriate for the people who I think were searching for this on the internet, so youngsters, don't get any ideas about that. In fact, if the boy says inappropriate things about sex you probably should hang up on him. If he calls back, you might say something about not being that kind of girl (or boy, I suppose, but I don't think most boys are worrying about this in adolescence as they're still trying to figure their shit out, though what do I know about these kids today).

The main thing of it, though, is getting them to talk. Ask open-ended questions (not yes or no questions). Pretend you're interested in what they're interested in (or really be interested in it, whatever). If you're going to talk about the stuff that you're interested in, make sure you make it interesting for them. But at the end of the day, this is not rocket science. They are human beings. You talk to them just like you'd talk to any other human being. Not that it feels the same, because you're all nervous, etc. But really: if you can get things going in the first five or ten minutes, the rest will take care of itself.

Thus concludes this PSA from Dr. Crazy :)


Anastasia said...

kizzy digs stickers but she's a bit young for this sort of thing. as for me, i definitely could have used this about 15 years ago.

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, A. See, that's why I thought I should bother writing it. But keep Kizzy with the Kitty-Man until she needs this sort of advice. I think we both agree it's for the best :)

Dave Merkowitz said...

Well said. I would a couple addenda as a boy who talked on phones with girls (including whole relationships or so it seemed).

Broaden out school and work to a person's day. Always safe especially if you don't spend all your time around that person.

Gossip can work, though mutual gossip is more useful than telling all about your girlfriends and their lives because well he doesn't care.

With the right person, you can talk politics. Be very very careful.

Two little warnings:
Do some listening. Girls who talk to boys who don't listen to the boys talk won't be talking to boys.

Second, remember boys are paranoid too and tone of voice can be very important. If you sound mad or upset that will likely dominate the conversation whether you want it to or not.

Oh a third is remember you don't access to non-verbals which is particularly important when it comes to using humor over the phone. Sarcasm doesn't always work as well on the phone.

Oh and if he sounds like Rocky of Rocky and Bullwinkle when discussing things he is uncomfortable with don't make too much fun of him.