Reasons Why Someone Doesn't Answer Your Call or Text

Updated on March 10, 2018
lambservant profile image

Lori values friendship and loves communicating with friends in any way. When she doesn't answer her phone, it's for a good reason.

"Where are they? How come they don't answer?"
"Where are they? How come they don't answer?"


NOW! That's when people want everything. Technology and innovation have created this monster, and what we have now (meaning currently, not immediately) is an instant gratification society. We're like babies screaming for our pablum. When we don't get what we want, how we want it, and when we want it, we get mad, impatient, demanding, and whiny.

This is true in communication. You have two camps:

  1. People who communicate as little as possible, especially via phone call. They don't respond to communication messages, or take their time about it. And it aggravates those who really need to speak with them. Kiss it goodbye if there's an emergency.
  2. People who are very considerate to regularly respond in a timely matter, but sometimes things come up and they can't answer right away.

In scenario # 2, the people who call this considerate person and don't get an answer within ten minutes or less, get very upset and behave in not so nice ways. Often times these people are insecure, fretful by nature, self-centered, or like drama. With some people, it is all of the above.

Let's take a look at the case of Susan, a regular gal with a life, who is by habit, very considerate and timely in responding to messages. Sometimes, things come up and her response is delayed. This story should accurately portray both parties. Perhaps it will bring clarity and change.

What Happened to Susan?

Amy calls her good friend Susan at 9:00 a.m. and leaves her a voice mail:

"Hi Susan, I'm calling to see if you want to go with me to the Citizens Against Crime meeting tonight at 7:00. It's at the community center. Give me a call and let me know."

An hour goes by, then two. Amy texts Susan: "Hey, where are you? Did you get my voicemail? We need to make plans, NOW!" (insert frown face).

Another couple of hours go by - it's 1:13. Amy's starting to get mad and thinks, 'What the heck is she doing that's so important she can't answer right away? Where could she be?'

As Amy thinks about it she starts to worry, 'I wonder if something happened. Maybe Harry (Susan's husband) or Josh (Susan's 8 year old son) are sick or hurt. Maybe Susan has been in a wreck.'

Amy is really wrapped around the axle now, as 3:00 arrives and turns into 4:00. She's texted her two or three more times, and put in another voice mail, frantic in some, angry in others. Amy has had enough! She calls mutual friends to ask if they've heard from Susan, and asks them if they knew what she was doing that day? Amy considers calling other family members that live out of the area. She calls Harry's office and leaves a voicemail for him as well.

She gets on Facebook and asks people if they've seen or heard from Susan, and tells them she's not been able to reach her all day, that something bad must have happened. Amy writes on her wall, "Susan, where are you? I'm worried!"

5:30 arrives and Amy hears that text tone. Her fingers fumble frantically as she brings up a text by Susan. Here are some possible things Amy might hear:

Quit worrying!
Quit worrying!

A Mishap With the Phone

  • "Hey, girlfriend! I lost my phone this morning and have been looking for it all day" (insert aggravated face).
  • "Hey girlfriend! My phone ran out of minutes. I had to go to Walmart to get another service card."
  • "Hey girl, my phone charge ran out and I couldn't find (or didn't bring) my charger."
  • "Hey, calm down. I dropped my phone in the grocery store and the battery went sailing and I couldn't find it. I ended up having to buy a new one."
  • "Please relax! I set my phone on top of the car and drove off. By the time I figured out what I'd done, I had to drive 10 miles back to the library to look for it. Someone turned it in, thank goodness" (insert relieved face).
  • "Sorry to worry you, but I dropped my phone in the dishwater (glub, glub, glub) and had to get a new one. It's taken me hours to deal with AT&T to get it up and running!" (insert mad face).

Location, Location, Location

  • "You can chill! I told you I was going to the zoo today with Josh's class."
  • "I'm so sorry. I was hiking with Jennifer up in (name of mountain area). They have no cell service at all."

Silence Please

  • "I'm sorry! Sheesh! I was getting a mammogram and turned off my phone."
  • "Sorry to upset you, but I was in a meeting at the community center, planning the Citizens Against Crime meeting for tonight. I told you two days ago I was on the planning committee. Remember? "
  • "This again? Remember, I turn off my phone when I'm driving so I'm not tempted to answer it."

Um, It's the Law

  • "Good grief, I can't text and drive, and you know my bluetooth got lost the other day. I told you I had to visit mom" (town 20 miles away).
  • "Get a life! You can't expect me to break the law and text while driving, risking my life and others, just so you won't worry!"

  • "Hey, I got nailed for talking without my bluetooth 3 weeks ago. I'm not doing that again, unless of course you want to pay the fine?" (insert goofy face to lighten the tension).

Calm down

What Emergency?

  • "Sorry, but I got texts and calls all day while out and about. Your message wasn't an emergency, so I decided to respond when I got home. I'm home, NOW.
  • I told you yesterday I'd pick you up for the meeting at 6:30. Take a deep breath and see you in awhile."
  • "Soorrryyy! I should've dropped my certification test to return your emergency call" (insert rage face).

Sick of This

  • "Soooorrrryy. I've been vomiting and having diarrhea all day, and been in bed. When I'm not loosing bodily fluids I'm...oops, here goes again..."
  • "Seriously, I've been telling you I'd be having some minor surgery today. I'm resting, and certainly not going to the meeting."

The world isn't falling apart

Stuff Just Happens

  • "Sorry, I had a fender bender and they wanted me to get checked out in the ER. FYI, bump on the head, sore neck, but I'm calling you anyway."
  • "Harry and I had a day date today. Lunch in the harbor, walk in the park, coffee and chat. I have to go, he's feeling frisky, now. P.S. I'm not going to the meeting."
  • "Gee, I'm sorry, I had to take mom for chemo."
  • "I tried calling you but it went right to voice mail. You could have called or texted me back. What was so "important, anyway?"
  • "Oh man, what a day! I got my purse stolen. I had to deal with police reports and the rest. As it turned out, it was in the glove box, nestled under my snickers bar. What a mess!" (insert goofy face).

Don't Drive Susan...


Patience Is a Virtue

If you'll notice, Susan was getting more and more irritated, testy, and sarcastic as the texts and calls were rolling in. That is not to say it is okay to be testy and sarcastic, but in reality, if this happens frequently, Susan's irritation is understandable. People who get impatient with the Susan's of this world (regular, responsible people with a life) create conflict in the relationship. In this story, Amy was driving Susan crazy with her emotional demands and anxieties. If this behavior becomes a habit, friendships can breakdown!

Patience is a virtue. If you have a friend, family member, employee or co-worker who usually responds to your voice mails and texts, then there's probably a good reason why he/she doesn't answer. Before freaking out, panicking, getting mad, or sulking, consider the different possibilities. Consider all the times you had circumstances where you were not able to respond to others. If your friend or family member is tried and true considerate with returning calls and texts, trust that there is a good reason.

If you have a friend or family member who habitually doesn't respond to phone calls, voice mails, and sometimes texts, well then, there you go. They're not reliable.

Finally, think before you freak! Chances are, everything will be alright!

P.S. The Citizens Against Crime meeting was cancelled. You were sent a text? Didn't you get it?

© 2015 Lori Colbo


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    • profile image

      Rematha A Jones 4 days ago

      Leave her alone, do you need her?

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 7 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      Rosalie, that sounds like a difficult situation. I hope both can work it out.

    • profile image

      Rosalie A. Porcelli 7 weeks ago

      My best friend and I were going on vacation, when 5 days before, she cancelled saying she was sick. I told her it's okay. She lashed out at me saying "you didn't want to go anyway". I was the one who made the reservations. I I didn't want to go, why would I make reservations and now am stuck with the bill. I called her but she is not taking my calls. What's up with that.

    • profile image

      Amy 3 months ago

      My boyfriend hasn’t answered me I’m worried

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 7 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I know, I've read this before but came back because I used to work with someone who's really bad in texting back and in answering calls (even voicemail), then you'd see the person active on FB or IG. Well, I'd take it as "not responding is a response". :)

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 7 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Glad to be of help Marcia. God bless you.

    • profile image

      Marcia 7 months ago

      Thanks. I really needed to read this today. It changed my mindset.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 13 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      That was a good fun read and some of those suggested responses were very creative, I must remember them for future reference!

    • profile image

      Gianns 13 months ago

      I love that you said

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Thank you for your words of affirmation Audrey. I've been waiting weeks for you to comment. I couldn't stand it anymore and notified the national guard, FBI, CIA, and the town gossip where you live. I see one of them informed you. Don't be a stranger

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I hate that we are all so accessible all the time. What happened to silence and personal space and controlling time in our lives?? (sigh) Just an excellent hub!!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      CriSp, What a great idea!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Hi Lawrence, thanks for sharing! That's a very good reason not to respond! Blessings!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Just remember, I'm on the other side of the planet :) Sometimes just remember the person you want to talk to might be going to sleep as its the middle of the night there!

      Interesting hub

      By the way only my wife and Boss have my number. The boss calls me over a radio as its illegal to use the phone driving my bus and the wife always texts.


    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Lol LG. You're not missing much. It's convenient, but in the long wrong, it's one more way people communicate in a detached fashion.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I guess I should be embarrassed - but who cares. I don't know how to text! Enjoyed the article anyway, Lori. Of course I do know how to use a phone so I guess I'm without excuse!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Meant rip (not ripe) the phone off the wall, LOL ... as there was no such thing as cellphones back in the day and our house phone was on the wall! In reality, with my dad's lack of patience when it came to telemarketers calling, forced my then boyfriend husband of 37 years, to actually drive over to my house to talk in person with me LOL ...the rest is history. We may have not gotten married if we had just spoken over the phone for hours ...boring!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I can relate to this! Love the way you have written about it. God bless!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from USA

      I'm not a phone person. In fact, I get very irritated when the phone rings. I don't know why such irritation, but it happens. I do like to do quick communication via text messages. It gets the job done and I'm off the phone in no time. On to better things.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Faith, I love your dad's idea. I may have to resort to that as the telemarketers are now assaulting my peace on my cell phone. It's amazing how many trips to Tahiti I can win! I'd like to invite you, so consider yourself invited and start packing, We must meet! lol

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      LOL, Lori, this is great! I think we have all been on both sides of the craziness for sure. Growing up, we did not have a phone often, for when the telemarketers started calling, my dad would ripe the phone off the wall. So, I am not a big phone person and don't like to chat for a long period of time. So, I do like to do a quick text in lieu of calling if it is just something quick, so I won't get tied up in a long conversation over nothing. Patience is a virtue for sure.

      Your lists are perfect!

      God bless

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Hi Dora, I love just seeing your name and face in my comments section with every article. That's enough for me, but your words of kindness and affirmation add to my blessing. Love you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      So interesting, Lori. The scenarios are funny but real. Bottom line: "Chances are, everything will be alright!" Great read!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      fpheri , I love your comments! It can be a double edged sword! There are only a few people in my life who I enjoy chatting with at length! However, I am courteous and get back to people! Sometimes, as seen here, there are valid reasons I can't do it immediately! I've written before on people who don't communicate well! It has become more the rule than the exception for people to only want to communicate via the written word! It has some negative aspects in communication, but also positive! Thanks or sharing your experience and perspective!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL! Lori...This is great. Very creative. I love it! That is one heck of a list of "excuses" & explanations! Have to remember some of them!

      Seriously....on this topic....I translate "no response" repeatedly, as fairly rude. I have NEVER been a phone person. I see a phone as a necessary evil device for emergencies and/or pertinent business. Believe it or not, unlike most women....I do not enjoy "chatting" on the phone. Anyone and everyone who knows me well, knows this about me.

      Since the advent of emails and text, I've used these much more often as a means of quick, easy communication. If someone does not have the courtesy to take 12 seconds to get back to me......they go on my "LIST.".....Sooner or later they discover what LIST that is!...LOL....Great hub, Lori! UP+++

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I just prefer to leave my cell phone at home. I long for the days when I would leave the house and not have to answer the phone! As for wondering why people don't return my calls, I just don't care all that much, unless it's my kids and then I worry.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't make phone calls very often, so I really don't care if anyone answers those calls. As for texting, I text once and then if they respond great; if not, great. :) Just the way I am. Not a big fan of communication, I guess. LOL


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