Reasons Why Someone Doesn't Answer Your Call or Text

Updated on September 3, 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.



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 voicemail:

"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 voicemail, 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:

Amy is furious that Susan hasn't responded to her texts or calls.
Amy is furious that Susan hasn't responded to her texts or calls. | Source

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).

Sick of This

  • "Soooorrrryy. I've been vomiting and having diarrhea all day, and been in bed. When I'm not losing 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."
  • I know I told you yesterday I have the flu. My fever is 102°. I'm going back to bed.

"I know I told you yesterday I have the flu. My fever is 102°. I'm going back to bed."
"I know I told you yesterday I have the flu. My fever is 102°. I'm going back to bed." | Source

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 a while."
  • "Soorrryyy! I should've dropped my certification test to return your emergency call" (insert rage face).

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 voicemail. 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).

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 break down!

Patience is a virtue. If you have a friend, family member, employee or co-worker who usually responds to your voicemails 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 canceled. You were sent a text, didn't you get it?

Questions & Answers

© 2015 Lori Colbo


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Chris ARMSTRONG 

      2 months ago

      My Chris i call my girlfriend and her phone ring ring went voicemessage

    • profile image

      Joe Mama 

      2 months ago

      I think it is stupid childish none sense if a person gets mad if u don't answer your calls or texts. I had a very important job one time where they told me please don't answer your calls or texts at work. Yeah I could have answered and called the person back that was calling or texting me and explain my situation but some people don't care or don't listen. I have a worthless idot as a boyfriend who claims he loves me with all my heart but cancel our wedding date over that childish crap. Whatever!

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Hazel, I don't blame you. She sounds like a user, not a true friend. Probably the best bet would be to find a way to discuss it with her, tell her how you feel and draw a boundary. If that doesn't feel right, you are not wrong or bad to not take her calls.

    • profile image

      B. Hubbs 

      3 months ago

      What a hostile article! It sounds as if you might be defending your own I’ll manered behavior, orn that you have too more commitments that you can manage. Any advice on how to get professional advice regarding the issue of unreturned phone calls?

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      A friend of mine is constantly moaning and whining and although she is basically a good person, she gets on my nerves. She only seems to want me to vent and when there is something good going on in her life, she "forgets" to invite me. Last night she had promised to call, which she did. I just could not hear her whining last night and did not pick up.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      How about this scenario? You have a co-worker but they work in another town and office so you don't see them often, only at meetings once a month. Pretty much anytime I call, text or email she never answers me. I was out of town on a mini-vacation last week and she calls my work phone. I get back into town see her call but there is no voicemail. I message her right away apologizing for not seeing her call and explaining I was out of town. No response, so I wait a day and send her an email asking her what if anything she needed when she called?? I get a read receipt from the email to her but no response...! This has been going on for 2 years. I am frustrated and wondering what if anything I can do??

    • profile image

      Rematha A Jones 

      4 months ago

      Leave her alone, do you need her?

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      6 months ago from Pacific Northwest

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

    • profile image

      Rosalie A. Porcelli 

      6 months 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


      8 months ago

      My boyfriend hasn’t answered me I’m worried

    • CrisSp profile image


      12 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 imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      12 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Glad to be of help Marcia. God bless you.

    • profile image


      12 months ago

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

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      17 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


      17 months ago

      I love that you said

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 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 

      3 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 imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      CriSp, What a great idea!

    • CrisSp profile image


      3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This is funny indeed but OMG, so true! I know how it feels to upset some people trying to call or message me and expect an immediate return call or text back specially, when I'm up at 37 thousand feet or even cruising on the high way.

      They should put a warning label on cellphone products: "Patience Required". :)

      Interesting and a very good hub!

    • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 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 

      3 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 imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 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 

      3 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 imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 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 

      3 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 imageAUTHOR

      Lori Colbo 

      3 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


      3 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


      3 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 

      3 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


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)