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7 Tricks For Getting Off The Phone With Your In-laws

Mar 30, 2008
Are your in-laws constantly calling you and you're tired of answering the phone or staying in long phone conversations when you have things to do, or just want time to yourself? If you're in this frustrating situation, you're not alone. Many people dread phone calls from their in-laws, especially in-laws who are really chatty and love to gossip, in-laws who like to complain, in-laws who want to borrow things, or in-laws you simply don't like.

There is no reason why you should have to put up with the dreaded in-law calls, and there are many ways you can avoid these calls or cut phone calls short with creative excuses. Here are some interesting ideas you may want to consider using the next time your in-laws call:

Screen the calls - If you have Caller ID, don't always answer the phone if your in-laws' numbers pop up. If you don't have Caller ID, consider obtaining this service or don't answer the phone and screen calls with your answering machine.

Answer the other line - Wait for a few minutes into the conversation, and either call your home phone with you cell phone, or have a household member call. If no one is available, pretend someone is on the other line. Tell your in-law that your other line is ringing and you are expecting an important call.

Fake a power outage - Pull the phone plug/cord out of the wall to disconnect the line while you are talking to make it appear as if the power went out or the line went dead. Directly after you do this, immediately take all the phones in your house off the hook so that if your in-law calls you back right away, they'll only get a busy signal. This makes your "phone lie" much more convincing the next time you talk to them. Only leave your phone off the hook for as long as necessary, as you don't want to run the risk of actually missing an important call.

Tell them you were just on your way out the door - talk really fast and sound rushed, and let them know that you really have to go because you'll be late for whatever appointment, etc. you are attending.

My kids/partner/pet need me - Tell your in-law someone else in your household needs your help. If you need to make this more convincing, tell your kids or partner to call you so that the person on the other end of the line can hear it.

My battery is running low - If you are on a cell phone or cordless phone, pretend the battery is running out.

Use sounds for help - You can download different sounds from the internet that you can play to help you with your lies. Some good sounds include traffic noises, which is useful if they call your cell phone so you can pretend you're in traffic and you can't talk. Another good noise is the sound of something crashing, loud talking voices, static sounds, etc.

Essentially, the trick is to always pretend you're busy and you don't have time for them if you really don't want to talk to your in-laws, and hopefully they'll take the hint. However, if you want to keep a good relationship with your in-laws, you need to make sure you do take the time to talk to them or call them back to successfully pretend that you were busy and their call was important to you. In addition, don't always use the same excuses or make fake excuses all the time if you don't want the annoying callers to become suspicious.
About the Author
Gloria is a telecommunications and consumer advocate guru with a distaste for telemarketers. You can check out her next big project- a site for finding the owner to phone numbers here.
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