I’ve got a new friend from book club, and we share a lot of common interests. Trouble is, she talks so loudly on the phone that it’s a drag to chat or even make plans with her. Then when I see her in person, I don’t notice that she speaks any louder than anyone else. What should I do?
It’s the reverse of the annoying “low talker” syndrome--the loudmouth who seems oblivious to her bombastic delivery. Since she’s a new friend and the problem is specific to the phone, you can handle it a few ways. 1) Turn the call volume down when you see her number in caller ID and deal with it. 2) Send a subtle message by taking her call and then asking her sweetly, “Can you hang on a minute? I’m going to turn the call volume down.” Then, if she asks why, gently suggest she speaks a little loudly on the phone. 3) Be direct and let her know she needs to bring it down a level. And if she takes it in stride, well, she's a keeper.