If we realize the effect of successive and continued resistance upon ourselves and realize at the same time that we can drop or hold those resistances as we choose to work to get free from them, or suffer and hold them, then we can appreciate the truth that if the woman at the next desk continues to annoy us, it is our fault entirely, and not hers.
Telephones and Telephoning
MOST men—and women—use more nervous force in speaking through the telephone than would be needed to keep them strong and healthy for years.
It is good to note that the more we keep in harmony with natural laws the more quiet we are forced to be.
Nature knows no strain. True science knows no strain. Therefore a strained high-pitched voice does not carry over the telephone wire as well as a low one.
If every woman using the telephone would remember this fact the good accomplished would be thricefold. She would save her own nervous energy. She would save the ears of the woman at the other end of the wire. She would make herself heard.
Patience, gentleness, firmness—a quiet concentration—all tell immeasurably over the telephone wire.
Impatience, rudeness, indecision, and diffuseness blur communication by telephone even more than they do when one is face to face with the person talking.
It is as if the wire itself resented these inhuman phases of humanity and spit back at the person who insulted it by trying to transmit over it such unintelligent bosh.
There are people who feel that if they do not get an immediate answer at the telephone they have a right to demand and get good service by means of an angry telephonic sputter.
The result of this attempt to scold the telephone girl is often an impulsive, angry response on her part—which she may be sorry for later on—and if the service is more prompt for that time it reacts later to what appears to be the same deficiency.
No one was ever kept steadily up to time by angry scolding. It is against reason.
To a demanding woman who is strained and tired herself, a wait of ten seconds seems ten minutes. I have heard such a woman ring the telephone bell almost without ceasing for fifteen minutes. I could hear her strain and anger reflected in the ringing of the bell. When finally she “got her party” the strain in her high-pitched voice made it impossible for her to be clearly understood. Then she got angry again because “Central” had not “given her a better connection,” and finally came away from the telephone nearly in a state of nervous collapse and insisted that the telephone would finally end her life. I do not think she once suspected that the whole state of fatigue which had almost brought an illness upon her was absolutely and entirely her own fault.
The telephone has no more to do with it than the floor has to do with a child’s falling and bumping his head.