Is It Rude To Ignore Phone Calls?

Today is the day of instant everything (well, nearly everything). 

We send messages instantly, get our fast food in as little as 60 seconds after ordering, and are generally wired for things to happen right away.

But, what about when we call people, or when people call us? Is it rude if we ignore phone calls rather than picking up and answering instantly?

Read on with us below and discover this interesting truth!

Is it Rude to Ignore Phone Calls?

Technically speaking, it is highly rude to ignore phone calls. However, in the same breath, there is very little about ignoring phone calls from individuals you don’t wish to speak to.

Now, that’s not to say that it isn’t rude to ignore phone calls from your wife because you are mad at her, or from your boss because you’re burned out with hearing about work… because that is simply not the case.

The bottom line is that there is no golden rule as to who you should answer your phone calls from right away, and which ones are ok to ignore or put off until later.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, ignoring phone calls rates 7

The primary reason for such a high rude rating is that ignoring phone calls is often done out of pettiness, laziness, or even fear, rather than out of legit reasons.

In other words, ignoring phone calls from the people you should always answer right away (or as soon as possible), such as calls from your spouse, children, parents, boss, employees, or closest friends is absolutely rude.

On the other hand, ignoring random marketing calls and calls from nosey neighbors calling to ask about the weather (and the new car in your driveway), and the like, is perfectly fine.

Why is it Rude?

When someone takes the time to call you, it is rather rude of you to simply ignore them. But, this is far from always the case.

Sometimes people call us that we have no desire, need, or reason to answer. 

In these cases, such as your ex-girlfriend calling you at 3 AM to talk about the good old times, or a call from a former boss that wants to beg you to come back to work, you don’t need to answer (and you aren’t rude at ll if you choose to ignore the calls).

Common Questions

Is it wrong to ignore phone calls?

There is no absolute golden rule or standard for who you should answer the phone for, and who you can ignore without being rude. 

That said, the general consensus is that it is rude to ignore phone calls from people who care about you and take the time to call. 

Likewise, it is rude and unwise to ignore calls from your place of work or your closest family members.

Why do people ignore phone calls?

People ignore phone calls each and every day for all sorts of various reasons. 

Some of the most common reasons people ignore phone calls are fear of the unknown, being annoyed, depression, not having time, and not wanting to talk with someone in particular (such as bill collectors or friends you are upset with). 

Is not answering a phone call rude?

Whether or not ignoring phone calls is actually rude or not depends on the specifics of the scenario. 

That said, it is hard to know what the other party is calling you for (unless you are psychic). 

Even if you think you know what the call is about, or don’t care much, you should still answer just in case there is an emergency situation.