Before we had text messaging as a means of communication, people would just use the telephone to communicate when in a relationship and it appeared to have been simpler than texting. In the past, people in a relationship would speak to each other face to face and by home telephone only when there was no smartphone technology for sending text messages.Partners in a relationship would call each other on the phone to have a conversation or to plan a date. If you were the one waiting for that phone call, it would sometimes make you anxious about waiting by the phone and wondering if you should relax instead of appearing so desperate.
What is "text back" anxiety? It basically involves the feelings of anxiety due to waiting for your potential partner to text you back and yes, it's a thing that is consuming many people today. When you think about today, everything is different. In fact, it is easier to use text messaging, email messaging, software apps, online messaging, pictures and videos to communicate with someone whenever you want, night or day. However, even though, you are able to communicate by sending a text message to someone, it doesn't mean that they will understand exactly what you are saying. In fact, text messaging is one way that people can misunderstand you and in so doing, this can cause a lot of hurt feelings.
The joyous days of being in a new relationship is scattered with morning and nightly text messages between two people. While this can be quite heady, exciting and heady, it is filled with opportunities for having many misunderstandings. Why? Well, the primary culprits are underlying connotations and layers of subtext that cannot express the right message and tone that the author is trying to portray. Sometimes, the message may be assumed to be saying something different in the mind of the recipient. And it might be a matter of insecurity and high expectations that you have, which may not have been met by the sender.
Are you one of those kinds of people who do not respond to a text or email right away? Or are you the one that doesn't seriously think about what you are texting, whether sending or responding to a text? Have you ever wondered why someone does not respond to a text message you have sent when the message requires an immediate response? Does that make you anxious? How fast should someone respond to email messages and text messages anyway? These are some of the questions that find their way into the dating relationship and some people are having a hard time answering them honestly.
Today, most of us expect an immediate response when we try to communicate with someone via text messaging. We sometimes think that the person we are trying to reach is just sitting by the phone and not doing anything or that they have a responsibility to hit you up as soon as you send that text message. Sometimes, you may not realize that you are doing this, but you get annoyed and irritated, if you don't get a response right away. Sometimes, text back anxiety will set in if the reply doesn't come sooner than you would think. And most of the time, you are not anxious about the kind of message in the response, but the lack of response. You may start assuming something different or suspecting the person of trying to hide something. This thought process is similar to a quicksand mentality. You are sucked in and it is hard to get out. Your mind starts to fill up with negative connotations and worst case scenarios. This will only make you more anxious. Does this sound like a familiar reaction?
One thing you should realize, first and foremost is that everyone has their own life to live and might not be doing so on your time table or schedule. In fact, you may send a text message at the time when someone is in an important business meeting and the phone is the last thing that they want to look at. You may send the message at some other inopportune time when it is not convenient to respond. It could be that the person is driving and cannot drive and text. There are a number of legitimate reasons why you may not be getting a return text.
With the age of cell phones, the Internet and email comes a whole new issue of direct communication. Most people think that cell phones should be an instant method of communicating when it is not. Some people rely too much on these methods of communication. Sometimes, we even take it for granted - that it will always be there for us to contact someone immediately or directly. Some people consider it normal for a text message response to come right back as soon as one is sent. Yes, the smart phone, email and Internet are all brilliant in how they operate to make it convenient and easier to communicate, making everyone's life easier. The cell phone and the Internet operate at a high speed in many cases and it could be for that reason why most people expect a speedy response. For that reason, people forget that there are other aspects of life to be considered.
Peoples lives should not just revolve around a piece of equipment like a phone or technology. People have different priorities in life. They have varying concerns at any given time. Not everyone's life is the same, so while you may be able to stare at a cell phone half of the day, not everyone can afford to do so. Different people have different agendas and at times, you may not be at the top of someone's agenda when you want to. You have to bear this in mind. When you send a text to someone, you should not expect them to jump at answering you right away when there are other more pressing issues to deal with.
Not having such high expectations of someone could be the way to begin curing text back anxiety. You should try lowering your expectations as much as possible. Have personal empathy for others. Do not expect everyone to meet your expectations. They have their own stuff to deal with. When you lower those expectations and not assume the worse, then you don't have to be anxious anymore.
If you allow quicksand thinking to set in, then you won't be able to exercise rationale and understanding if someone does not reply to your text right away. You will continue to feel as if something is wrong, possibly that the person might be upset or angry with you when that is not the case. You might even think that there was an awful incident that happened or possibly that the relationship is coming to an end. In fact, you will start to have many obsessively worrisome thoughts. This would not be necessary, if you stayed objective and not assumed anything or if you actually had a life of your own where you would be too busy to think like that. Don't let text back anxiety get a hold of you and draw you down into quicksand thinking.
Your feeling is the mastermind of all of this. You allow your feelings to control the situation so rather than to think positively, you may end up drumming up various negative scenarios, which only makes the matter worse. It is easy to say change your feelings, but in the case where anxiety is not good for your health or well-being, it is important to change your feelings to positive ones. You should start investing in things that will make you keep busy. You should try to be busy enough that you won't have time to sit by a phone waiting for a text message response. Find a hobby that you are passionate about. Or go about your business after you have sent the text instead of being stationary and waiting. If you sit and wait for a reply, then that is when the anxiety will set in.
You send off a text message that you think requires an immediate response. You wait for the reply and none comes in after five minutes of putting down the phone. You check the phone obsessively every five minutes and nothing. Then you start to feel your heart palpitating to the point of being anxious about the response. Your mind is unconsciously associating the lack of response with bad occurrences and crazy imagination and that is when you go into an anxious mood. You feel as if the person has misinterpreted your intentions and decided not to respond to you. You don't have to get into such an anxious frenzy. Why not just pick up the phone and call the person directly to find out more? It is that simple to cure text back anxiety. Some people prefer to speak on the phone rather than text back and forth. Have you ever thought about this? You could end the anxiety by one phone call.
If and when you do receive a phone call or text message, you are probably going to feel immediately relieved as you sigh and look to see who it is. Disappointedly, though, instead of the person that you were looking to call or text, it is your aunt or mother reminding you that the next day was your grandma's birthday. Now, you are back to where you were and then that is when the anxiety level increases. This level of text back anxiety is exhaustive and you are not even working out. So why not go for a walk to free your mind of all the negative thoughts? Yes, walking outdoors is a great way to get your mind off of things that are bothering you. Nature has a way of reminding you of exactly what is most important. If the weather is not conducive to walking, then go for a drive in the countryside with the music blaring. This will help you to work though the anxiety as it acts as a good distraction.
Because people have various timelines, you should be aware of it at all times. Don't try to control someone else's timeline. Instead of inviting negative thoughts about why someone does not respond, it may be time to remove the ego and selfishness and instead, be considerate. Put yourself in someone else's place and think about the myriads of legitimate excuses that could be the reason for their actions. Think positively rather than negatively. Do not jump to any conclusions or create imaginary stories of what could be wrong. In fact, don't think that something is wrong. Give the person the benefit of the doubt by not making assumptions.
Reduce your text back anxiety by replacing it with excitement. Remember that feeling of excitement you had as a little boy or girl as you wait for Christmas or a birthday because of the anticipation of gifts that you would be receiving? Well, that is the kind of excitement you need in this situation. Find something to increase your excitement. It could be excitement about your next date with the person that you are waiting to hear from. The waiting for such an excited and anticipated event will wane out the anxiety and replace it with eagerness, but in a positive light.
You are not the only one that goes through text back anxiety. Everyone wants to feel validated and connected. If not, you get nervous about it. However, if you can just take that deep breath and place the phone out of sight, reframe your thought process, then you will ride this out and not get angry about not receiving a response from a text message that you think requires an urgent response. There are a number of reasons for not receiving a response, but it is not your responsibility to formulate an excuse why. Find something that will distract you in the meantime or ignore the whole thing so you can stay in control of the situation.