Texting someone you have a crush on is far easier than speaking directly, but it turns out that texting anxiety is an actual thing too!
So what’s texting anxiety anyway? Picture the scene – you’ve finally made friends with your crush on social media and you’re now experiencing itchy fingers. You want to text them, you want to reach out and initiate contact, but you’re terrified! What if they take it the wrong way? What if they don’t reply? What if you say something totally stupid and can’t recall the message?
This, dear readers, is what is known as texting anxiety.
We’ve all been there at least once and we’ll probably all be there again at some point too.
Whilst it’s completely true that texting is far easier than actually going up to someone in person and speaking to them, it’s still rather worrying too. When you send a message, you generally can’t get it back. If you say something and they take it the wrong way, which is highly likely with messages, what are you supposed to do?
Oh, the wonders of the digital age!
Texting anxiety can also cover a different aspect, i.e. waiting for a reply to a text you have sent, or waiting for someone to text you when they said they would.
Both situations are equally as nail biting, so how can you reduce texting anxiety and keep your panic levels down?
How to overcome texting anxiety when sending a text
Okay, let’s cover both situations in detail separately, and I want to start with the most nerve-racking one – actually sending a text.
The problem with any type of written message is that it can easily be misunderstood. The way you write a message, the voice you hear in your head as you’re writing it, is not always going to be the same one that the person reading it has. For instance, “okay” can mean “great! okay!”, or it can just mean “oh, right, okay”. Even worse, it could just mean “k”.
Can you see the minefield we’re about to enter?
For that reason, you need to be as transparent and clear as water. You need to make sure there is no room for misunderstanding, but that in itself means that you run the risk of stating the obvious and making the other person feel like you’re not taking their intelligence seriously.
Yet more joys!
My advice to you is this, before you write a text, open up the notes section on your phone and draft it out. Then, when you’ve got it right, you can simply copy and paste it over to your messaging app and press send. However, always make sure that you’re hitting ‘send’ to the right person! There is nothing more embarrassing than sending a flirty text to your boss or your parents!
Texting anxiety comes from you worrying that they’re either not going to reply *more on that shortly*, or that they’re not going to take your text seriously.
You can’t control how they take your text once you’ve sent it, so as long as you’ve done the ground work and you’ve been as clear as you can be, whilst throwing in a dose of personality, it’s out of your hands.
I know, this doesn’t really help the butterflies in your stomach, but it’s the reality of the situation. Just because you’ve sent a text to someone doesn’t mean they’re going to reply, respond how you want them to, or keep it for their eyes only.
With all of this in mind, I recommend the following:
– Draft it out first and then copying it to your texting app
– Show your personality but don’t be too quirky – sometimes quirkiness doesn’t translate so well on text
– Keep it light and avoid heavy texts
– Turn on delivery reports if it’s an SMS you’re sending
– Once you’ve sent the text, avoid checking to see if they’ve read it a million times, you’re only going to stress yourself out and they’ll see that you’re online which makes you look a tiny bit thirsty
– Hit send and distract your mind – do something which takes your mind off the waiting. Remember, a watched kettle never boils, or whatever the analogy is!
Thinking about what you’re going to write on a text does have a limit however. If you think about it too much, you’re going to wipe the personality right out of it and it will seem like it’s been overdone. Just say what you want to say and make sure it’s clear, that’s the best piece of advice.
Once you’ve sent the text, the first stage of texting anxiety is over. Then it’s onto the second one!
How to overcome texting anxiety when waiting for a reply
The second stage of texting anxiety is either waiting for a reply to a text you’ve sent or waiting for someone to text you when they said they would. Both are equally as anxiety-inducing, but it’s important to remember that at this point, there’s nothing you can do.
My biggest piece of advice to you here is to never send another text. Step away from your phone people!
If you send a follow up text, it’s literally screaming for attention. You might try the old “my phone hasn’t been working, I just wanted to check you had got my text” line, but they know that you’re following up because you didn’t get a reply yet. Back off, wait it out, you’ve done the hard work.
Of course, the hope is that they do reply, but you have to distract yourself in the meantime. Do not expect a reply straightaway – not everyone is the same as you!
I’m one of those annoyingly organized people who replies to her messages basically straightaway. It’s good for anyone who texts me, but I automatically assume that everyone is going to do the same back. Wrong. They don’t. My sister alone takes two days to respond.
So, in the meantime, whilst you’re in that awkward and stomach-churning waiting period, you literally have to put down your phone and busy your mind. Nothing you do at this stage is going to make a message suddenly pop into your inbox. You can’t subliminally get them to reply to you, you simply have to let them do what they’re going to do.
What if they don’t reply? That’s the key question.
Well, there’s not a lot you can do about it but again, DO NOT SEND ANOTHER TEXT!
Seriously, please don’t. It’s embarrassing, I’ll be embarrassed for you. Instead, put it down to experience and move on. If this person can’t even be bothered to acknowledge a text, is this someone you want to spend more time with? If they’re this lazy with texting, can you imagine how lazy they’re going to be with other things?
You don’t need it, trust me. There’s plenty of other people out there who are far more organized with their inboxes.
Of course, understanding texting anxiety also means that you need to be mindful of what you do when people send you a text. Don’t put them through the same anxiety; if you’re not interested, let them down gently, but at least tell them and don’t leave them wondering. It’s not cool to leave someone hanging on.
If you regularly experience texting anxiety, you won’t need me to tell you how gut-wrenching it can be during that waiting period, or whilst you’re trying to figure out what to write.
My advice to deal with texting anxiety? Rip off the Band-Aid and send the text. Word it carefully and draft it out first, then distract yourself and under no circumstances send a follow up text. If you don’t get a reply, shrug your shoulders and move on!