As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, for this Fears Friday topic; I want to discuss over-texting…
With text messaging, it’s become a great tool in the modern world. It’s especially great for us socially awkward people who want to crawl inside ourselves at the slightest sign of awkward silence. It’s easier for some people to get the point across through text, then it is fumbling over their words vocally.
There is; however, a bad side to texting. It can be catastrophic for some relationships due to the misinterpretation of the written word. A simple “ok” can be taken many different ways and can be taken out of context because we aren’t able to see the emotion behind the message.
It’s worse for over-thinkers. We have this curse of over analyzing everything that is said and done. It’s bewildering, how a simple “ok” can be turned into “this is the end of our relationship and the world is ending”
What about the topic of over-texting?
When do we cross the line of texting too much? I know dealing with anxiety and over thinking, I tend to over text. The reason is because I am over analyzing the text I sent before.
This is a typical text conversation escalation for me:
“Hey, hope everything went well with the meeting yesterday”
*After a few minutes of no response*
“Sorry I missed it, I know you guys made the right decision whatever it is”
*Few more minutes go by my anxiety is at about a 4*
“Sorry, I know you’re busy, I don’t mean to bother you, I just really hope everything went well last night”
“Are you ok?”
*Few minutes of no response, by now I am at a 6. I am thinking about everything that could have went wrong, whether they were in a car accident, whether I said something that made them no longer want anything to do with me, I am looking on Facebook to see the last time they were online, looking at their families Facebook profiles to see when they were online last* If it was more than 3 hours ago, I begin to panic.*
“I hope you made it home last night, I am starting to worry about you. Even if you are mad at me, can you please let me know so I can at least know that you’re okay???”
“Okay, I understand. I know I have been a terrible friend and I know you probably want nothing to do with me, but if I could have made it to the meeting last night, I would have.”
“Sorry I have inconvenienced you. It will be the last time you hear from me. I just wish you would have told me that you wanted nothing more to do with me rather than just ignore me.”
*By now I’m at a straight 10. I am crying, my head is pounding, I am wishing I could undo every text I sent because 1. If the person was just busy and is going to finally look at their phone and see this insanity they would surely end our friendship or 2. They are dead somewhere and that’s the last message that I send to them instead of a normal message. WHAT HAVE I DONE*
Person responds: “Sorry, I left my phone in the car…. umm, what?”
I hope it’s not just me who thinks this way. If it is, well, revert back to the previous meme.
What gets us to this point?
Why do I feel the need to over-text? It’s like I send the first one, then I have to add additional texts to explain my first text, then without a response or a little response like “ok” I begin to look into why I have screwed up this friendship. I remember that thing I did 3 months ago, and find a way to connect it to this current moment.
I think what gets me to this point are from two life experiences:
- Past Experience. There have been people who I have trusted who’ve betrayed that trust. People who I told sensitive and personal information about myself that was then shared with other people. I remember someone approaching me and letting me know some vital information that I have only told to someone who I thought was my closest friend. This person began to explain the party that they had sitting around the cell phone as I was writing to that person. It’s just one of the many different times where I have lost trust in people and thus, not trust the validity of someones word.
- Death. I have never been the kind to take death well. Within the past 3 years, I have had 6 great people in my life pass away suddenly. Which included my best friend at the time. I remember texting my best friend throughout the night she passed. I knew she was in the hospital. I was in Myrtle Beach at the time when everything was happening and I remember sending the text messages to her that were marked “delivered” but not “read”.The last text she sent to me was “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I will talk to you later”She never talked to me again.This was the last messages I sent to her of Facebook:
The message that will never be read. It’s still eerie looking at it now. I still get choked up about it. The reason I panic when someone doesn’t answer is because I am afraid of this.
I know I have to move on and I know that I have began that process, but the fear still lingers. Its hard for me even more with my best friend now. I put him through a lot because I am afraid of being hurt and afraid of never being able to talk to him again. I am afraid that one of these days, He is going to finally have enough and end it. So I am self-sabotaging my relationships by over-texting which coincides with over-thinking.
How do we stop the curse?
When can we say enough, and move forward. All I can really do is look at the past experiences recently.
- With the friends I have now; “have I ever witnessed dishonesty?”, “Are my friends alive today?”, “Are these feelings truth, or speculation?” As a blogger I need to look more on the truth and less on the speculation. Speculation breeds misinterpretation, misinterpretation breeds false accusations which could lead to strained or ended relationships.
- When I send a text; “would I be offended my this?”, Has this friend ever been offended in the past?” Can this be something talked about in person?
There are ways that we can deal with these anxieties as they come about.
If there hasn’t been a response, then we need to tell ourselves: “They are busy, they aren’t mad or dead.” “everything will be ok.”
How can YOU help?
If you are reading this and you have a friend or a family member who has a problem with over-thinking and if you’ve been a victim of the over-text curse, here are some things you can do to help.
If you have friends or family that have these fears, a few simple things can be done to solve this issue.
- Ok, is never a satisfying answer for an over-thinker. By adding: “Ok, Great” or “Ok, sounds good” It changes the whole demeanor of the text that tells us; “They’re genuinely okay with this”
- By texting an over-thinker out of the blue, it puts their mind at ease that everything is okay. “Hope you are doing good today.” or “Just letting you know that we are okay.” Keeps the over-thinker from falling into this hole that something is wrong because they haven’t heard from you. A simple reassurance can change the over-thinkers mood and keeps them from wondering.
- Always respond. It doesn’t matter when, we know you’re busy deep down and we are working on that. Always respond to a text sent by an over-thinker. Even if the text doesn’t warrant a response, we are still looking for one. Even if it’s small, please respond. It only takes a few seconds of your time and it helps the over-thinker know that you are not blowing them off.
These small changes can positively impact the over-thinker and will help them progress themselves out of the overthinking mind. We know we have issues and we are working on them, but with a little help from you, it could help the over-thinker, over think less. If you really care for the person, these small changes to a daily routine shouldn’t be to much of a problem. A small text is nothing that is going to keep you from completing your daily tasks.
For the folks who feel: “Why should we “cater” or “baby” these people?” If that’s your thought process then you really aren’t the people we want texting us anyway. Your negativity only makes things worse for us and we’d rather you not. We are not asking for catering or babying, we are simply asking for help. I know, I want to be emotionally independent but it doesn’t hurt to get some help by the people closest to me. This is for the people who genuinely want to help us.
Now, these are just things that help me as an over-thinker deal with the everyday life in regards to my relationships. It may not be the same for everyone, but that’s because we all process things differently.
We are all works in progress.
I know I may still have my moments where I over-text because of my over thinking, I am not going to be fixed over night. I am just giving ideas that I am using to help me on this crazy over analytical journey. Hope this helps.