Thoughts I Have When Texts Go Unanswered

You know when you text one of your friends or family, and they don’t respond for awhile, and you spend those minutes or hours agonizing about the reason for their silence?

No? Just me?

Okay, I’ll admit that occasionally, when my texts or phone calls go unreturned, my brain goes a tiny bit haywire. Unanswered texts feel a tiny bit like rejection, and like most homo sapiens, the emotion center of my brain doesn’t like this feeling.

So what does it do?

It employs a number of strategies to decrease this icky reaction. First, it tries to distract itself. Then, it attempts to figure out the reason for the lack of response (and this guessing game can go on for quite a while.) If those techniques don’t work, my brain will devise a list of bullshit reasons for why I should try to make contact again.

Here’s an idea of what this internal dialogue looks like:

  1. They must be busy. No big!
  1. I HAVE been texting them a lot lately. Maybe I’m being too needy
  1. Nah, they’re probably just busy. Cooking dinner, maybe. They’ll text when they can.
  1. Unless they’re mad at me. Didn’t I say something weird to them four days ago? I probably upset them with my strangeness.
  1. Did they have some sort of big event or task to do tonight? I feel like a better friend would remember these things.
  1. Perhaps this is their gentle way of letting me know I text them too much. I’ll try to stop.
  1. Unless maybe I should text them again and ASK if I’m being too clingy? No, don’t do that.
  1. Just going to casually check to make sure my phone isn’t on silent. We’re good.
  1. OH MY GOD WHAT IF THEY’RE IN A DITCH SOMEWHERE?!
  1. They’re probably not in a ditch. There aren’t a lot of ditches around here, anyway. It’s mostly just hills and cliffs.
  1. Seriously, what if they’re mad at me? I shouldn’t have said that vaguely teasing thing a couple of weeks ago.
  1. Okay ya little narcissist – not everything is about you. There could be about 100 different reasons why they haven’t responded, and most of them don’t involve you.
  1. You know what, maybe they were in the bathroom when I texted and they just didn’t hear the phone go off! Maybe they desperately want someone to reach out to them tonight, and have no idea that I tried. I’ll just send another text…
  1. Wait, what if they’re with another group of friends, and they’re all sitting around laughing about me, and placing bets to see how many times I text them? Well, I won’t give in to that game!
  1. Dude, get a hold of yourself. They’re probably busy, or maybe they just don’t feel like talking right now. You understand that.
  1. Think of something else. Think of something else. Think of something else.
  1. Crocheting is FUN! I’m totally focused on learning this new stitch. In fact, I feel so fulfilled by this activity, I’ve completely forgotten that my loved one is ignoring me!
  1. You know what, I can’t blame them. This is what I get for being such a clingy weirdo. A clingster. A cling-meister.
  1. What if this is a test of my friendship? What if they’re feeling really sad, and the lack of response is a challenge to see how hard I’ll try to help them? A really good friend would keep texting until they got an answer, right? Or would they call? Maybe go over to the house?
  1. That’s it. I need new hobbies. I’m going to make myself SO busy that I don’t even have time to send text messages in the first place.
  1. Just going to casually check my phone to see if I missed a response. Totally don’t care if there’s not one.

unanswered

Anyone else occasionally feel this way when a loved one doesn’t answer your phone call or text? (Please tell me I’m not the only one!) What sorts of thoughts do you have when this happens? What do you say to yourself to gain control?

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37 thoughts on “Thoughts I Have When Texts Go Unanswered

  1. Susu

    Yes! I had the same situation………id text and no one would answer…….WHAT? Lauren can in this weekend, looked at my phone and found I had accidentally had do no interrupt mode! Problem solved! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup, I can be this neurotic too.

    I’ve found that texting has its own weird rules though. It feels like there should always be one more response than there is… My family members, for example, tend to send informational texts and then not respond to any response. You can drive yourself crazy wondering why.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a fair point, actually – sometimes it’s just hard to tell when to stop answering. It’s not like on the phone, where you’re expected to wrap things up in some way, like “Well, I need to let you go.” And I HATE it when someone replies only with a “k,” so in that case, I’d probably prefer not getting a response at all.

      We neurotics have to stick together 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. momsranting

    I tend to just stop texting someone because I don’t know how to end a conversation….. which I feel bad about, feels like we’re sitting talking, and I just get up and walk away…. but I’m powerless to stop it. How else do I end it? Sometimes there is just NOTHING else to say!

    Now I’m feeling bad about the texts I don’t respond to…. mostly because I don’t want to bother them by responding and starting a forced text conversation….which I then have to abruptly end because I don’t know how to taper off gently….. ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re totally right – texting is just a different animal than being in person, or even being on the phone. I don’t mind so much if we’ve been having a conversation, and they eventually stop replying. That’s okay. I’m much more likely to go nuts when I send out a first text to start a conversation (or just send some info), and THAT doesn’t get a reply.

      But your friends/family might not be as crazy as I am, so maybe they don’t mind when you don’t answer! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. momsranting

        so funny…. as I read this, I realize I got a text yesterday from someone asking me a specific question….and I have yet to respond….. so to delve into my psyche and figure out why…. I would say it’s just my own apathy, and not any disinterest in that person or what they want to know…..and I’ll bet there are plenty of lazy people out there like me, who think your texts are brilliant and really want to respond…almost….as soon as they can manage to lift that arm and scroll down to that text….soo…much….work….

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Haha I’m glad you said that! It’s good for me to be reminded that if I don’t get a response, it’s more than likely something going on with the recipient (whether they forgot, or just don’t feel like talking) than it is about me being clingy or uninteresting. Fortunately, I don’t go crazy every time this happens – I’m usually able to be laid-back about it and remember that it probably isn’t me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha leave it to make to sneak a Friends reference in there! I wish I could have found a meme or gif with Joey’s response because it’d be perfect here: “You can’t SAY you’re breezy. That totally negates the breezy!” Lol.

      And I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets a little crazy now an then 😉

      Like

    1. You know, it hasn’t occurred to me before to obsess over whether my phone is or isn’t working. But now that you and another commenter have said this, it may start to pop into my head in the future haha. You’re not alone!

      Like

  4. I’m one who doesn’t know when to shut up. Example:

    Me: Hope you have a good night!
    Loved One: K thx! U 2!
    Me: Thank you! 😃
    LO: 😃
    Me: 😀
    LO: Good night!
    Me: K! 😊

    Etc…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I sort of do this, too. If the other person is the last to reply, I wonder if I’m being rude by not sending another text. But if I’M the last to reply, then I wonder if my last text was one too many and maybe I’m annoying and this their way of telling me, even though the conversation was winding down anyway.

        Ahhh…social rules 🙂

        Like

  5. Pingback: Midweek Sparkles - My Simple Sparkles

  6. Because I am on the “other side of the world” (Southeast Asia) and thus a time difference, I just fantasize that when they received my post they are in the midst of activities relating to a naughty relationship. Whether true or not, it helps me sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s oddly kind of you! You’re hoping that the lack of response is because they’re doing something enjoyable. At least you’re not wishing that something’s horribly wrong, or like me, worrying that they secretly hate you.

      Like

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