If you’re anything like me, you sometimes annoy your friends and family with your tendency to be a tad late responding to texts or messages. Your responses can range anywhere from a couple hours late to two weeks late.
I understand why people get upset over this. To them, it looks as if I’m being rude and ignoring them or — worse — I don’t care enough to even read the messages they sent me. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s not out of laziness or apathy that I don’t reply to messages; it’s that I care way too much. Sometimes, it takes me a while to respond for varying reasons.
1. The message I send needs to be perfect.
This is especially true if I don’t know the person all that well and need to make a good impression. I will spend forever agonizing over the punctuation, the emojis and strategic capitalization of certain words or phrases. Does the message sound too casual? Too formal? What if they think I’m annoying? As a classic over-thinker and perfectionist, I need to be one hundred percent satisfied with what I’m saying, which is why it may take me a while.
2. You typed a long message, so I need to respond in equal length.
There’s nothing worse than sending a long, thoughtful, beautifully written message about something you care about to only receive a “K” or “that sucks” in return. So, if you sent me a long message and I haven’t replied, chances are good that I’m trying to think of the best possible way to respond. And that means giving your message all the attention it deserves.
3. The conversation is over.
To me, there’s nothing worse than overextending a conversation over a funny meme. If you send me “haha” as your last text, I’m just not going to text you back if there’s nothing else to say. Conversations should be organic and flow and I shouldn’t feel pressured into replying if there is genuinely no reason to do so.
4. I’m not sure what to say.
This tends to happen if I’m making plans, for instance, and don’t know if I’m going to be free at a certain time or not. Instead of saying “IDK,” I usually like to wait and see what my schedule looks like and be able to give a definitive answer.
5. I want to have an uninterrupted conversation with you.
If I’m doing homework or something equally important and my phone buzzes, I normally won’t respond until my work is done. I want to wait until I can have a full, uninterrupted and focused conversation with you, rather than a start-and-stop conversation that I’m only half paying attention to. You deserve at least that.
So, for all those worriers out there who are nervously staring at their phones, wondering if that person has forgotten about them or hates them, don’t let your imagination trick you into seeing things that aren’t actually there. It’s likely that that person who is late replying is a lot like me: they’re quiet because they care about you. It's impossible to read a person’s body language and tone of voice through text, and it’s frustrating to be left hanging in an important conversation, but take just a few deep breaths and remember: I’ll get back to you.
Lead Image Credit: William Iven via Unsplash