Texting has opened up a world of possibilities. When it comes to dating, the ability to text means you don’t have to pluck up the courage and actually try to strike up a conversation with the object of your affection. It also means you can arrange meet-ups without having to actually pick up the phone. Sometimes, calling someone raises far more stress than texting anxiety ever could!
But the truth is, many people hate texting as well. The good news is you can overcome it.
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? Or, 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.
[Read: Rules of texting – 15 unwritten texting rules you need to remember]
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!
We’ve all had a bout of texting anxiety at some point in our lives. But for some people, it goes far beyond just one or two occasions. [Read: Texting your crush the right way – The step-by-step guide to do it]
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 it’s no wonder that some people simply don’t enjoy all the stress and drama. As a result, they avoid texting and miss opportunities instead. That doesn’t have to happen! So how can you reduce texting anxiety and keep your panic levels down?
Okay, let’s cover both situations in detail separately, and let’s start with the most nerve-racking one – actually sending a text. [Read: 15 text conversation starters for the shy and socially awkward]
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! [Read: The accidental text on purpose – How to use it and when to avoid it]
Yet more joys!
Our first piece of 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.
Try to avoid reading it over and over again. If you do that, you’re sure to pick it apart and end up talking yourself out of sending it in the first place. Just a quick read over and send it.
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! You may think this never happens, but texting anxiety can make us do silly things.
By checking before you send, you won’t end up driving yourself crazy double-checking ten times over later on. [Read: What you need to do if you ever send a text to the wrong person]
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 groundwork and you’ve been as clear as you can be, whilst throwing in a dose of personality, it’s out of your hands. [Read: How to not be a boring texter and keep your crush interested]
We 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.
Show your personality but don’t be too quirky – sometimes quirkiness doesn’t translate so well on text.
So, be yourself and keep your “voice” in there. Don’t try to be someone else or crack jokes that they might misunderstand. By knowing that you’ve been yourself when you send a text, you’ll do a lot to ease texting anxiety because you’ve been true to yourself and original. [Read: Texting etiquette and flirting – 26 rules guys and girls must follow]
Just a quick side-note here – while emojis can help you to get the right message across and keep things light, please don’t overdo it. There is nothing worse than having to decipher a text that’s emoji-heavy. If you do that, they’re much less likely to reply.
The whole point of a text is that it’s supposed to be short and snappy. Avoid long, drawn-out conversations or too many paragraphs. They’re less likely to reply if they have to read an essay to get to the main point.
It will also make them think that you’re going to be far too needy and always want to have deep conversations over text. While there’s a time and place for that, it’s not now. [Read: 50 texts to make him think about you, miss you, and want you closer]
If you’re sending an SMS, turn on delivery reports on your text settings and you’ll know when they’ve read it. If you’re sending it on a messaging app, such as WhatsApp, you’ll already be able to see that by the blue tick situation.
Texting anxiety comes from always checking whether they’ve seen it and whether they’ve replied or not. While you can use the above point to check that it’s been seen, you shouldn’t obsess about it.
For sure, it’s easier said than done, but as we said before, you can’t control what someone does once you text them. You’ve covered all of the points above and made sure that you’ve shown yourself in your best light. That’s all you can do. [Read: How to stop having negative thoughts that drag you down]
It’s time to do something which takes your mind off the waiting. Remember, a watched kettle never boils, or whatever the analogy is!
Once you’ve sent the text, the first stage of texting anxiety is over. Then it’s onto the second one!
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.
Our biggest piece of advice to you here is to never send another text. Step away from your phone people! [Read: Double texting – What it is, how to avoid it and 15 must-follow rules to play it cool]
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!
You might be one of those super-organized people who reply to every message basically straightaway. It’s good for anyone who texts you, but you’ll automatically assume that everyone is going to do the same back. Wrong. They don’t. [Read: What you need to do when he doesn’t text back – The advice you really, really need to know]
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.
Know this and make peace with it before you send a text. That way, your texting anxiety will be far less.
That’s the key question. [Read: Being left on read – What it really means when they don’t text back]
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, we’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 us. There are plenty of other people out there who are far more organized with their inboxes. [Read: How to handle the annoying wait when someone doesn’t text back for days]
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 us to tell you how gut-wrenching it can be during that waiting period, or whilst you’re trying to figure out what to write.
If you’re struggling with texting anxiety when sending a text, know that you’re brave for doing it. You’ve faced a fear and that’s something to give yourself credit for.
If you’re struggling while you’re waiting for a reply, know that you’re certainly not the first, nor will you be the last. It’s simply part of life.
Again, you were brave and you did what you had to do. If you hadn’t done it, you’d have wondered “what if.” There’s nothing worse than “what if.”
If they reply – great. If they don’t – move on. While texting is a wonderful invention, nobody said it took away all of our cares and worries!
[Read: 13 rules you need to follow when someone stops texting you]
Our 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!
Check out these features:
Someone ignoring your texts? Read what does it mean when someone is ignoring your texts on purpose?
Want to know how to behave around them? Use this guide on how to respond like a grownup when someone ignores you on purpose
Wondering why are some people so mean over text? Try why do narcissists ignore texts and do the selfish things they do
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