Why Do I Feel Bad When People Don’t Message Me Back?

Last updated by Katie M.

Friday night rolls around and after a hard week you were expecting to have a drink with a girlfriend, but she seems to have left you hanging on read... To make matters worse (and the humiliation?) you even saw the little typing sign appear, yet you never received a reply. Well, if that’s the case, obviously you or your "how about a drink tonight?" didn’t deserve an answer. Let’s take a look at why some people don't reply to messages, and why when someone doesn't reply to your text, this makes us feel so bad.

Why Do I Feel Bad When People Don’t Message Me Back?

Is not replying to messages right away the new norm? 📱

Come on, admit it, you too have already said to yourself "I'll answer later" leaving the message to quietly disappear into the background. While online exchanges seem to be instantaneous and almost as direct as a face-to-face conversation, you obviously spend a lot of time talking to a wall. Why is that? Well, it’s because no one responds within seconds to the message they receive, and this causes us all great anxiety!

There's always a good reason not to reply to a text - Here are some of them

In an article for the American magazine The Atlantic, many specialists explain what can be the "good reasons" for not responding to a message.

  • Problem of prioritization,
  • Lack of desire,
  • Lack of time
  • An avalanche of messages
  • At the end of the day, all reasons seem to be good for ignoring someone...

Unless, as the magazine reminds us, "Not responding to a message can also be a way to signal boredom, or dominance in a relationship, by pretending to be simply too busy to respond". Well, there you have it!

>>> This article might interest you: Why Is Sex So Difficult To Talk About?

"I'm overwhelmed"

Here’s the best one yet! No answer, still nothing, yet we patiently wait for 2 days and then get a "sorry I was busy, I'm overwhelmed" back. This is an insidious way to make people understand that if you have time to text for a drink, then your life must be meaningless. Except that, according to a study by the advertising agency Havas, 51% of workers admit to putting replying off because they are overwhelmed. Yes, today we love to say that we are too busy, even if it's not really the case. It gives an excuse not to answer messages and also to feel superior to and even in control of the person you are talking to. Being overwhelmed avoids a feeling of emptiness and allows one to reassure oneself about one's existence. Don't be jealous if someone replies, "sorry I didn't have time to answer you" to your texts. Your life is not empty or trivial, you just know where your priorities are... Unlike some of your friends…

>>> Check out; How to learn to say 'no' and assert yourself

Ghosting helps us avoid decisions

If you don't know what ghosting is, it is in fact the art of leaving someone in the lurch without telling them, by simply by stopping answering their calls, texts, emails, etc. In short, it involves disappearing and falling off the radar. This totally cowardly method is the demonstration of a very current problem; the difficulty of talking face-to-face. Rather than saying "no", "I can't" or "goodbye", you forget to answer and let time pass. When we don't answer a friend, who wants to go out for the evening for example, we feel guilty by saying that we're busy and that it's not as if we'll never answer her again, but it's also a way to avoid saying no to her. It's also a good way to postpone any decision-making. Of course, the decision is often taken to avoid long-term upset and drama. In the worst-case scenario it will ruin your night, but when you don't know what to answer, you don't need an answer and the problem is solved!

>>> Discover the reasons why ghosters always come back

It's my phone, I make the rules

Finally, for the youngest among us, not to mention the fact that texting is a bit old-fashioned, the phone almost replaces friends. Psychiatrist Stéphane Clerger explains that "The phone takes the place of virtual friends and pets for young people. Apps unconsciously lead to an overvaluing of socialization and the continuous flow of uninteresting information. Young people are no longer able to prioritize what is important and what is not".

The recent Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, describes, among other things, how the giants of Silicon Valley proceed to make us addicted and spend as much time as possible on our screens with infinite scrolls and notifications. Lost in the middle of this flow, it's difficult to capture someone's attention with a simple text message. All the more since texting sometimes reminds us of a close reality that we don't really want to confront, preferring that of social networks.

💡FAQ 💡Why do I hate it when someone doesn't reply to my texts?

What happens when we are aware that our recipient has read our message but doesn't reply? We often become enraged, stressed, worried or even anxious. But why does a lack of response affect our morale so much? Simply because we feel rejected. If we ask a question, face to face, to a person who turns their head away so that they don’t have to answer us, we will feel the same way. The hyper-connectedness of almost everyone adds stress. Especially if you're one of the people who respond in the process, you tend to project your way of doing things onto the other person. And it's true, how can you not question yourself in the face of this sudden reality of being ignored.

When I look at my phone and fail to see a message back from the friend I text earlier in the day, a wave of anger and sadness always rush over me. Not getting an immediate reply gives me knots in my stomach and makes me question every little thing about myself and my personality. What have I done to deserve to be ignored? Did I say something out of line? Have I offended my friend with something I've said? These are the sort of questions that swill around my brain constantly. Not having a text back straightaway makes me feel vulnerable and encourages me to dissect every element of my being. The lack of confidence that I feel always comes back to bite me.

💡FAQ 💡Is it disrespectful to not text back?

In most situations, it's considered polite to reply to a text message, especially if the sender is expecting a response or if the message requires action on your part. Deliberately ignoring a text message can be seen as a form of disinterest or lack of consideration for the sender.

However, there are circumstances when it may be acceptable not to respond immediately to a text message, for example if you're busy, if the message doesn't require an immediate reply or if you need time to think about your response. In these cases, it's best to let the person know that you've received their message and will respond as soon as possible.

It's important to note that communication varies from person to person, and some people may have different expectations when it comes to responding to text messages. That's why it's always best to adopt a respectful approach to others and take their communication needs and expectations into consideration.

💡FAQ 💡 What to do when people don’t respond to messages?

Not getting a text back from someone, or the guy you are interested in can come as a bit of a disappointment to most of us, however, you mustn’t let the silence bring you down. Not caring about getting a reply to your texts is the way forward and will help lessen lots of your anxieties. To stop caring, you should refocus your attention on your own self-worth. Instead of worrying about what he thinks, if you have offended him, or stressing about why he doesn’t reply, you need to remind yourself of how special you are. Realigning yourself as your main priority will give you the biggest boost and will help you build your confidence and self-esteem. This may involve you finding activities that make you feel good and to distract yourself from the endless wait. In our hyper-connected society, messages and phone calls generate as much happiness as anxiety. These little messages that tumble on our phones have the power to make us happy or sad in a fraction of a second. Here’s how to react when people don’t reply…

1. Keep calm

People may have a valid excuse; their phones may be broken, or they may have had a very long and tiring week, and don't feel like texting.

2. Don't harass people with texts

By sending hundreds of texts, you will only push them away further and annoy them. Worse, you risk coming across as desperate. Be patient, the time to see things a little more clearly.

3. Continue living as normal

Staying at home waiting for an answer will not make him answer faster. But the time may seem even longer to you. You have a life before, so no reason for that to change.

4. Send a nice message

After letting a certain amount of time pass, you can message them, just to make sure they’re okay. A light, sweet and short text message. Assuming that they may have a good reason not to answer you.

5. Apply the “just once” rule

After a day or two of silence, you can repeat your message once. After all, they may just have forgotten to reply.

Editor's opinion - Be patient and to put things into perspective

It is indeed negative thoughts that assail us when we despair of an answer. With an overflowing imagination and a little pessimism, it is even worse. Instead of waiting by depressing, let's wait by relativizing. If a person is always too busy to answer you, maybe it’s time we let it go. And if it's rather casual, then there will probably be a good explanation for the delay, and surely there are things to be saved in this relationship.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

#BornToBeMe

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Article presented by Katie M.

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I disagree with your interpretation with the "I've been busy I'm overwhelmed" comment. Coming from someone who suffers not only with an insane schedule of responsibility but battles sever mental health issues and is working to maintain what has now been 5 years of sobriety.... I often use this reason and sometimes after a few days because responding to what may seem like a simple question or request in and of itself can be mentally overwhelming and if I respect you enough to believe you deserve a thought of answer as to why I have to decline or deserve the time for a thoughtful response I may not get back to you right away. I am not belittling or saying that because you don't feel you're busy you have no life as you insinuated in your article. And most of the people that I text with I would hope I can be that emotionally open and honest as to explain that I am feeling overwhelmed that is actually a very vulnerable statement coming from a lot of people who are under too much stress in the world today. Just wanted to put it out there as another way of looking at things as I also feel bad sometimes when I don't hear back from people right away but then I remember to look at it from my own point of view when I'm on that end and I remember it has nothing to do with me most of the time they don't respond.

Tawny a year ago

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