We’re living in a digital world and everyone has a phone in their hands 24/7. We’re always connected online, but we become less connected offline. Therefore, when someone doesn’t respond to a text or even a call, we instantly assume something is wrong and we take it personally. But the reality is, sometimes it’s not personal. There could be a lot of reasons for not responding to a text.
Most of the time, we assume the other person is mad at us for some reason, and we start to ask ourselves ‘What did I do wrong?’. But according to Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, CCTP, CDBT, a psychotherapist, things don’t have to be so complicated all the time, and the explanation is usually much simpler.
According to Fludd, we’re ‘trained’ to always think about the worst-case scenario, but there could be a lot of reasons for a friend not responding to a text. If you’re seeing yourself thinking negatively when you didn’t get a response from a friend, try to eliminate any kind of negative thoughts from your mind and focus on something positive instead.
“Maybe reach out to another friend, listen to some music, catch up on your favorite show, [or] take a few slow, deep breaths,” Fludd suggests. And very importantly, if your friend takes forever to text back or sometimes they do not respond at all, chances are they have their reasons, and it’s much simpler than you’d think. And no, they’re not upset with you.
Read on to discover the three reasons why friends take forever to text back!
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They’re bad texters.
Bad texters are a thing, and while it can be annoying having a friend that never responds to your text, you need to understand that this is who they are and you need to accept them. There could be many reasons why someone is a bad texter, including not spending a lot of time on their phones, busy schedule, or simply they don’t like communicating through texts.
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Before jumping to conclusions, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you talk to them a lot on the phone or via FaceTime?
- Do they have a busy schedule, a stressful job and they fall asleep the minute they arrive home?
- Are they always on the phone when you hand out with them, or they completely forget about it?
If they’re not into texting and prefer calls, you could easily solve the problem by calling them once a week to catch up. If they have a busy schedule, be more understanding and try to reach out to them on the weekends when they’ll have more free time. Also, if they’re never on the phone when you hang out with them, don’t take it so personally when they don’t respond. Not everyone is such a big fan of technology.
It’s true that sometimes not getting a response can make you feel “overlooked and unappreciated,” especially when you’re the type that always responds, but you need to understand that not everyone is glued to their phones 24/4. There is still 10 percent (or less) of the population that are not into technology.
You shouldn’t start assuming the worst, especially when you’ve been friends with this person for years. According to Jackson, if it doesn’t happen all the time, you need to be patient and give them time. However, if they make a custom out of it and you can never reach them, no matter what day or hour it is, you need to have an open conversation with them and tell them how their texting habit is making you feel.
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They forget to hit ‘Send’.
While it might sound like an excuse, forgetting to hit ‘Send’ is a real thing and I think it happened to all of us at least once. This applies especially to friends that are usually quick to respond.
Additionally, if you see them active on social media and clearly have the phone in their hands, but they haven’t responded to your text, you need to consider this as an explanation and reach out to them again.
According to Nicole Sbordone, LCSW, an author and licensed clinical social worker, “It happens more than you know.” Chances are your friend read your text, started writing a response and then they got distracted or they forgot to hit send, especially if you were the ‘typing’ indicator blinking away.
You have two choices in this situation, give them time to respond, because they will realize sooner or later, or, if it’s something important you have to discuss with them, send another text and ask them to reach out to you as soon as possible.
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They’re usually overwhelmed by texts.
Some people love chatting through texts and getting one is like a hit of dopamine. They cannot wait to text back and keep the conversation going for as long as possible, especially when the topic is interesting. They can talk all day and not get bored, while it can be a nightmare for other people.
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A bunch of unanswered texts can make people feel anxious, explains certified friendship coach Danielle Bayard Jackson, especially when someone associates text with a duty. For some, texting might appear a waste of time, boring, and even overwhelming, that why they prefer to ignore your text until they feel ready to respond.
If you have a friend like that, have patience with them, they usually respond a day or two later, but that’s ok.
Make sure to also check: How to Make New Friends As an Adult.