Texting anxiety is a problem a lot of people share. If this is something that’s true for you as well, you’ll need to deal with it immediately if you want to successfully socialize in this day and age.
With the rising use and necessity of mobile and smartphones today, so too is the rate of the population who have texting anxiety. Having this problem has too big of an impact, from your social life to your professional life, that leaving is just not advisable.
What is Texting Anxiety?
Texting anxiety is, from its name, the feeling of anxiety a person experiences in association with texting. People who are socially anxious know this feeling. Every symptom of social anxiety is present in texting anxiety whenever they’re about to text or just receive a text from someone.
People with texting anxiety often feel jittery and nervous whenever they receive a text message. Their palms start to feel sweaty as they hold their phones in their hands while texting somebody. Their minds often go blank when constructing a text message. People who have social anxiety know these feelings well.
Texting anxiety can set in immediately just as the phone starts ringing. For most people, it’s the thought of engaging in a conversation through text that triggers their anxiety. In some instances, a person could have no immediate reaction when the phone starts ringing. Only when they finish reading the text and constructing their reply do they begin to feel the texting anxiety set in.
Sometimes, a person’s texting anxiety can arise after they’ve sent a message. The anticipation of the reply is the trigger, and this recurring feeling makes the idea of texting have a negative association for them.
Causes of texting anxiety
Like a lot of problems involving social interactions, there are possible reasons as to why a person can have texting anxiety. If the case is awful now, it wasn’t always that way. Here are some of the most common reasons for texting anxiety.
Not used to written conversations
You’ve always thought of conversations as verbal and personal interactions. Due to this fact, the act of texting is something so foreign to you. However, now that it is becoming a more popular means of communication, you’ve been left behind and are now feeling anxiety when it comes to texting.
You feel pressure when texting. You think every text should be meaningful or that your replies should be written eloquently. It’s almost as if you’re afraid of disappointing the person you’re texting if your message isn’t substantial.
Prior embarrassment or criticism
This is common with younger people. If you somehow had an experience in the past where you got made fun of or got criticized for how you text, how often or seldom you text, or even for something you said in the text, this could be a reason why you have texting anxiety.
Misconception of texting
Similar to how you feel pressure when texting, you see this activity as something big when in truth, it’s as casual as anything else in life. You have a massive misconception when it comes to texting and that is why it is now associated with anxiety for you.
In most cases, a person has texting anxiety simply for the fact they’re socially inept. They’re socially anxious in person and this has extended to texting. Texting is still a form of socializing, after all.
Whatever the case for you may be, the most important thing is that you’re aware of it and now you want to do something about it. This leads us to the next and the main point of this article…
How to Deal With Texting Anxiety
Take a look at these 12 tips for dealing with texting anxiety. Just remember that getting over this problem will immensely help you with socializing. Not only that, it can also have a massive impact on your personal and professional life. A lot of interactions are done on texts in this technologically-centered world, thus dealing with texting anxiety will generally help you excel in the other aspects of your life.
Force yourself to think that it’s not that big of a deal
First things first, you need to change your mindset and stop seeing texting as this massive thing that should pressure you. Understand that texting can and should be casual, especially when the purpose is to socialize.
Keep on thinking to yourself that texting is not a big deal, to the point that you actually believe it. This is easier said than done, and it will take a lot more than this to get rid of your texting anxiety, but this is a very good step for you to take.
Understand the text message
Once you actually open and read the text message, make sure you understand what the message is. If you can understand the message well, you can respond to it properly, removing any need or potential for nervousness.
Sometimes, a person feels anxious or nervous to respond to a text message simply because they were already anxious or nervous when reading it. This then prohibited them from understanding what they were reading. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Read your messages well and respond to them appropriately.
Don’t get pressured into responding immediately
You don’t need to respond to every text message immediately. Actually believing this will just make you more anxious when it comes to texting. It’s okay to take your time when texting.
In fact, this is one of the many beautiful aspects of texting. Unlike face-to-face conversations, you actually have the liberty of time and thought when it comes to texting. You don’t need to respond immediately. Take the time to read the message and take the time to conjure up a response.
Immediately hit “send” without hesitation
One of the most common occurrences of texting anxiety is right before you’re about to hit that “send” button. A lot of people take too much time assessing whether or not their texts are well-constructed enough. They rewrite their messages and rewrite them again, never getting satisfied, all the while their texting anxiety is increasing more and more.
Don’t fall under this trap. After you construct your sentence, just hit send immediately. Don’t hesitate. Send your message and put your phone down.
Don’t be too formal
As mentioned, texting can and should be a casual activity. There’s no need to be so formal. You’re not writing an essay, you’re having a conversation with a friend or an acquaintance. Just relax and take it easy. Construct your texts casually.
One good rule of thumb you need to keep in mind is to write your text messages the same manner you would speak in real life. That way, your texts are more authentic and they’d feel more “you.”
If it took you a while to see the message, explain why your response is late
Although you shouldn’t feel pressured into responding to a text right away, you also shouldn’t just act like nothing if you happened to see the message really late. If this is the case, exercise courtesy and apologize to the person you’re texting.
Let them know you missed their message because you were busy, or whatever the reason could be for you. It’s a form of respect and the other person will highly appreciate your apology. It’s as simple and as casual as this.
Doing this will also help reinforce the fact that texting can be a casual thing. Practice this whenever the instance comes up until it becomes second nature.
Only give out your number to people you trust
If your texting anxiety is really severe, then don’t hand out your number to strangers or people you don’t trust yet. Also, let your friends know to refrain from giving your number away. Let them know you’re working on it.
For a lot of people, texting anxiety only arises when they’re texting someone they don’t know. If this is the case for you, begin with only texting people you trust and people you personally know. And then, slowly, begin texting people you’ve just met one at a time. Work your way up until your texting anxiety dissipates.
Not all text messages need to be in detail
Another instance where the idea of texts being a casual act, remember that not all text messages need to be in detail. You can simply summarize things and elaborate by the time you’re speaking to that individual in person. Better yet, let them know that it’s better if you tell that story face-to-face as it will take too long through text.
Almost everyone will understand this because they will agree with it. Everyone knows, as great as texts are when it comes to social interactions, nothing can still beat the importance of interacting face-to-face. With this thought, let’s move on to the next tip.
Opt to call or see in person instead
Since not all text messages need to be in detail, if the conversation you’re having is really deep and meaningful and requires more words than a text can handle, opt to call or see the other person instead. This will help you and the other person communicate better and it will help you value the importance of texts. Texting is a great communication tool but it is ultimately just a bridge that can’t replace face-to-face interactions.
This is also something you can do if your texting anxiety starts setting in, regardless of your best efforts to keep it at bay. For the sake of socializing and interaction, opt for a better means of communication and ask to call them or see them instead.
Leave your phone be if you’re expecting a message
A watched pot will never boil. The same saying can apply to your phone when it comes to texting. If you keep watching your phone when expecting a message, your anxiety will just skyrocket through the heavens. Leave your phone be and distract yourself with other things. The phone will ring eventually.
This is one of the main causes of texting anxiety. If this is the case for you, train yourself to let go of this bad habit. It will do you no good and will only serve to increase your texting anxiety.
After you send a text message, leave your phone be. If you were doing something prior to receiving the text message, resume to doing that activity. If you were doing nothing, find something else to do until the text message arrives.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to respond to every text immediately and the same principle can apply to the person who’s texting you. They don’t need to respond to you immediately as well and you should not expect that of them.
Do it more and more
Just like any fear or source of anxiety, the more you expose yourself to it, the more you’ll get used to it. That said, do texting more and more until your texting anxiety completely disappears.
As mentioned earlier, since we’re dealing with anxiety here, don’t do this abruptly. Start low and start small. Begin with simply texting the people you know and trust. Then, start texting those you’ve just met or people you know but aren’t really close with. Do this with more and more people until the idea of texting becomes casual to you.
Use all of the tips you’ve read above to help you with this. Your ultimate goal should be to get rid of texting anxiety completely. Building the frequency up is a good, healthy, and effective way of going about this.
Build Real Life Friendships
Once you’ve finally eliminated the pesky texting anxiety that has been haunting you, you’ll begin to feel just how useful it is when it comes to building friends. In this day and age, more and more people are turning to their phones and to social media to interact with friends or socialize with like-minded people.
Make use of this wonderful opportunity by learning how to deal with being shy online or how to make friends through text. Be sure to study up on these topics afterwards. For now, though, fix the current at hand and start dealing with your texting anxiety. It will be worth it.