Text-a-Bitch (or how to pause before irrationally texting)

You know that nagging feeling when you want to reach out to someone who you’re starting to feel romantic twinges for but you just don’t know if you should? For instance, you are sitting on your sofa on a Friday night, staring at your television set that randomly doesn’t work, and you open the bag of chips that a guy left at the party you threw two weeks ago… and they’re delicious, and you want to Facebook him to tell him how great they are? (Let’s face it, its kinda because of the yummy chips, but mostly because you want a reason to connect in the hopes for a response.) Yeah. I know it sounds like a good thought to text him… but here’s the thing, its probably not. And if you’re sitting on that fence and know what you should do and what you want to do are two different things: Text-a-Bitch! What I’m trying to say is that some times you need to bounce certain ideas off of friends to see if an idea merits a sent text message. So when you get a “great” idea to reach out to someone in a way that you shouldn’t, send one of your designated’s a text, and ask their opinion, i.e.:

Hey Lesley, should I Facebook this cute guy about his 2 week old chips?

Now, Lesley is living in a rational world outside of my romantic fantasy world (the one where he immediately responds, and not only appreciates that I told him that his chip choice was stellar, but he offers to come over, fix my television, accidentally make out with me, propose, … and well, you can fill in the rest) and she’ll respond with something like:

Don’t eat the whole bag, and don’t you dare tell him you like the chips.  That is something that a needy loser would do. And you’re not a needy loser. Don’t you have some writing to do? Stop thinking about boys and eating chips and go be productive. Or at least read a book. Muah!

So, after reaching out, I’ve achieved two things: One, I’ve fulfilled the need to reach out and two, I’ve gotten feedback (well three, if you count that I’ve also now put down the chips). And whereas the reach out and feedback weren’t to the person I wanted to reach out to, it still lessens the need to reach out. Also, I don’t sit around the rest of the night, eating the rest of the bag of chips and then moving on to the full box of cereal to keep busy, and either spiraling up thinking of my crazy chip-TV-fixing-making-out-marriage-proposal scenario, or spiraling down wondering why he hasn’t responded to my incredibly important Facebook message at 8pm on a Friday night, and convincing myself its because he is out on a date with another woman, and falling into self loathing, finishing the box of cereal, moving on to a bottle of wine and some really old chocolates left over from the holidays which were now three months ago. I know it sounds like I’m spinning a silly scenario, but I can safely say that a ¾ bag of chips is sitting across the room on the counter, wrapped up, and I’m sitting here writing this instead of alternating between wedding dress shopping and looking at every picture on his Facebook to see if any of the women he is in photos with look like they could be a better choice than me. (We’ve all done it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog and I wouldn’t be writing it.)

Now that I’ve given you this silly scenario that you’re probably shaking your head at because it’s very silly, and you’ve probably done something similar, let me tell you how Text-a-bitch works.

A quick how to:

–if you want to text about something goofy/weird/quirky that you’re not sure if you should: first, Text-a-Bitch (a designated friend who knows you could reach out for advice at any time)

–have a friend, or many, on call to use as a sounding board

–when you have a moment where you’re unsure, TaB the who and the what you want to say

–WAIT FIVE MINUTES

–if you hear, follow suggestions of your TaB. If you don’t hear, wait 5 more minutes.

–walk away. Do something else. Change your focus, you’re mind won’t be far behind.

–if all else fails, wait a day. If you wake up tomorrow and it still seems like a good idea to send off that text, do. 99% of the time, you’ll be glad you waited to text, because it won’t seem like such a great idea once you’re out of that headspace.

Oh, and just to be clear, you aren’t limited to “texting” with this, but I use it as a general term for contact, because at this moment in time, texting seems to be the prime way to communicate. Feel free to check in with your TaB via social media messaging, a phone call, a question over an already planned meet up, an email or whatever. Just communicate with someone in some way to double check yourself before committing the action. The thing is, these goofy/quirky outreach texts (like the chips) are gateway messages. Once you send one, you’ll want to send another, and another and another and another… and when does it stop? When you’ve texted about every grocery in your apartment, and possibly your shopping list for Trader Joes? NO. Stop the crazy now. I promise it will help, and you will have saved yourself from making something you’ll feel is a mistake later.

I know, that now that you’ve read this, you are wondering if this applies to you, because you’re in a great relationship… well, yes, dear reader, you can use TaB for just about anything in your life. A few scenarios:

Family: Want to rant to your sister about how many freaking pictures of her newborn she’s posting on Facebook? TaB.

Life: You’re tempted to text your ex (who you had an horrific break up with only three months ago) because you just saw someone walking down the street that reminded you of them. You know it wasn’t them, but a doppelganger. TaB.

Work: You want to resign and you’re thinking that texting or emailing your resignation is best because you don’t want to face the boss in the morning. TaB.

Remember the whole point of this is to double check yourself. Its like a math problem that has an emotional component. You need to take a step back from yourself and what you want to send out in the universe. Having a friend double check your thoughts is a great tool to have. Texting a confidante settles the craving and the impulse to connect with someone. I’ve now trained myself to weed the crazy impulse texts out on my own. But sometimes I still use TaB. Lesley, and a few other friends can attest. I’m telling you, strengthen those muscles, and make those messages mean something.  Cut out the excess chatter and find that peace within.

Clare

We would LOVE your comments on this.  Please post below, or try it out and let us know how it worked for you!

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6 thoughts on “Text-a-Bitch (or how to pause before irrationally texting)

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