I have to admit. I have been very guilty of this one. I analyze relationships for a living. I read into things and speculate on what things mean. It is great at work. Speculation is what helps me help others. However, in a relationship it can be very stressful. When people worry, it usually comes from a combination of feeling insecure and having a great imagination. I find that a lot of people are like this, especially when it comes to relationships. So, when I read the post, Translating Text Messages by Neal on COED Magazine’s blog, I knew I had to share it.
Neal writes…For many guys, the advent of the text message was an absolute godsend. Personally, I hate talking on the phone. It sucks. You can’t see the person you’re talking to, so you have no clue how they’re responding. I’m big on body language and facial expressions. If I say something and I get dead air, I panic big time. While I’m over here preparing a noose, it turns she might just be zoning out on The Bachelor, checking Facebook, or painting her nails. The whole time, I’m thinking Did she get the joke? Is she rolling her eyes? WHEN ARE WE GETTING THE VIDEO PHONE?!
Yes, I know about Skype and Google Video chat – but…text messaging has been my communication of choice. No matter how many times I read advice articles telling me girls want us to pick up the phone and talk, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s actually hurt my dating life as much as it’s helped it.
But, there’s a really good reason why girls tell us to call instead of text, because their minds go into absolute OVERDRIVE when they receive a text message – especially ones without emoticons to help them understand your intention. Do you think I like using emoticons? No. But, for a girl to NOT go crying into her 15 pillows at night or throwing her phone in the toilet, I have to use ‘em. As much as guys struggle with interpreting phone calls, girls have five hour panel discussions about your texts.
So, I’m going to attempt to break down how both men and women should interpret the following text messages.
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: Guy’s cool with whatever you said, but doesn’t have the time or energy to put a pretty pink bow on it.
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: She’s probably pissed. I always follow this up with “can’t talk now, call u later” unless of course her response is to “call u later” then CALL HER LATER (no matter how much that sucks)
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: Most likely he’s bored, just wants to check in, or if it’s late night he wants some ass
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: She hasn’t heard from the guy in a while and is worried or if it’s late night she wants some ass
“What are you doing later?”
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: He wants to go out with his buddies, but is hoping to secure booty with the girl BEFORE going out OR he might be meeting up with a girl and wants to make sure he A) doesn’t run into the girl or B) has a back up plan
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: She’s got plans with her girls, but it’s not girls night out. Things are looking good for you, my man.
“I wish you were here”
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: … so he can hook up
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: … so she can hook up OR to save her from other dudes / show her friends her new catch
“I’m not feeling well”
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: If this is the first text of the convo, he wants the girl to come over and nurse him back to the health (read: hook up). If it’s not the lead text, he just wants to end the convo for now.
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: She just wants to end the convo
“It was nice seeing you last night”
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: If he didn’t hook up with you, he wants to. If he did hook up with you, he wants to do it again.
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: Same as above. There is a slight chance she felt bad for not hooking up with you and she doesn’t want you to think she’s a bitch.
“Whatever you want to do”
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: Seriously, whatever you want to do. It’s your call. (this is when i throw that stupid smiley face on the end so she doesn’t cut her wrists)
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: Most likely, she’s pissed. If it’s followed by an smiley face (god DAMN those emoticons) she’s perfectly happy with whatever you decide to do. Wife that chick up.
“I’ll text you later”
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: He can tell you’re antsy. Yes, he’s dismissing you but it’s better than not getting any response, right? Chill.
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: It’s rare for a girl to ever send this. If she does, a guy should know that’s a free pass to forget about her until she actually does text you.
“OK. (with the period)”
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: Unless this is an accident, he’s pissed. Do NOT call or text for at least a day, maybe half a day. Better off calling. If he doesn’t pick up, just leave a message explaining. If no response then adios, muchacho.
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: Pissed. Gonna have to wait this out til her anger subsides then call and leave a voice mail if she doesn’t pick up.
Guys Sends / Girl Receives: Could be a dismissive laugh, but he wants to let you know it’s funny and he didn’t really have anything to respond with. It’s filler.
Girls Sends / Guy Receives: To me, I think “lol” is the girls’ version of “haha”. Then again, if it’s followed by an exclamation point, she genuinely thinks it’s funny. Same with extending the ha – as in ‘hahahahhahahahaha’ – that’s the honest to god laughing out loud.
That was Neil’s breakdown on text messages…here are my thoughts on why texting can cause people to over analyze.
I have found that texting seems to make a lot of people very anxious. I see many people who over analyze everything they read in their text messages or in the status updates of their friends on Facebook. If you read the interpretations above, you know that guys and girls can mean different things even when they say the same things. It is hard to know what the intentions are behind certain texts because emotion doesn’t come across. This drives most people crazy.
If you are someone who also has a vivid imagination, you may be more prone to feeling like an anxious mess. In counseling sessions, I address self-confidence all the time. If you over analyze, confidence is going to be what helps you minimize the amount of time your imagination goes in a bad direction. Confidence is also the key to avoiding a lot of relationship stress. This is why texting is the death of many relationships. A lot of people feel like their boyfriend or girlfriend is going to break up with them because they aren’t good enough. They aren’t confident enough in themselves or the relationship to keep their imagination from going down a dark path when they read certain texts or messages.
Communication is complicated enough because men and women do think differently. When you add insecurity on top of that it can cause many more problems. I liked Neil’s post about texting because it does point out that men and women have different intentions when they say or do certain things. That is why a lot of people can get caught up in it. Also learn to prioritize. There are more important things to worry about then why your boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t texting back right away. Being confident and having trust in the relationship really will help you to keep your overactive imagination on the right track. Gaining knowledge about how other people think, especially how your boyfriend or girlfriend thinks, also really helps. If you are naturally a laid back person, you may not have this issue as much. However, I’ve noticed that even the most laid back person can act like a crazy worrier when it comes to their relationship. If confidence is the problem, then continue to address that. No one can fix that but you. If you feel you don’t know enough about what your own partner thinks, then pay attention and look for patterns. Knowing the difference between the sexes is also helpful. If you are an over analyzer, I’m here to tell you there is hope! You can get better and feel more balanced. Just take it one day at a time and put more energy into taking care of yourself rather than analyzing those crazy text messages!!