No, you’re not reading that wrong. In spite of the fact that TEST anxiety is a very real and difficult problem (which we can talk about later, if you’d like), this blog is about a growing concern of many clients that I work with: TEXT anxiety.
Have you ever sent a text message and felt a growing sense of despair waiting for a reply?
“I sent this text 5 minutes ago and usually hear right back … is he angry with me?”
“… Is she out with someone else?”
“… What if this lapse in text conversation is a sign of disinterest?”
Every second waiting by the phone feels like an eternity, during which you try your best to recall if you’ve done anything upsetting or even repulsive recently.
“Did he dislike my joke about politics?”
“Does she hate that I admitted to secretly watching Real Housewives?”
… STOP RIGHT THERE!
Put down the phone (you can do that, you know! I promise. Your hands will work without it!) and get busy with something else. Although any number of your “what ifs” in this situation MAY be true, I can assure you that sending a dozen:
“Are you mad at me?”
text messages will be counter to your goal – – assuming that your goal is to maintain some kind of relationship with your texting buddy. Besides, could it be possible that he/she is just off living life for a moment, without phone in hand?
If so, is it possible that, perhaps, you could do that, too?
It might be helpful, the next time the text anxiety starts creeping up, to go and get busy – – take a walk, a bubble bath, or even read a magazine. Whatever it is, try to make that time totally “tech free.”
While you’re at it, practice shifting your focus from the thoughts in your head to the here and now – – the sound of the bubbles babbling in your bath, the scent of the freshly cut grass on your walk, or the way the light gleams on the glossy pages of your magazine.
Whatever you choose to do, try to remember life – – and meaningful social relationships – – exist in a world beyond your cellphone. When your phone stops being a convenience and starts being a source of anxiety, it may be time for a break.
Are you plagued by “text” anxiety? What do you think will happen if you take a break from your phone? Call today for help!