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6 Big Texting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Right Now

6 Big Texting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Right Now

Actual phone calls are being made less and less with every day, and mostly in cases where there is a truly intimate connection or an emergency. Instead, texting has taken over. Everyone, from young to old, is using texting as their main means of communication, whether it is via SMS, Facebook or Whatsapp, using either their phones or a version of the app on their computer.

Even though it is a cool and easy way to reach someone, people still have problems grasping the unwritten rules and manners of texting. The worst thing about this is that they do not see what they are doing wrong. So, in order to help you become better at texting and improve your social life, let’s look at some of the biggest mistakes you might be making, and how to avoid them.

1. Waiting for too long between texts

Be a good person and respond swiftly. Someone actually took time to write you a text, so be a sport and respond to it. But, what is the appropriate response time?

You do not have to do it the same second, but don’t wait for hours or days either. If you did this, it would be equivalent to you talking with someone in person and suddenly turning your back and ignoring them, pretending not to hear them. If a certain rhythm has been established don’t just cut off communication without excusing yourself, e.g. “I have to go run a few errands around town, we’ll talk more tonight” or “Be back in 10-20min, just have to finish something real quick”.

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If you are not convinced yet, ask yourself if you would like this to happen to you. The answer is probably “no”, right? So, man up and write back.

2. Writing essays in response to 2-3 word texts

OK, Dostoyevsky, calm down! It’s a text, not a novel.

If your friend asked you to go for coffee, just answer yes or no, and maybe agree on the details in case you are meeting. If you can’t do it, there is no need to give a detailed explanation on why you can’t. Answering every 3 word text from a guy or girl you’re pursuing with 4-5 lines just screams “needy and desperate to please”. No one wants to read your essay. It’s all about symmetry here. If you receive a long text, then the response should be long, too. If the text is short, then short answer. It is as simple as that.

Oh, and one more thing, “K” is not an acceptable answer in any situation.

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3. Overuse or underuse of emojis

If you are an adult, try to act like it. Your texting buddies know you, so no reason to mellow down the messages with a smiley face. Unfortunately, it seems as though messages without a smiley are perceived as angry or dead-serious. This begs the question: when did emojis become the norm in the texting world?

Unless you are a teenager, too many emojis in a single message is unacceptable. Nevertheless, not using them at all is bad, too. So, finding a perfect balance is the key. If you are texting your best friend, and you are having a fun conversation, then feel free to add bunch of emojis and stickers.

However, if the message is between you and a casual acquaintance, business associate or is of a rather serious tone, then cut short on the emojis. If a partner, or potential partner, ends each message with a smiley face and you fail to do so, it’s like you’re giving them the cold shoulder.

Emoticons have become rather emotionless and useless, to be honest. They lack any real meaning in most contexts and are there for decorative purposes only, but they are an important decoration at times, nonetheless.

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4. Not giving the other person time to answer back

You sent the text. Now wait. Do not keep texting. Spamming someone will not get them to reply. In fact, it might make them ignore you forever. Burying someone in unwanted messages is the worst thing you could do. And more importantly, do not call in case you don’t get a prompt reply. Not only is it rude, but it is a little bit obsessive, as well. Just send the message and chill.

5. Not knowing when to naturally end the conversation

Texting is like writing an essay. There is an introduction, the body and the closing paragraph. Therefore, keep this in mind when communicating with someone through messages. You should know what to say and how to say it. Furthermore, be aware of the signals from the other person. If they are slowly fading into the end of the conversation, follow them. This is how you can sign out in a natural way. If the text from the other end start getting shorter and lacking in enthusiasm, you’ll know it’s time to wrap things up.

Abruptly ending a conversation is, first of all, rude. Yes, you might be busy and have no time to talk, but it can also look like you are not interested in the conversation. If this is the case, then why did you start it/reply in the first place? Know your limits.

6. Writing something that can be interpreted the wrong way

So, there are certain rules for the texting language. First of all, know your abbreviations. BRB, LOL, TBH, and many others, have their specific meanings. They are not some random letters for you to occasionally throw into a text. Also, keep up with the popular sayings. If you are not familiar with them, avoid using them.

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Unfortunately, some older people do not understand this and that is why we have so many cases of funny mom and dad texts. And lastly, avoid sarcasm. It can often be misinterpreted in person, let alone in a short text where no one can see your face or hear the tone of your voice. You could start a fight for no reason at all.

In conclusion: texting is not easy. There are many rules to follow and a whole new language to learn. You could say that it is an important skill, one everyone needs to master. And if you don’t have the time and patience for it, then play it safe and stick to regular conversations.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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