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6 Big Texting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Right Now

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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 July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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