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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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