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People Who Don’t Text Back Right Away Are More Attractive In Dating, Science Says

People Who Don’t Text Back Right Away Are More Attractive In Dating, Science Says

Texting is one of the number one ways to communicate in the dating world these days – rarely do we phone to set up a date with someone anymore. The art of texting has evolved and getting it right might seem like a game, but how we text could actually have an impact on our attractiveness.

So you finally got that person’s number, you spend (what seems like ages) formulating the perfect breezy text message because, after all, you don’t want to come across as too needy. You press the send button and then wait.

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What we don’t realise is, that moment of waiting is crucial to our growing attraction to the other person and how quickly (or not) we reply back can also have an impact on their attraction towards us. This isn’t about playing games but more down to the way our brains adapt to the reward system – in this case the other person texting back.

Science Says Wait A While Before Texting Back

You receive your text back and perhaps you’re even a little excited. Your first instinct may be to text back straight away, after all you’re both adults and probably both have your phones constantly in your hand so why pretend you haven’t seen it?

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Well science says making the other person wait for your reply will increase your attractiveness and it’s all down to ‘reward uncertainty’.

Psychologists have conducted studies on lab animals involving a reward system and monitored how the animals reacted. A reward uncertainty – where animals can’t predict whether pushing a lever will get them food or not – actually increased their interest in getting a reward. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centre and it’s this that gets activated when waiting for that all-important reply.

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Why Texting Back Too Soon Is A No-No

By all means, if you want to text back straight away, go for it. But this is why it may be better to wait.

In our brains, a text back from that special someone is considered a reward. Like the animals in the lab, if we know that pushing that lever every time will get a reward of food (in other words, getting that reply straight away every time) the dopamine levels will start decreasing because they know the next time they want a reward, it’ll be instantaneous and a ‘sure thing’. The lab animals start taking the reward for granted and even start to be less interested in trying to get it.

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In terms of texting, replying too soon (although great at first) over time can cause the other person to start to see you as less value. This results in the person having less of an urge to text you.

Back in the days when no one had mobile phones, days could go by before you picked up that phone to call, but in today’s modern age, texting has brought about a habit of quick replies and instant messaging and has inadvertently destroyed that sense of mystery. In the first throws of dating, the waiting game can help your feelings to grow, make you wonder and be more curious as to why they haven’t replied yet, what they’re up to and not knowing when you’ll get that buzz telling you their text has finally arrived!

So, hold off for a bit before hitting that reply button – let them wonder about you and get their dopamine levels rising high. It’s not about playing games but rather going by how our brains adapt to the lack of mystery and building up a sort of tension that finally gets released once that all-important reward has be received.

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics // Karolina via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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