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The 18 Unwritten Rules of Texting You Should Know

The 18 Unwritten Rules of Texting You Should Know

Texting is practically the most common form of communication nowadays.

It also can be the best tool to use if you’d like to really, really annoy people.

Odds are, you don’t. So know how to text right with these tips!

1. Didn’t get a reply right away? It’s okay. Chill out.


replying

    Don’t keep texting until they respond. They’re probably busy. And if they’re not, maybe they just don’t feel like texting. Texting them over and over again is the perfect way to ensure that they won’t respond. Ever again.

    2. Always respond.

    That being said, don’t blow anyone off. Respond to someone’s text in a kind and reasonably-timed manner. (Unless the person is a stalker, in which case, please do not respond. I do so care about your safety here.)

    3. Keep the other person’s schedule in mind.


    early

      Of course, you generally shouldn’t text a person at 4 in the morning unless it’s your BFF, and even then, your BFF may want to kill you. However, also keep in mind the schedule of the specific person you’re texting. Is your friend at work? Then don’t text him or her a million times in a row in the middle of the shift. Does your friend enjoy sleeping in on the weekends? Don’t text him or her at 8:30. Be nice.

      4. Don’t text a novel…


      novel

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        This is one that I personally break all the time, but it just makes sense: if it’s taking you more than thirty seconds to text it, you probably just want to take care of it over the phone. Don’t make it more confusing than it has to be.

        5. …however, don’t call in response to a text without asking.


        text

          Be kind to the introverts. If someone texted you, it means they didn’t want to talk on the phone. That might mean they’re busy, or they’re relaxing, but don’t call them in response. If you really think it would be something better covered via phone call, text them asking them first.

          6. Generally, avoid sarcasm.

          Unless the person knows you really well, sarcasm is best avoided via text. You can’t read the tone nearly as well, and you could end up getting into arguments or hurting someone’s feelings.


          confused

            And nobody wants that!

            7. Double-check your autocorrect.

            Unless the correction is particularly hilarious, of course.

            8. Double–no, triple–check who you’re sending it to.


            texty text

              If you’d like to lose your job quickly and with little effort, texting “hey sexy I miss you ;)” to your boss instead of your significant other is a great method.

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              9. If you’re running late, text the person.

              It’s just good manners. Brownie points for including an ETA.

              10. Respond proportionally.

              If someone breaks rule number 4, don’t respond with just “k.” Unless you want to lose friends and alienate people. Or make them want to destroy their phone.


              ron swanson

                The same goes for the opposite case: if you’re composing novels to someone, and they’re texting you back with very short replies, take the hint.

                11. If you wouldn’t talk to them about this issue in real life, don’t text it to them.

                This can apply with so many different situations. Everyone knows not to use texts to break up, or to communicate grave injuries. But you also shouldn’t try to get really deep into conversation with an acquaintance / stranger. I recently had someone I barely know text me their life story, and it was more than a bit jarring.

                12. Do. Not. Hashtag. In. Your. Text.


                hashtag

                  It’s something you can only do ironically. And even if you do that, you have to make it really obvious that it’s ironic, or else you’ll risk looking like an idiot.

                  13. Don’t use chatspeak. Just don’t.

                  dont 4get this rule, b/c u will lose s0 much credibility rofl

                  There are certain abbreviations that are generally accepted, but make sure you know the meaning of them. Don’t text someone “lol” when they’re going through a crisis, thinking it means “lots of love.”

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                  14. DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS!!!!!

                  DOESN’T IT SEEM LIKE I’M SHOUTING AT YOU?!?

                  If you are really angry to the point where you feel like shouting, it’s probably a conversation that should be saved for another medium.

                  (Note: the only exception to the past two rules is while you’re live-texting the Game of Thrones season finale to a friend, e.g. OMG I HATE YOU CERSEI STFU WHY DO YOU EXIST.)

                  15. Use the right texting laughter.

                  Here’s a quick guide to laughter via text.

                  Ha: use when you don’t really find something funny, and you want to make that fact obvious.

                  Haha: use when you don’t really find something funny, but you would like to be polite.

                  Hahaha: use when their text made you smile.

                  Hahahaha+: use when you sincerely laughed.

                  HAHA+: one of the few exceptions to the no-caps rule. Use when you find something hysterical.

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                  Lol: Use when you want the sincerity of your laughter to be a mystery. Did you really laugh out loud? Nobody knows! You’re so mysterious!

                  16. Don’t bury your face in your phone when you’re hanging out with someone.


                  texting offended

                    Okay, let me preface this by saying that with some people, it’s cool if you text. I have a group of friends who are always responding to texts when we’re together, and we’re okay with it, because we hang out all the time.

                    But if you don’t know how the other person feels about texting etiquette, or you don’t know the person well, just don’t do it. It’s rude and it gives the impression that you don’t particularly care about the other person’s presence.

                    Another exception: if there’s something really pressing, like, I don’t know, your sister is expected to go into labor any day now, inform your company that you may be checking your phone every so often.

                    17. Don’t text while walking.

                    You might walk into a large parked van in front of a crowd of strangers. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience.

                    18. Above all: do not text while driving.

                    This is the biggest rule. Please. Please please, don’t do it.

                    Have any rules to add? Comment and let us know!

                    Featured photo credit: Henry Lockyer (AbsolutelyClever) via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                    Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                    You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                    This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                    What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                    Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                    There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                    How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                    When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                    Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                    1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                    One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                    The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                    Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                    2. Be Honest

                    A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                    If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                    On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                    Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                    3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                    Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                    If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                    4. Succeed at Something

                    When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                    Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                    5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                    Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                    Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                    If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                    If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                    Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                    6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                    Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                    You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                    On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                    You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                    7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                    Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                    Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                    Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                    When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                    Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                    In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                    Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                    It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                    Final Thoughts

                    When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                    The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                    Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                    Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                    Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                    More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                    Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                    [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                    [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                    [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                    [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                    [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                    [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                    [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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