Argh, why isn’t he texting back? (part 1)

Argh, why isn’t he texting back? (part 1)

WhatsApp and Facebook read-receipts should be illegal.

When I can see that the dude in question has read my message and still not replied, all my calming thoughts (his phone probably fell in a pint of beer, perhaps he got hit by a tram, etc) go out the window.

When I don’t get a reply from someone I’m dating, it feels as though ice is being injected into my veins. My adrenaline levels rise as the tension builds throughout the day (during which I compulsively check my phone or abandon it altogether) and by the end of the day I’m seethingly mad or dejected and teary.

In the past I’ve tried to escape the feeling of panic by going for a run, only to return home to a reply.

At which point I can relax and punish him by never replying again.

I could be going out with a guy who I’m 99% sure is interested in me, or a new friend who I’m convinced is as excited to continue our friendship as I am, but if they don’t text back for a few days, I will construct a story that invalidates my ability to read people and instead conclude that they must think I’m a dick.

I’ve been doing a 6 week yoga challenge in which we are working on finding out what triggers us, and I have come to the blindingly obvious realisation that people not texting me back is a HUGE trigger for me. It causes a physiological reaction which is vastly disproportionate to the scale of situation.

You see, it’s not usually about the person themselves (although the stress is intensified when it’s someone I really fancy).

It’s about not knowing where I stand – I CAN’T STAND IT.

(It’s the same reason I can’t tolerate being around fake people – if I feel they’re not being genuine, I remove them from my life immediately.)

Because when I don’t know what’s going on, my mind fills in the blanks, and the story that it creates is never enjoyable.

Invariably the poor bastard is actually just really busy, or fickle like the rest of us goldfish-memory Tinder swipers – replying to messages is just another thing to do in a day full of things to do, and sometimes things just don’t get done. I get it completely because I do it too

– but that doesn’t stop my mind whipping up a story of impending doom every time it happens

In fact, I’m a complete hypocrite, I’m TERRIBLE at texting back!

I read a text and then forget about it indefinitely. Sometimes it takes hours, days or even weeks to remember to reply. And I know that in most cases my inability to text back has no correlation to how highly I think of the person.

I also have long term friends who are as rubbish at texting back as I am, but their lack of replies never bother me in the slightest, I know they love me and I love them, so it’s no cause for concern. It’s only the unknown that I can’t handle.

That is to say that I am completely aware of how irrational my physiological reaction is.

But the problem is that it’s just that – an automatic physiological reaction that triggers hormone responses that leave me a quivering angry mess!

{The next few paras are my trigger story – skip to the next para if you just want to get to the point!}

//

I have decided that it links back to my first ever date with a guy called Matt. I was shy and insecure, and I really fancied him. I thought he was too hot for me, and I knew that I was unattractive and boring, but because I’d learnt to apply fake tan and iron my hair onto an ironing board

I thought I might be able to trick him into thinking I was cool.

After the date, which I imagine was fairly awkward, we kept texting, and I was very eager to keep in touch… so I struck up a conversation with him about the salad he was having for lunch.
And he didn’t reply. An hour later I examined my Nokia 33-10 for defects. Every passing hour saw my stress levels rise; obsessively unlocking my phone just in case I’d missed the beep.

I COULD FEEL THE PAIN OF REJECTION ALL OVER MY BODY, AND IT WORSENED AS THE DAY WENT ON.

I went to bed with the phone by my head on loud, and awoke in the morning with a surge of sickness to find a message from someone other than him. I was devastated, I felt physically sick, and was so strung up with adrenaline that I couldn’t focus on anything other than checking my phone. I never heard from him again, and it took a few painful weeks to finally accept that my big blue phone wasn’t faulty and he probably hadn’t been hit by a bus.

//

It may well link back to a deeper issue that I’ve yet to uncover, but the point is not to delve too deeply into why old traumas cause extreme reactions to present situations. The point is to identify them as a trigger, so that when the automatic reaction happens and causes a physiological response in our mind and body, we can recognise it for what it is and press pause on the thought spiral that usually occurs in response.

When it happens now, I feel my adrenaline rise, and I think “oh, I’m being triggered”, rather than

“oh god, that sex-god of a man must have lost interest in the last three hours since we last spoke”.

The difference in thought process is really rather life changing – it enables you to step out of automatic, irrational behavioural patterns and into rational thought, which is a much safer place to dwell.

This is what mindfulness allows you to do.

I have been a busy bee nutting out a very exciting project for you guys – a kind of mindfulness 101 that will show you how you can use mindfulness to radically overhaul your life and create the best bloody good life you can imagine. Stay tuned.

 Update:

That program I was nutting out is now a fully fledged, life changing program called Bloody Good Life 101, mindfulness for indecisive overachievers who raise an eyebrow at mindfulness! You can check all my programs (including a few free ones!) by clicking here.

 

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Gidday, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness advisor and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, mediocrely happy overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in Bloody Good Life 101. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.

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