Tag Archives: texting

Flying Purple People Pleaser

Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan -- thanks Cosmo. For being my 2nd favorite drink and for having the perfect image for my blog post.

Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan. Thanks Cosmo — for being my 2nd favorite drink and for having the perfect image for my blog post.

I’ve always been a people pleaser. Always afraid of saying the wrong thing. Hurting someone’s feelings. God forbid if I say “no” to somebody. I don’t sleep for days.

The same thing goes for responding to texts, Snapchat and Facebook messages, phone calls.

I always feel the need to respond immediately. Any and all my friends and members of my family know they can text me any time of day and they will receive a reply from me fairly quickly. The only things that would keep me from responding is if I’m being mauled by a mountain lion or am dead.

And since neither of those have happened to me yet, that point is moot.

Some of my friends — actually, MOST of my friends — don’t live by my rules. I have friends who I will text and won’t receive a response from for days. Sometimes weeks. And on the very rare occasion, never.

When they do finally respond, my invitation to go out for drinks has expired. Or the news I wanted to share has been forgotten like the name of my first grade teacher.

I know my friends are there for me when I need them. If I texted my bestie, “I need help now,” she’d promptly reply with a concerned response and one foot in her car preparing for the worst, to help me off a ledge if need be. I not only know this because these are the types of people I surround myself with, but because it’s happened. On more than one occasion, sad to say.

Do I take it personally? Oh heck no. If I was that sensitive, I’d be curled up with my blanket in the corner, sucking my thumb. I gave that practice up in 1974.

Why do I do it? Does it go back to my earlier statement? Because I’m a people pleaser?

Maybe.

Here’s part of my problem, or at least what I’m blaming my nimble texting fingers on: I am one of those mothers who thinks if she hasn’t heard from her child in more than two hours, she most certainly must be in a ditch somewhere. Bleeding profusely from her big toe on her left foot because she was propelled from the car she was driving and said car is now crushing it.

The problem with this scenario is she doesn’t have a car at school. Also, she wears her seatbelt. So, this image that pops up in my head is, in actuality, next to impossible. Not to mention a waste of my time, energy, and adrenaline.

Anyway, my point is that I always have my phone with me so I can come to the rescue when and if the time comes. Which translates to being there for everyone else. Including those pesky telemarketers who have now learned how to speak Chinese.

Whatever it may be, I don’t want to do it anymore. No one else does, so why should I? My life is just as busy. Which really isn’t the point, I’m just being sensitive.

So, I’m not doing it anymore (maybe). There. I’ve said it (kind of).

If you need me, I’ll be in the corner. With my blanket. Sucking my thumb. My phone will be close by though. You know, because…ditches.

Use Your Words

textWhen I was a teen and was crushing on or dating a boy, I would wait with anticipation for the phone to ring.  And when it did ring, no one in the house stood a chance.  I would run, climb, claw my way to the phone before the second ring was halfway through.  I would knock over a brother standing in my way if I had to.  Then I would stand tethered to the wall while we had a conversation.  An actual conversation.  Where words were spoken.  When the conversation ended and we said our good-byes, we hung up (“Hang up.  No, you hang up.  No, you hang up first.  Okay, on the count of 3…”).  It was that simple.  And the boy always called me.  It was never the other way around.

I am always telling the kid that she needs to have an air of mystery when it comes to boys.  I don’t want her making the same mistakes I did.  I would bend over backwards and make sure I was available.  I would always answer the phone.  Always be around.  So my advice to her has always been to play a little hard to get.  Be yourself, be kind.  But don’t be so readily available.  Make them work for you.  Give them a little bit of a challenge.  I mean, don’t be the queen of Iceland, but leave them wondering.  Even if just a little.

There is a post that an author wrote recently.  One of my Facebook friends shared it (click here to read it).  Everything about this is smack-you-in-the-face true.  Why didn’t it occur to me that in this day and age it is difficult to uphold an air of mystery?  Nothing is sacred anymore.  That being said, I have been approaching the whole thing incorrectly.  And now, I’m afraid it’s a bit too late to fix.  I was advising her as if we were living in the dark ages.  I forgot about technology.  I should have been taking a different approach.  From a different angle.  Now what the hell do I do?  Take away her texting privileges?  Good Lord, the girl would “totally die.”  I think she’d rather have an arm cut off.  It would take her twice the amount of time to text, but at least she could.

Like the article says, “conversations” don’t end.  Until bed time or they literally cannot physically have their phone on them because of field hockey practice or dance class.  For the love of God.  It’s insane.  I’m not so sure I could handle all this back and forth banter.  It would be enough to drive me absolutely up a tree.  She could have her best girlfriends over and I would go upstairs to her room to find them all sitting on the floor texting.  Who are they texting?  Who knows.  Maybe each other.  To avoid actually speaking.  Because they don’t know how.

Well, I try to look at the bright side.  At least I don’t have to fight with her over who gets to use the phone.  And keeping an air of mystery?  How about stop responding to a text within 4 seconds?  At least make ’em wait 5 seconds.  That should leave them guessing.

The Lost Art of Communication

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I’m not sure if you’re aware of it or not, but we, as a country are completely screwed.  When you say to your child, “I need to speak to you,” and she says, “just text me,” you know we have a problem.

I grew up with the rotary phone.  You know the kind.  It had a curly cord attached to it and a circular “key pad.”  We had one phone on the kitchen wall.  For privacy, it was literally a stretch across the hall and into the bathroom.

Sure, in retrospect, it was a pain in the ass.  But at least we SPOKE to one another.  We opened our mouths and actual words came out.  We put the effort into dialing a phone that took 2.5 minutes so that we could talk to our best friend or boyfriend.  We also learned about time management because otherwise we would never get the opportunity to make that phone call before mom or dad needed to use it.

If the kid needs to ask someone a question that needs immediate attention, she texts instead of calls.  When I suggest she actually pick up the phone and call them, you should see the look on her face.  It’s as if I just suggested we go skinny dipping in the Atlantic in February. Like it was the stupidest idea since the Snuggie.

Every job description I come across during my job search says that good verbal communication skills are necessary.  I’m afraid this is what a job description of the future will look like:

“Must be proficient in texting at least 95 words per minute without error.  No need to speak to anyone.  No need to pay attention to anyone.  Ability to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter an added bonus.”  To top it off, they will probably be required to have a Master’s Degree.  So, we all get to pay out our asses in education for our children so they can get a job that doesn’t require them to speak.

This should be interesting.  I’m not sure I want to be around for that.  If I am, please call and let me know.  Although the phone may be obsolete by then.  Um, text me?