When I Don’t Get a Reply to Messages

When I communicate with people I am most likely to do so by text message, Facebook messenger or email. I am much better with written communication as discussed in my post telephonophobia.

It’s weird though because if I don’t get a reply to my message within whatever my brain decided is a reasonable amount of time I start to get anxious about it. This is worse when you know the person has read you message with the little notification Facebook gives you.


I start to wonder why there was no answer. I start thinking that maybe I said something wrong, or annoying, or they have misunderstood what I said because you can’t read tone in a written message. They must not like me anymore or they can’t be bothered with me. I’m irritating people by sending them messages about things they aren’t interested in. Maybe they just don’t want to talk to me.

Logically I know the person is probably just busy and doesn’t have time to reply right now but will probably do so later. Logically I know that they probably don’t hate me for sending them a message. Logically I know that I shouldn’t be sitting here looking at my screen waiting for the reply to come in a minute, I know they will reply when they can. But all this logic doesn’t stop the ‘what if’s’ rolling through my brain.

Then when I do get a reply something strange happens. I start thinking that if I answer too quickly  I will seem too needy and desperate. If I’m having a longer conversation, say with my Mum for example, that’s OK to reply instantly, but if it’s just something short that I’m discussing with a friend then I don’t know what to do. What is the optimal amount of time to let pass before replying so they don’t think I’m weird? Sometimes I make myself wait five minutes before answering a message, sometimes a couple of days before answering an email. I know I’m overthinking all this but I can’t help it.

I also don’t like it when there is no definite ending to a text conversation. No ‘goodbye’ or ‘talk to you later’. I am left wondering if that was it or if I’m supposed to say something else. What if they are sitting at the other end waiting for something and I don’t know?

I wonder sometimes if this is related to my social anxiety or whether this is something else.


5 thoughts on “When I Don’t Get a Reply to Messages

  1. Hi Alison
    You have to remember – your in Australia ! – your upside down as far as I’m concerned (or I am depending on the time of day – we are all on top of the world or at the bottom of it at some time – sometimes at the same time! ) you day is my night , your summer, my winter

    and of course technology isn’t that instant.

    sometimes people need to think about reply’s – before replying.

    I’m always stumped by the simple “How are you?” – How am I ?!! – I don’t know! – am I all right? you got me wondering, I thought I was , I think, but am I ? – and if I’m not do I want to dump my problems – that might be utterly insane (like dreaming of a demon possessed kitten I had the other night – I really did and it scared the bejebus out of me) – on you.
    So I say ‘Oh fine’ and avoid the worry of it. – I’m sure I am OK , – at least I hope I am.

    So what I’m trying to say is – you don’t know whats going on in other peoples heads and how a simple – “how are you” can throw them into total turmoil –

    more often than not its just they haven’t seen the message , or haven’t had time to reply , and replying instantly is just the same for you.

    lifes to short to worry about such things , especially when one has bigger things to worry about – like demon possessed Kittens!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Demonic kittens, that was some dream you had! Would freak me out too. I know your right though, but it still doesn’t stop the thoughts from happening.


  2. I assure you that you’re not alone. Lol. I freak out! My daughter is the same way. I think part of it may be anxiety. But I think technology has us spoiled and we want instant feedback. I think we may need a support group. Lol. I love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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