Do you get upset when they don’t text back?

Photo by Andrew Nicholson

Do you get upset when someone you really like doesn’t reply to your text?

It’s a very common problem. You see, so much of our giving takes place on a hidden exchange system, even though we’re blissfully unaware of it. When it does, it’s because we need or want to hear something back. So for example if we send someone a text saying that we had a wonderful evening after a date, and they don’t reply within a couple of hours, our natural response is to feel upset and rejected. Even though we don’t realise it, we feel this rejection because the real reason for our text was to hear them say what we needed to hear. And so, when we don’t receive anything back, we might even follow it up with another text along the lines of ‘I guess you don’t fancy me then!’ Ooops! Is this in any way familiar?

Our need to work on this hidden exchange system can expand in so many ways. Right through to our ability to say ‘I love you’ becoming more about our need to hear it back than about our wish to let someone know how much they mean to us.

This kind of giving is fear based and has strong conditions attached. The condition is that they must respond in the way you need them to, or you will feel rejected. It also means the receiver has the burden of having to give back to you, even though they may not be emotionally able to, or in a position to, at that precise moment. Can this really be construed as giving? No, quite simply because it’s not. It’s taking, cleverly disguised as giving.

So the next time you find yourself texting, emailing or telling someone how much they mean to you, ask yourself first ‘Am I okay about sharing this if they don’t respond?’ and if your answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’, then you know you’re giving authentically.

Just think about how beautiful it would feel to be able to say to someone ‘I love you’ and they trusted your ability to respond so much that they felt able to simply say ‘Thank You’.

You see, people can only respond according to their own model of the world. Some find it more difficult to say loving things than others do, while others find love very easy to express. Some like more communication, others prefer less. None are right or wrong, they just are. It is only our own rules surrounding them that make them so. The one thing that’s so important to understand here is that it really doesn’t have to mean they don’t care.

When you are in a loving place within yourself, the tendency to feel rejection begins to fall away, and the assumptions you make about others’ ability to respond changes from negative and blaming to neutral, positive and understanding. This is why loving yourself is so important. Your giving becomes about giving, not the need to receive in order to feel fulfilled. It’s from this place that giving becomes a complete joy. Letting others know how much they mean to you becomes a powerful expression of Who You Are, and is never determined by someone else’s ability to communicate in the same way.

I would encourage you to practise the art of giving. Tell your friends how much they mean to you, tell your partner how much you appreciate all they do, let everyone in your life know how grateful you are to have their contribution. And if there is someone who is particularly difficult, such as someone you’ve perhaps not spoken to in a while and you’re waiting for them to apologise or contact you first, I would encourage you to take the first step and say hello. Except this time without imposing any condition on your need for them to respond in any way other than how they choose to… this is the truest and most loving expression of giving there is.

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