When They Don’t Message Back With Exactly The Words You Want, When You Want Them
Here’s a situation that can trigger tremendous frustration: you’ve texted or emailed your family member or partner and they don’t message back. Or their reply doesn’t come as quickly as you’d like, or with the sentiment or information you’re looking for.
Maybe you’re seeking forgiveness. You’ve apologised and you’d love them to message back, “Ah, don’t worry. No big deal, it’s all forgotten.”
Perhaps you’re craving reassurance, praise or approval – “I’m safe” “You nailed it” “I’m proud of you”.
Sometimes it’s gratitude you’re waiting for – “I got your card. It was so thoughtful; it made all the difference” – or you feel in limbo until you receive some information – “Yes, I can make it on the 15th”.
What messages do you wait for?
The pain of waiting for the reply
Wanting someone to message back can get stressful. We become dependent as we wait for words to appear on a screen to make us feel okay. Perhaps we compulsively check our messages, willing into existence the one that will soothe us and put our mind at ease. Maybe we resent our family member or partner, blaming them for not giving us the peace we long for.
And oh those tick-marks in What’s App and Facebook! They taunt us with the fact that our loved one has seen our message but hasn’t replied. Aren’t we high enough up their priority list? Don’t they care? Don’t they want to connect with us? We might feel rejected, embarrassed, exposed or alone.
When they don’t follow your script and timeline
Wouldn’t life be easier if our loved ones realised that there’s a script to follow and timeline to adhere to! That our peace and happiness depend on them providing the words we want, when we want them!
But, frustratingly, it’s as if they’ve forgotten their lines.
Many of us only feel satisfied if we get the right reply within the right timeframe. But there’s a huge cost to wanting a loved one to reply according to our agenda.
Life becomes small and limited. When there’s only one option that’s going to make us happy, we’re setting ourselves up for massive disappointment. If we can only be at ease if certain words are used, with precise timing, we make sustainable peace impossible.
We experience tremendous powerlessness any time we depend on someone else to follow our script and timeline. Wanting a particular message by a specific deadline is utterly ineffective. It doesn’t cause that message to come – so we don’t get what we want, and we do get a huge amount of tension.
Freeing yourself from expectations
What would life be like without your script and timeline?
Imagine looking at your inbox with no expectations of a reply. What do you see? Messages you’ve opened, messages you haven’t opened; messages you’ve replied to, messages you haven’t replied to; people you’re connected with.
Repeat this next time you want a message back:
“It is not the lack of reply that is causing my pain. What’s actually causing my pain is my script and timeline. Holding a script and timeline is costly (it costs me peace and connection) and ineffective (because I’m not in control of another person’s actions). I am willing to put down my script and timeline so I can see reality as it is, and so I can come back into peace and connection.”
Save or print this message and return to it any time you’re craving a reply that doesn’t exist.
Easier said than done?
If you’d like support with getting free from your scripts and timelines, click here for options.