You know what I have realized? [Besides the fact that Nonresponding is not a word?] I get very aggravated when people don’t respond to my texts. I mean, you don’t have to respond right away … but at some point before the END of the day you should respond. I get it – sometimes we’re small talkin’ and then one of us gets busy and then the conversation drops off. Totally fine. I get that. But when I’m asking a question or need to get a response it’s a little annoying when folks don’t respond back.
But you know what I realized? I. Do. The. Same. Thing. Ugh! I hate when I can’t complain about something because I’m guilty too! Dang it! I had a friend message me the other day and let me know that I really hurt her feelings because I never responded to her request to hang out. There was a miscommunication due to a technical difficulty but still – the point is my friend wanted to spend time with me and never heard back. Have you had that happen to you before? I have! How does that make you feel? How confident does that make you feel about your relationship with the person who never responds?
It’s your lucky day! I realized I needed to make a change and set a better example and if you’re anything like me you might want to make a change and set a better example too – PLUS I could always use the support. We’re stronger in numbers. We just are!
Let’s do a 10 day responding challenge and get started today! For the next 10 days we are going to be women who respond. We are going to show value to the ones who take time out of their day to reach out to us by simply responding to them.
So here’s what I’m thinking for an action plan: (Please comment on this blog if you have suggestions/tips as well.)
DO IT NOW
I hate to admit it but I can be quite the procrastinator sometimes. Why do today what you can do tomorrow, right? LOL! Kidding. But I do tend to make a list of things I’ll do later only to get completely overwhelmed and then not do the things I set out to do.
I heard a teacher say if for the next 30 days you wake up every morning and say “Do it now” 60 times before you get out of bed and do the same thing at night as your head hits the pillow, that within that 30 days your behavior will have changed drastically.
I’ve tried this and it works! So awesome! As soon as you begin to procrastinate your mind will immediately trigger a DO IT NOW response.
Start the ‘do it now’ thing NOW.
CREATE A CODE
Tell the folks you talk to most if they text you and receive the letter ‘b’ from you, it means you saw their text but are busy. That could mean you’re sitting at a red light (I’m the WORST at this. I check a message at a red light and then it turns green so I put my phone back down. Texting and driving is bad. Very bad!) If your friends know your code then at least you’re acknowledging that you have received the message. If you completely forget – even though you sent them the code letter, then at least they know you saw it, were busy, and they may follow up with that understanding in mind. It at least shows you care enough to respond and that they WILL get a response from you.
My friends know that when I get home it’s family time. I do not sit and stare at my phone during the few precious hours that I get with my family. We get home and phones go away until after the kids are in bed and we’re in ‘chill mode’ and a lot of times I don’t get on my phone before bed due to the fact that I’m super energy sensitive around bed time and all it takes is a little trigger to get me completely wired and awake HOURS past my healthy bed time.
Communicate. Make sure that your people know you’re not ignoring them and what your boundaries are. True friends respect boundaries. They understand boundaries because they have their own. Boundaries are apart of healthy relationships.
I know that one of my BESTEST friends can take hours (or days) to respond to my silly, small talk texts (she’s quicker about the more important ones) because she doesn’t always work in a 9-5 sit down office environment, she has a small child, and she often loses her phone in the couch where it dies and is missing for days. I know this about her. She communicates with me. If it’s super important I shoot her an email or chase her down on FaceBook. I get her because she communicates. Plus she’s one of those people that never acknowledges her phone when we’re together (if she even has it with her) so I never have to question her character. Oh. You know what I’m talkin’ about. The chick who has her phone permanently attached to her hand and eyes when you’re together and yet NEVER responds to your texts because she wasn’t “near” her phone. *Insert eye roll with air quotes* Girl- you might as well get a flesh tone phone cover and call that thing your hand. Instead of “I know BLANK like the back of my hand” it’s all “I know BLANK like the back of my phone.” Okay. Okay. I’m done. For real. [AND THAT my friends is a glimpse into my brain… There’s always a party goin’ on in there.]
What was I even talking about so I can wrap this up? Communicate. Yes, communicate. Very important.
SET A TIME
I mean, not that I’m miss popular or anything but … (joking) I do get quite a bit of texts throughout the week. Sometimes the ‘do it now’ technique is doable but there are other times when it’s just not appropriate. For example – with numerous project deadlines approaching I have to be intentional with my time. I’d love to sit and text chat with a friend but sometimes I just can’t. Carving out time away from my family to do writing or editing is set aside just for that (unless it’s a friend emergency of course). The time is super short and super valuable. I’ve got to use every ounce of it! It seems as though I receive a text every time I get alone to do some project work. Every time.
I’m learning that if you set a time for responding it’s way more efficient. 5 times a day I respond to texts if I can’t use the ‘do it now’ technique. I have designated ‘check texts and respond’ times throughout the day. This way I’m not responding to multiple people frequently and interrupting other important and time sensitive activities – but everyone still gets a response – on my set aside time. We all win.
Intentional simply means – done on purpose. Our lives are busy, they just are, and they keep speeding up. As soon as I remove something it seems like something else fills that spot right away. We have to be intentional about spending time with the ones we love and loving them well. Sometimes responding to a text, especially if you’re loose about responding, means we have to be intentional.
We have to be intentional with our relationships. We should want to be intentional. Good friends are hard to come by and they need nourishment.
So who’s with me? Let’s do this, girls. Let’s be more reliable and more responsive. You can find a flake on every corner. I don’t want to be a flake. I want to be responsive and intentional with those who take the time to reach out to me.
*Raise your glass* So here’s to responding to text messages, emails, and RSVPs!!! <– That’s a WHOLE ‘NOTHER blog rant for another day. *Cling all the glasses together*
Comment below and let me know if you’re taking this challenge with me AND also share any of your accountability tips!