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How To Receive A Confrontational Text
(Yes, Another How To)
How To Receive A Confrontational Text:
Read the first few words of the preview blurb in excitement for what the rest may hold.
Continue reading the preview blurb and grimace as your stomach drops.
Put your phone away and assess your surroundings as you imagine what the rest of the message could contain.
Pull your phone back out. Press and hold the message to read the full text without opening it.
Sigh in annoyance and defensiveness.
Continue doing whatever you were doing before, but worse because you’re completely focused on the message now.
Pull out your phone again and double check that your read receipts aren’t on before fully opening the message.
Spend thirty minutes to a few hours lightly shaking while you contemplate next steps.
Take a walk.
Take any necessary steps preceding a response.
Spend an hour drafting a response in your notes app - a tactful message that will, most importantly, not require further back and forth.
Read your drafted response twenty to sixty times before copying it over to messages, and then read it ten more times once in unsent message format.
Send the message, and read it two more times in sent message format.
Throw your phone onto a soft surface and walk out of the room.
Return a few minutes later to re-read both messages once more.
Go for a walk.
Debrief with a friend.
Repeat the last two steps until anxious energy is worked out of your body and you can fall asleep.
For every confrontational text and response that I screenshot for private record, I’m grateful for the ten silly or loving or witty exchanges I can scroll back through to smile at before bed and remind myself why I choose the people I do. Still, there’s nothing quite like that stomach-drop-face-flush-I’m-in-trouble adrenaline rush that comes with the former. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love them both.
To all the painful interactions we notes-app ourselves through, I say cheers, and thank you for the writing practice.
It’s a great Monday to start anew,