Texting is one of the most popular ways that people communicate with each other.
As with any communication style, texting has its own code of conduct and etiquette: you know not to call in response to a text (unless requested to do so) nor would you type IN ALL CAPS! You know to follow the protocol of texting or suffer the consequences.
Like with email, sometimes your meaning in a text is interpreted incorrectly and you’ve intentionally upset the person you were texting. You might be coming off as passive-aggressive without meaning to be.
Here are the times when your texts may be misconstrued as passive-aggressive.
1. Any time you use a period
For example, if you respond to a question with ‘Sure!’ you seem excited and happy, but if you respond with ‘Sure.’ you seem like you’re begrudgingly agreeing to something.
‘Can you take me to the airport tomorrow morning?’ ‘Sure.’ means I’d rather do almost anything, including brushing my cat’s teeth, than take you to the airport.
2. ‘Of course.’
There’s that nasty period again.
Using ‘K’ means this isn’t OK but I’m going to pretend I’m cool with it. ‘K’ is the equivalent of a teenager rolling their eyes while they take out the garbage.
This means you’re agreeing to do something but are cursing the texter for not doing it themselves.
‘Could you get me some coffee?’ ‘Yup’ means ‘I can, but you’ve got two legs. Why can’t you get it for yourself?’ Don’t confuse ‘Yup’ with ‘Yep’ — ‘Yep’ is OK and has a certain jaunty air about it, whereas ‘Yup’ has a slow burn revenge feel to it.
This means ‘I get that you’re trying to be funny, and have failed miserably. Keep your day job.’
6. Any weird emoji
This just leads to confusing and ultimately frustrating the reader, especially in response to a direct question.
7. ‘Fine’ or ‘It’s fine’
It means the exact opposite.
8. ‘No worries’
This translates to ‘I’m saying no worries but what I actually mean is screw you. I won’t say what I’m really feeling but will hold it against you until I explode.’
Texting this means you do know but you don’t feel like sharing right now.
The reader better watch what they say in response or you’re going to put them on blast.
This means ‘I’m not going to make the smallest effort to communicate with you.’
13. You don’t respond at all
By not answering, you can throw the person receiving the text into a confusion spiral, getting them to go through every possible interpretation of your text for hours and hours.
If you really want to be passive-aggressive, don’t answer the question asked of you; instead, totally change the subject.