Stop Texting People Who Make You Feel Bad

I’m generally not a masochist. I don’t enjoy physical or emotional pain. As a whole, I’m actually as stable as a scoop of inoffensive vanilla ice cream. But there is one behavior I can’t stop indulging in which is texting people I have no business texting. I text people who are bad for me, who don’t bring me anything but down. (Sheryl Crow, is that you?) It’s a compulsion, a need to take the technological blade and run it across my wrist. With every text that goes unanswered, it’s like a gentle prick to my skin.

In college, it used to be a lot worse. I was a big offender when it came to drunk texting. As soon as the clock struck Wasted Regret, I would send a flurry of texts to exes, old friends, random hookups. (“I miss you. I miss us. Thinking of you…) Basically anyone I shouldn’t have. If the numbers in my phone were broken down into two categories — one being “Shiny Happy People Who Love You And Want To Make You Feel Good” and the other being “Evil People Who Treat You Like A Cockroach” I would always be drawn to the latter category. But hey, sometimes it would yield great results! In 30 minutes to an hour, I could end up with a warm body in my bed (who, come morning time, would somehow make it feel colder than it did before but whatever! Orgasms!) and have a fulfilling make out/ cuddling/ BJ session that would inspire brief “I’m connected!” feelings. The key word in that sentence though is brief. The next day I would not only have to contend with a hangover but also the emotional fallout from indulging in bad habits.

Why do we hurt ourselves in this way? It seems like whenever I or someone else shares a dating horror story, there’s still the question of “But should I still text them?” It’s like 30 minutes of “This person is a douche, they’re not the one, it’s comically bad, but… IDK. Maybe I’ll see them again.” I want to shake them and scream “WHY? Did you just forget everything you just told me about them being lame?” I know first hand that it doesn’t matter though. When it comes to texting, people are going to always test the waters of their self-worth, they’re always going to text someone they shouldn’t because it’s forbidden, because it only feels like a little prick — not a big one. Because we always want to see if the people who don’t want us will change their minds. That tonight will be the night when they see us in a different, more favorable, light.

I always write about these modern problems and offer no solution. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that you clicked on this article expecting to see some solution to your own masochist ways because I can’t really give you one. I can tell you it’s bad, I can try to explain why we do it to ourselves, but I can’t make it go away. Why? Because I’m still doing it too, honey! I ain’t above this crap. Sure, I don’t really send drunk texts anymore, but I still walk into situations where I know I’m going to get my feelings hurt. I’m still sending the “No no” texts. I’ll let you know when I stop though and give you whatever insight I have. Expect that post in 2020. TC mark

image – ToGa Wanderings

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • guest

    drunk bbm: you can tell the person has read it and just ignored you. ouch.

    • Summer

      Or if you both have iPhones and can see the iMessage marked as “delivered” or “read.” Major fail.

      • Mila Jaroniec

        That is exactly why I haven’t enabled iMessage hahaha

      • Anonymous

        You can enable it but disable delivery reports so they’re just like normal messages. But free!

      • M.J. Corey

        Wait, is that what it means on iMessage when it says “delivered?” It means that they read it? Dammit. Ignorance was bliss. 

  • Mm...yeah.

    Oh, it’s a lot worse when you text them… and they never text back.

    • Summer

       “k” is possibly worse than getting no response at all. But otherwise, yes. This.

      • Anonymous

        Or the smily face. Damn the :) to hell.

      • Charlotte

        Right? What the fricking frack does :) MEAN? I hate :), it’s an obnoxious little shit.

  • Joanna

    Love this! I was the same exact way but am improving with age. Ryan, with every piece of yours I read I become more convinced that I’m your heterosexual female doppelgange.

  • Joanna


  • ..

    “Because we always want to see if the people who don’t want us will change their minds”

  • maybelater

    this pretty much sums up my love/hate relationship with the song “call me maybe”, it reminds me on the slight hope, dimmest light to see them again when really all about it was worthless and self-deprecating, but hey, gotta have the thrill.

  • Chibbie

    really enjoyed the explanation and wisdom behind this frustrating behavioral

  • Hilary

    Marry me?  lol
    Seriously. It’s nice to know it’s not just us gals doing this heinous behavior. :/

  • Tlyla_R

    I was seriously thinking along the same lines of Hilary. Marry me. No one is interested in solutions. What’s that saying from Grey’s? “Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop.”

  • Emily


  • Elizabeth

    Ryan, you get me! 

    I don’t need solutions, I’m just glad to know I’m not the only crazy one out there.

  • Megan Vo

    The worst is when they just text LOL, cause you know they ain’t laughing at your joke. Just laughing at your pathetic eager little texting fingers.

    • Megan Vo

       Not from experience

  • Mila Jaroniec

    Whatever! Orgasms!

  • Priyanka Sharma

    The standard reply – “I’m sorry.”
    Sure, I believe you!

  • Josh (조쉬)

    “I always write about these modern problems and offer no solution.”  ….yes.

  • Rachael

    Ugh. Story of my life.

  • Cole Armstrong

    Sure, I don’t really send drunk texts anymore, but I still walk into situations where I know I’m going to get my feelings hurt. I’m still sending the “No no” texts.”

    UGH, yeah, same here. I wish I could blame my “bad” texts on drinking.

  • Karen

    How much happier does it make you though when they take time to reply to you sincerely?

  • Dylan Ingraham

    Ryan O’Connell does another masterful job of telling us how he feels in 500 words or less.

  • AndreaCarmona

    Ryan, you know me so well. 

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on makeyourmoment.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Que sera, sera.

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