In this overwhelming digital age, ignoring a person’s text can be interpreted as disinterest. And I’m not saying it isn’t. However, there are other factors to be considered when it comes to those in your life who still keep in contact with you but are simply delayed with their responses. Here are the most common ones:
1. They’re Distracted
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “I can see that green dot, so they’re online. They’re definitely ignoring me.”
Not necessarily. Think back to a time when you’ve probably done this because it is so easy to get caught up in the world of eye-catching news and infinite scrolling. Imagine you’ve received a message from someone but you’re completely in your own little world. You’ll make a mental note to reply to them, but before you know it, it’s been 20 minutes of watching videos or reading comments and you’ve forgotten to reply to them. Yes, this happens more than you think.
2. They’re Busy
This is an excuse that’s used quite frequently, but most people still do not fully comprehend this concept. Just because someone is on their phone doing something does not mean they are not busy. Everybody does different things in their spare time, even if it may not seem like it to you. Sometimes, a message notification may need an in-depth answer or it will lead to a longer conversation and that person simply wants to wait for a time when they can give their undivided attention, and so they hold out until they have a clear mind and schedule.
3. They’re Mentally Exhausted
Mental fatigue is incredibly common. It is not something that’s openly discussed, and many people might come across as rude for not replying to a message within a certain period of time. It’s important to understand this has nothing to do with not valuing the other person’s time or their relationship with that person, it just means they need time to themselves to breathe. To get by. To simply disengage with conversations or interaction of any kind until they feel better mentally and physically. If someone has replied to your text much later than you might have anticipated, it’s either because they’re busy or mentally exhausted. And in all cases, try to exercise the same understanding, because they could have ignored your message but didn’t, and that’s a sign they do care but their exhaustion got in the way.
4. They’re Too Proud
The overinflated ego is a funny thing. There’s an unspoken waiting game that people play when you receive a message and wait a few minutes so it doesn’t look too desperate. It’s because we’ve been conditioned to believe that caring too much is a sign of desperation or weakness. But waiting hours to reply when someone isn’t busy is a control move, or so they think. The ball is quite literally in their court to respond, causing you to question their feelings for you or if you’ve said the wrong thing. Be careful with this, because there’s no way to really prove this one, and if you accuse them of delaying their responses on purpose, they’ll definitely deny it. Play this one cool and continue conversation like you usually would, because you’re bigger than that.
5. They Care About Your Perception of Them
As a contrast to the previous point, sometimes a person won’t reply because they don’t want to seem too desperate, but not for the reasons of being in control — they might feel clingy or overly excited if they reply too soon. Therefore, this person may partake in an extended version of the waiting game, not out of feelings of wanting to hurt you, but as a defence mechanism so you don’t hurt them. They’ll take their time with responses to show they are also doing things with their life and to protect themselves from being hurt. Out of these last two points, you’re not really going to know which of them someone is using, because the person who is too proud won’t tell you, and neither will the one who cares about you too much. But you can generally get an idea by the person’s personality type and their previous actions and words.