I’ve been having problems lately controlling my patience and emotions over whether or not someone replies to my text messages/emails. All started a few months ago I was catching up with a friend over text. As she had recent success with relationships, while I have been struggling with interpersonal relationships in recent times, I reached out to ask her opinion over what positive qualities she saw in me, as I’ve done with my close friends and family to combat my self-esteem problems, because she has been one of the better friends I’ve met in recent times. No response. Another instance of this happening was when I wished a friend I used to have a crush on happy birthday, I thought it would be a chance to ask her how things were going, as we had not talked in awhile. Again, no response. Sometimes when I post to an online forum but don’t get replies, I feel like I am a big annoyance and bother. After some of these occurrences I have had more frequent intrusive thought attacks, with my anxiety screaming things like: “You’re insane!” “You are an intrusive burden for asking people these questions!” “You’re handling this all wrong!” “You should have known better than to continue those conversations!” As with talking to friends of the opposite gender: “You are a dangerous disgusting disgrace, and you have no business with women!”
I’ve realized this swirl of emotions over text messages has become a problem because I’ve become more self-conscious and over-analyzing of how I handle my relationships or interact with others. The very fact if someone replies to me or not can really make me irritable, often for several days at a time. When someone actually does reply to my texts, and just happens to be slow doing so, I get angry with myself for letting my impatience distract myself. This happened when I was remotely working with a friend on a project that needed urgent attention and made him stressed because I kept texting him, as I assigned him a role to work with me on this up-and-coming project, and he responded after 20 minutes of waiting for him to get to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Am I crazy like I think I am? How can I be more patient with waiting for text messages/emails and regain control of my emotions?
The work is in challenging your thoughts. As you are a university student I would recommend using the counseling services on campus. The style of therapy that can help you challenge your thoughts is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. CBT approaches the self-talk you are using. That is where you can make the biggest improvement in your responses.
Until you get a session with the therapists at the center you may want to try this book, The Resilience Factor, as it describes many of the elements you can use to help you manage these self-defeating thoughts.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Feelings Dependent on Responses to Messages. Psych Central.
Retrieved on July 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/12/31/feelings-dependent-on-responses-to-messages/
Last updated: 30 Dec 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Dec 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.