How to Deal with Someone Who Only Texts You

Have you ever encountered a friend or colleague who refuses to call you, but just can't seem to stop compulsively texting?

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #382

If you're a fan of Modern Manners Guy, you know I'm not a fan of texting. Sure, from time to time, its OK, but it’s improper to rely on texting as your preferred source of communication, and you become what I like to call an "only texter."  What exactly is an only texter? An only texter is someone who rudely refuses to pick up their phone for an actual conversation, and insists on sending novel long texts. Ugh, let the nightmare end, please!

I can’t express to you enough how much I loathe an only texter. After all, Alexander Graham Bell went to great lengths to create a way that allowed us to hear one another's voices. So, before you rip your hair out while dealing with an only texter, check out my top three quick and dirty tips for how to handle them:

Tip #1: The Angry Over Texter

In an episode called “To Text Or Not To Text,” I talked about the pitfalls of a drunken text, and someone who texts out of anger and frustration.  As we know when our blood boils, texting our thoughts to someone is an easy way to express ourselves. We’ve all been there. Even I have acted on impulse and texted someone who did me wrong.  With that, before I rip into how rude an Angry Over Texter is, let me first say that I understand. I don’t like Angry Over Texters… but I understand.  Yes, as an Angry Over Texter, you only get one free pass. You can’t be a serial Angry Over Texter, which many people become when they rely on texting solely. So, when you encounter a person who is a repeat offender as an Angry Over Texter, you can’t let your empathy for their pain cloud your judgment, allowing them to vent. After all, has any disagreement ever been resolved with an exchange of emojis?

When dealing with the Angry Over Texter, the first rule is to look the other way, and avoid falling into their trap. I know, I know, this sounds very basic, like “Oh, just ignore them.” But when dealing with rude behavior, sometimes you have to step back and really take the moral highroad, even if it kills you. The problem is, an Over Texter wants you to keep texting them back. I mean, the mere thought of having you call them will make their skin crawl… even if it means resolving the issue. Even worse is that an Angry Over Texter won’t stop. They’ll rant, they’ll rave, they’ll throw several poop emojis your way and basically bring out their inner brat to express themselves. So, going back to that knee-jerk reaction will make you want to yell—er, typeback something equally wrong. But don’t. Instead just answer once with, “I’m not going back and forth with you. Let’s talk it over the phone or meet up for coffee. Our relationship worth more than a text.” Here, what you’re saying is that your maturity trumps their constant badgering. Trust me, they’ll see the light. It may not be right away but ignoring their angry texts is the kind of like the digital form of taking the high and mannerly road. The one that's paved with good karma as well.

Tip #2: The Relationship Over Texter

Anyone who has had the unfortunate task of dating in the digital age understands that a Relationship Over Texter will make for a pretty crappy partner. Take Kristin who dubbed her ex-boyfriend (ex being the key word here) as a constant Over Texter.  She said that in four months of dating, he only called ten times. That’s ten times in 120 days! Hashtag #craycray, with the other forms of interaction—outside of in-person—being texts. In fact, even after their second date rather than calling her about how happy he was that their relationship was now at a new level, he texted her ... for a week! No matter how many times Kristin called, he would message back, “Can’t talk…. What’s up?” Romantic, right? Sure, Mr. Love over there was a dud when it came to romance and being unromantic doesn’t make you a bad partner in general, but only texting will surely cut any relationships you have rather short. If you are stuck dating a Relationship Over Texter, and still don’t want to end things, I admire your efforts, but it’s improper to tolerate their unmannerly ways as the “norm.”