Are you guilty of TWI (Texting While Intoxicated)? Find out how to handle the fallout after sending an inappropriate text message.
In previous articles, I've discussed the pitfalls of texting while intoxicated, angry, or just plain trying too hard to be funny, all of which tend to go poorly for the sender of the text. It seems, however, that this topic needs much more attention. In the last two weeks alone, I've received half a dozen e-mails about dealing with a “drunk text.” In all situations, I sided with my friends in that they were right to follow their gut feeling to correct the person that wronged them. But at the same time, confronting someone in a drunk text probably wasn’t received as well as they would have hoped.
Let me make one thing clear: When someone wrongs you, you should most definitely stand up for yourself. If a coworker steals the credit for your work, set the record straight. If your date stands you up, let them know how disappointed you are. But whenever you feel the urge to text someone while intoxicated, remember this one key element: YOU ARE DRUNK! I wish I could put this nicer, but sadly I can't. Years ago you could have wiggled your way out of a situation if you called someone and said something you regretted by arguing that they misinterpreted what you said. But nowadays a text rant is saved in electronic history, so it's hard to figure out a way to take back a text like this:"Thought you were better than this! But you are a piece of crap! Never call me again! "
So, when you do find yourself in a situation where your fingers type faster than your brain rationalizes, you have to do right by admitting you were wrong. Even if the recipient of the text insulted or mistreated you, sending them a expletive-filled rant only adds fuel to the fire and ruins your credibility. This does not mean your feelings are unjustified. As I said before, do let them know if they were wrong, but the delivery comes off poorly in a text, and it ends up clouding the entire debate.
After you realize you angrily, drunkenly texted someone, be sure to call them—don't text them again—and apologize for the text. Admit that you may have kicked back one too many and that you made a mistake by texting them, rather than calling them. But also make sure to tell them why you did it. Let them know you were mad and still are as you talk to them. While it’s true you were wrong to call them a name or yell, but they did something that prompted that outburst and they have to admit to that.
You may not be friends in the end, but you are allowed to tell someone who does you wrong how you feel. Admitting you were wrong to drunk text is the mature thing to do, and now you've done your part. Don't let swallowing your pride make up for their ignorant behavior. Two wrongs still don't make a right.
Modern mobile phone from Shutterstock