Sunday, March 28, 2021

Slice of Life- 28 of 31: Wondering about messages when there's no response

   It's March! That means that I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I am happy to co-host this event with the team at Two Writing Teachers. Everyone is welcome!

Yesterday, Larkin wrote about finding the cards that she mailed. The cards were in a ditch, so they clearly didn't arrive in the intended recipients' hands. While this discovery might have cost her something financially, it has me thinking about the emotional peace of knowing or learning that a message didn't go through as opposed to the emotional turmoil of wondering whether it's been received but ignored, forgotten, or disregarded. 

Scrolling through texts, I have a few of those. There are categories of them, though, for sure. There are the ones where you don't really care, the ones that don't really matter... but there are also the ones that cause worry. I sent a text to someone I've never met about a writing project-- hers not mine, so it really matters to her and not me. No response. Another text went to a friend I hadn't seen in a long time thanking her for meeting and saying how good it was to see her. No response. That text could have gotten buried, but maybe she didn't like seeing me?!?! I doubt that, but my insecurities surface regularly. And another text to a close friend whose daughter's been having a really hard time. That's a no response that I'll follow up on because while it could be that it's a message that slipped through, it could also be that it's a message that needs too much of an emotional response and would be better with a phone call. 

Whether it's mail, phone messages, texts, there's always that wonder of "did they get it?" when there's no response. I'm a person who definitely prefers to find out that my message landed in a ditch, rather than wonder about the reason for no response. 

Happy Slicing,



  1. I have noticed that many people just don't respond. Many reply immediately. I wonder if people are so lazy. In these days of emoticons it is so much easier to show appreciation. It does not need time. Anyway we cannot make anyone do anything. Personally when I receive messages in Whatsapp or by mail I make it a point to reply in words or emoticons.

  2. We live in an era where we receive so many messages from different sources. Maybe some of us just can't get through all of them, maybe it's just too much, voice mail, e-mail, texts, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram... Unfortunately, crap messages also take a lot of space and time.

  3. All the categories for lost've summed them up. I worry and wonder too. And it seems like an overlooked email is easy to swallow (for me anyway) but an unresponded text - that feels different.

    I'm slightly convicted too. In the last year there are two voicemails I did not return because I just don't want to have the conversation. These are people who do not deserve this unkindness.

    I'm glad you wrote this.

  4. I like how you structured this slice. Hooked me first by sharing how your thinking was sparked by another's slice. Then shared 3 examples showing the power of three in writing does work and then ending with "I'm a person who definitely prefers ..." That got me, your reader to ponder my own thoughts on this topic. My thoughts went to my mom who is so often telling me how she texted or emailed a grandchild and heard NOTHING. She's clearly in your camp! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love your inspiration for this post! Like Tim, I worry and wonder too. Especially if their read receipts are on and no response!

  6. Oh my, this is a rabbit hole. Such an interesting thought line, and more problematic for the turbulent folk. If we were anything like my husband, he not only cares about calls and messages but refuses to respond to anything that doesn’t equites immediate attention. He has a voicemail and mail opening aversion, I swear.
    I think these days, people are overwhelmed and inundated.
    Period. Don’t overthink.

  7. Ok ... this is post is not a good one for me right now. I typically respond to everything pretty quickly. With my arms, I can't and it is really upsetting people. I feel awful, but I am so behind. It has me thinking that maybe I shouldn't always respond so quickly. Some who know me well, start every message with - DON'T RESPOND TO THIS. That makes me laugh. Such a big question you ponder today ... to respond or not to respond and what to do when someone doesn't respond. I love how you think through each one.

  8. I'm with you Melanie. My daughters constantly remind me that you never know what someone else is dealing with and so it's just best to let it go. If it's important we can try again and if it's not, well then, it's not.