October 17, 2013 WHEN YOUR FRIEND WANTS TO TEXT 24/7 Today’s question comes from Chloe (a different one!) who writes: My friend freaks out if I don’t text her every five minutes. Since I have music lessons, I can’t text her after school. But if I don’t, the next day at school she gets super angry and doesn’t talk to me. I want to tell her that I am sometimes too busy to answer her texts, but I’m afraid she’ll get angrier. What should I do? HELP!! My Advice: Hi Chloe! This sounds like a super tricky situation because it’s your friend, and you want her to know she’s important to you…but she’s being kind of clingy and unreasonable! Since there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know, I’m going to offer a few ideas about what might be going on here. 1. She has nothing going on after school, she’s SUPER bored, and she just doesn’t get that you can’t always drop your clarinet (or whatever you play!) to text her back INSTANTANEOUSLY. 2. She’s not comfortable doing her own thing, so she texts you 24/7 to feel like you’re with her, even when you’re not. 3. She’s addicted to technology, and since her fingers feel naked when they’re not covered by her phone, she assumes you’re tech-obsessed too. Unless you’ve also been taking mind-reading lessons after school, you can’t really know what’s up unless you ask her. So here’s what I think you should do: Sit her down some time and ask her why she gets so mad when you can’t text her back right away. Tell her that her feelings are really important to you, so you want to understand! Then tell her that even though her friendship means a lot to you, you just can’t be available by phone all the time. And it’s not just her… you can’t text ANYONE during certain times. You literally can’t write to someone while you’re playing your violin (or whatever you play!). After that, set some ground rules. Tell her what times you’re busy; tell her any rules your parents have for you (like, if you can’t text while you’re doing your homework)…basically, explain everything that might make her angry. Then let her know that if you don’t get to text back and forth all afternoon, that just means you’ll have more stuff to talk about later. And here’s the most important part: if you tell her you’ll call or text her after your music lesson or whatever, make sure you do! This way she’ll know you meant what you said…you’re not just trying to blow her off because you’re secretly texting other friends that you like a whole lot better! What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Chloe?