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Why Someone Doesn't Answer Your Texts

Updated on December 10, 2019
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Lori values relationships and is always seeking ways to improve communication skills.


With modern technology, we have become spoiled at getting things quickly, even instantly. Email, social media, and texting have created a lifestyle of impersonal communication. We don't talk to each other enough, either by the phone or face to face. Most people I know say they hate talking on the phone, some also hate texting. On the other hand, too many are addicted to their phones. You cannot go anywhere without seeing people staring at, scrolling or texting on their phones. We've forgotten how to be present in the moment.

One thing that is very common is people get impatient when their texts aren't answered quickly. They take offense, get agitated, and let it ruin their lives for the day. But there are plausible reasons why someone doesn't respond to your messages quickly. Then there are reasons you will never fully understand. Follow along and find some answers.

Dead Zones

If someone isn't answering your texts it might be they are in a dead zone location, a spot where you can't get enough reception to send or receive messages.

People traveling will often hit areas where there is no reception. Consider these:

  • The Mountainous
  • The countryside
  • The desert
  • The ocean
  • Long stretches of highway through farmland
  • Forested areas
  • Most state and national parks
  • Anywhere there aren't towers close by

If you know someone is going to be someplace where there is a risk of getting no signal, be patient.

You are not going to get cell service in a national park such as Yosemite.
You are not going to get cell service in a national park such as Yosemite. | Source

Lost Charge or Charger

My phone loses it's full charge more quickly than I like. If I don't fully charge before I leave the house and I am gone for a long period of time, it will run out.

Sometimes I lose or forget my charger at home. My car charger is of poor quality and takes forever to charge my phone.

Some people are careless about not charging.

If you know this about a friend or family member, then there is probably nothing you can do about it. But just keeping it in mind might prevent anxiety.

Lost or Damaged Phone

Someone could lose or damage their phone at any time, any place. Here are some mishaps that can happen:

  • Dropped the phone on a hard surface.
  • Dropped it in some source of water (I once dropped a phone in a glass of water).
  • Left it in the sun too long.
  • Left it at home.
  • It fell under the car seat or somewhere else in the car.
  • Misplaced it at home or someone else's home you were at.
  • Left it at a location just visited.
  • Left it in a public restroom (I once entered a stall and found someone's iPhone on top of a low shelf next to the commode. Ew.
  • Left it in a grocery cart, church pew, classroom, meeting, etc.
  • Accidentally dropped it in the trash and didn't know it.
  • Set it on top of your car and drove off.
  • It fell out of your purse or you dropped it and it went sailing under something where it was hard to reach.
  • Keep these things in mind as it is likely to happen to everyone who uses their phones almost everywhere they are.

People are Busy

People have lives. They get busy and can't or don't want to respond because they are doing something important to them.

  • At the doctor or getting medical tests.
  • Out shopping.
  • At church.
  • At school.
  • Dining with co-workers, friends, or family.
  • Enjoying some recreation.
  • Helping a sick or needy family member or friend.
  • At work.
  • In a meeting.
  • They are driving. It is against the law and dangerous to use a phone while driving.

Allow people to have a life. If your message is not urgent, don't get worked up. Not everything is about you. It isn't a rejection of you, they are just busy and will get back to you.

The person you messaged might be at the dentist.
The person you messaged might be at the dentist. | Source

Illness or Adversity

When people are sick, they may not be up to talking or texting. It is the same way if they are going through some difficulties and having a hard time coping. Here are some examples:

  • Influenza.
  • Post-surgical.
  • Hospitalized.
  • Injury involving lots of pain.
  • Cancer (the treatments are often equal to or worse than cancer itself).
  • Any other illness that drains energy, causes pain, fever. and weakness.
  • May be depressed. If they can't get out of bed they don't usually have the energy to talk or type.
  • A family or some other emergency.
  • An accident or car breakdown.
  • They've been going through a tough trial, or series of trials and just don't feel like conversing.

If someone is too depressed to get out of bed, they are not going to be up to talking or texting.
If someone is too depressed to get out of bed, they are not going to be up to talking or texting. | Source

Personal and Relationship Issues

I wrote this article a couple of years ago and was inundated with comments and questions about why a boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend was not answering your messages. So I took it down and rewrote it to address those issues. I have no way of knowing why your friends aren't responding, but what I learned is that people have a lot of insecurities, are immature, needy and cannot cope with waiting for a response. Here are some things to think about:

  • You have offended them but they are not up to confronting you.
  • They are avoiding you because you are demanding in your relationship. It may be subtle and you don't recognize it, or it may be glaringly apparent and you don't care.
  • You've had an argument and they are not up to talking.
  • Your expectations are too high for the other party.
  • They are lazy about or do not like using their phones.
  • They may just be flaky people who don't care.
  • They might be otherwise engaged with others.
  • They may be trying to get back to you from some slight.
  • It is important to be honest with yourself and be willing to take stock of your relationships and your own behavior and make some changes.
  • If you have a tendency to carry on long conversations via text it becomes tedious for people to have to type and type and they get tired of it.
  • Some people just don't like to communicate at all. It's not personal, they just don't like communicating with anyone.
  • You may be barraging them with constant messages, or someone else is and they are tired of it.

How You Should Respond to the Absence of Their Reply

If you find yourself impatient, disgruntled, or downright ticked off when someone doesn't respond to your messages right away, it is important to consider the many possibilities above. Drama is not the answer. Drama means angry confrontations, pouting, telling friends, bad-mouthing them to others, especially on social media. These are not appropriate behaviors and reflect immaturity. Not only that, but you are putting a huge amount of stress on yourself. You could be doing something useful or satisfying rather than being consumed with your anxiety. Don't let delayed responses or no responses rob you of a good life. I realize there are times where it is very important to speak with someone and I understand why anxiety arises in those situations. Formulate a game plan ahead of time. Be gracious to them and to yourself.

© 2019 Lori Colbo


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