Never send this text.


“Can we talk?”

When was the last time someone send you that text? I have honestly started to believe that there are some people who have a calling in life to be upsetting and disruptive, at literally the worst possible times. They could pick a good day to be disruptive.  At least one where you’ve slept and feel prepared to handle that level of weird.  But they wait… until the day that you’re supposed to be getting your first pedicure in a year… that day you’ve been planning for weeks… that one day that you just wanted the world to melt away into the background so you could refresh, restore, renew… and that’s the day that they send THAT text that should never be sent.

If it’s not a text, they send a lengthy email about something that they’ve been mad about for three years and decided that today, the one day that I was planning to unplug, today was exactly the right day to hit send on an email that purges their soul of every single single offense I might have ever committed… ever.

“No! We can’t talk! We can never talk again!” That’s how I feel inside when I get those messages. On the outside, I have to smile and make room on the couch, but inside, I’m literally cringing about what the big heavy thing is that’s about to be dropped on my shoulders.

I’ve felt that temptation myself. I’ve actually sent a couple of those texts. And then I found out the recipient was in the middle of one of the biggest trials of their life. What they did (or didn’t do) wasn’t intentional. It was never about me. That person was a distracted, exhausted human being who was trying to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and couldn’t carry my expectations along with everyone else’s too. They love me and weren’t for a minute mad at me. But out of my own weird insecurities, I made a situation about me… and unintentionally added THAT TEXT to their shoulders. Unless you’re one of those people who thinks that things are literally always all about you, that knowledge feels awful.

I know you’ve gotten that text too.  And felt that sense of dread.  It’s sick.  I’d bet money that most of you knew what text I meant when you read the title of this blog post.  We’ve all felt it.  Don’t feel bad if you’ve been the person sending that text.  It’s ok. We’ve all fallen into that trap.  The key is to never do it again.

Here’s what you should do when you catch yourself typing those dastardly words in a text to someone. Stop. Don’t send that text. Instead, think about what else might be going on in their life. Think worse case scenario. Someone died and they don’t want to tell you. Someone they love is sick and they’re worried. Their child is sick.  Their best friend is ghosting them. They are curled up in a ball of depression and wishing that someone would show up with chicken soup and their favorite movie.

The next time you feel the need to ask the question that should never be asked, maybe send nothing… or if you MUST text, send something like this instead:

Hey, you're on my mind and I want you to know that I am thinking about you.


Deal? Cool. Glad we could get that worked out.

Jenn is the Founder and CEO of Cotton Babies. She holds an Executive MBA from Washington University. She was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Emerging Category for the Central Midwest Region in 2011. Among many other awards, she recently received a 2017 YWCA Leader of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship. Jenn holds many patents on various inventions in a number of different countries and is listed as one of 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is particularly fascinated by languages, chickens, and children (she has four) when she’s not reading economics journals.

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