Texty Tangles


Texting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate how you feel and misinterpret what other people mean.

Blue = Mother to Orange
Green & Orange = teenage daughters of Blue
Maroon = trusted adult male friend

Family members confide in Maroon about teenager/parent issues, as well as simply enjoying each other’s company and chatting about everything.
Orange tells Blue that she is mean and horrible and that she doesn’t want to talk to her any more – and that Maroon sympathises.
Blue knows that Maroon would not speak negatively about her and wants to clarify what he said. Sends a text to ask.

Blue also realises that Orange is being a normal teenager and that most teens say things like this from time to time.

Maroon replies that he understands and sympathises with Orange’s feelings. He does not want to be used as a weapon in family disputes and says he can no longer be involved.
Blue hears that he no longer wants to be involved with the family at all. Blue is very upset.
Next day, Blue sends a text to Maroon apologising for her ineffective communication and for putting Maroon in an awkward position. Also says that she respects his decision and does not expect any further response.
Maroon replies by text saying that Orange needs the support of Blue. Says that the family needs to support each other rather than attack; that Blue is the head of the home and needs to step up.
Blue feels hurt, attacked, criticised, defensive….
Blue sends a text to Maroon – confused about why he even feels the need to say these things. Says that both Green and Orange have her support already.
Maroon replies saying that it seems to be an ongoing problem and asks why Blue is not trying to change it. Also says that he is not trying to point blame at anyone.
Blue feels defensive and increasingly helpless.
Blue replies saying that she has done everything she can to address the situation and that she can’t read minds or control the reactions of others.
Maroon texts “This is why I can no longer be involved.”
Blue is devastated. Feels that she just lost a close friend. Feels alone, abandoned, isolated.
Blue replies saying that she had wondered why he even replied to her apology and had felt a little disrespectful to his wishes when she replied to his reply but hadn’t known what else to do. Blue says that she is sad and will miss him, but will try to make this the last message. Asks if he wants to tell Green and Orange or if he would rather she passed on message so they don’t have to bother him again.
Maroon says that he will.
Blue sends a text explaining that Green just saw that message arrive on screen and wanted to know what he meant, but that she wasn’t entirely sure herself. Told Green that she thinks it means that he doesn’t want to be at all involved with the family any more but that Green should probably ask Maroon.
Blue is very, very, upset.
Maroon sends a text to Green and to Orange. He says he doesn’t want to be involved in disputes, but that he is happy to meet with them for coffee or breakfast or whatever else.
Maroon sends a text to Blue saying that this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want any involvement, but that he just doesn’t want to be involved in disputes.
Blue says thank you for not hurting the girls and says she will try to keep her distance as she is obviously the only problem.
Maroon says that only domestic issues are off the agenda.
Blue says she has no idea how to act or what to say, but that he knows where to find her.
Blue feels bereft, confused, depressed, isolated. Feels that there is a nebulous boundary that she must not cross. In order to avoid crossing boundary, must avoid Maroon completely. Loss of friendship is very painful and probably unnecessary. Doesn’t know what to do but is tempted to crawl into a hole and stay there.
Maroon posts the Quotation above on his Facebook page……

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