There's nothing worse than a really terrible hangover. Actually, wait, scratch that — waking up to a splitting headache, a mouth dryer than the Sahara Desert, and a whole pile of outgoing misspelled texts accusing your ex of never truly loving you is much worse. Sometimes, it can feel impossible to know what to say after sending drunk texts.
If your sloppy missives went to your best friend or your sister, it's probably not a big deal. You laugh it off, she makes fun of you few for a few days, whatever. Life moves on.
But the situation can get pretty gnarly if you texted a current or former flame. (BTW, if you'd like to learn how to stop your tequila fingers from typing out, "Sooooo ummm im just wondrging, WHAT ARE WEEEE????!!11" to the dude you've been seeing for three weeks, here you go. Good luck.)
I asked Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes, PsyD, a licensed psychologist, dating coach, and founder of Rapport Relationships, for a magical script to follow the morning after a drunk texting rampage that can cure shame and undo hurt feelings. Her advice was the opposite of what I expected — but it actually makes a lot of sense.
Yeah, you heard that right. Nothing! Sit back. Relax. Nurse that hangover in peace.
"You need to wait for the other person to write back, because you don't know how they might respond, and there's no need to make it into a bigger issue," Dr. Rhodes says.
Maybe the recipient of your message thinks it's funny. Maybe they realize you were drunk and brushed it off as NBD. Maybe they didn't even realize you were drunk. Until they respond, you simply don't know.
Shooting off a text like, "OMG, this is so embarrassing, I was so drunk last night," might feel like the natural course of action. But all that accomplishes is drawing unnecessary attention to the situation. And honestly, there are worse things in the world than having a little too much to drink.
... Unless You Need To Apologize
Ignoring an awful situation just makes it worse, and the longer you let the problem hang over your head (no pun intended), the worse you'll feel. If you know you messed up, you need to fix the situation ASAP — no need to wait for a pissed-off response.
"If you did something blatantly rude, then you need to apologize," Dr. Rhodes says.
Saying sorry isn't as hard as it might seem. If you're old enough to throw back a few drinks, you're old enough to craft a sincere apology. (And hey, if Justin Bieber can apologize, so can you.)
Acknowledge that you had too much to drink, apologize for the hurtful things you've said — the key here is to be humble and give a real apology, not the bullsh*t "I'm sorry that you're upset" — and then give the person some respectful space.
You might wind up facing some uncomfortable consequences, whether minor (now Kelly knows you hate her haircut) or major (now your partner is genuinely hurt by the drunken insults you lobbed their way). But at least you took the right steps to begin repairing the situation.
As for next time you're drinking within arms' reach of your phone? Put your it away before you say something that requires damage control.
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