Yesterday, Twitter put me in a “time out” after I tried to follow back too many new followers too quickly. That means I can’t let people know I like their posts or follow them back for three days.
I’m using this time out to catch my breath and ask myself this question:
Why do I feel like I have to get back to people so quickly?
This sense of urgency in responding to people as soon as possible affects me at work, in my relationships, on social media, everywhere. It makes me anxious and stressed.
When somebody reaches out to me, I imagine them waiting anxiously for my reply, and I feel more and more distress the more time I take getting back to them.
This has been a problem for me at work for many years. I know I blogged about it, in a post titled “The Doritos Cure.” That title was in reference to my supervisor suggesting that instead of my imagining patients waiting anxiously by their phone for my call back, that I imagine them eating Doritos and otherwise engaging in their day-to-day lives.
I’m taking a time out now to go back to my question above, “Why do I feel like I have to get back to people so quickly?”
My best guess, here and now, is that this relates to my experiences in the hospital when I was a child. Starting when I was eight years old, I spent a lot of time alone, in physical and emotional pain, in hospital rooms, waiting for nurses and doctors to respond to me. During those times, my only companion was the hospital heart monitor in my room, beeping out the tentative beats of my very unusual heart.
I would wait for the nurses and doctors to respond to the call light. I would wait for the precious hours when family and friends were allowed to visit me.
So perhaps I project the urgent needs of that scared child onto all who are waiting for me to respond.
I’m so glad I’m taking time out of my morning to make sense of all this.
Now I’m going to take some time out to share my images for the day.
The Daily Bitch is reminding me that it’s good to take a time out from toxic people.
Thank you SO MUCH for taking time out of your day to read this time-out post!